ASCA Cities Project – Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam
Keywords: visual culture, the street, digital media, street photography, visual practice, cell phone registration, architectural visualizations, the everyday
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Gillian Rose (The Open University)
Organized by ASCA Cities Project, the international conference Visualizing the Street explores the impact of contemporary practices of image-making on the visual cultures of the street.
Date: 16- 17 June 2016
Location: Nina van Leerzaal, Allard Pierson Museum, Oude Turfmarkt 127, Amsterdam
New technologies of visualization have opened up the practices of photographing, filming, and editing to everyone who carries a phone and is connected online, resulting in the mass circulation of privately produced imagery. This development has social, cultural and political significance. For example, Larsen and Sandbye (2014) write that “increasingly, everyday amateur photography is a performative practice connected to presence, immediate communication and social networking, as opposed to the storing of memories for eternity, which is how it has hitherto been conceptualized.” Hito Steyerl (2009) points towards the potential of such low resolution imagery in propagating a less hierarchical and more democratic regime of visuality. At the same time, new technologies have also contributed to the expansion of an urban visual culture that is subject to a professional system of visual production and distribution. The visual experience of the contemporary street is partly shaped by artistic visualizations, detailed advertisements, big-scale billboards and high resolution renderings that pervade urban environments. Although responding to different sensibilities, there are striking similarities between these various registers of everyday visual experience of the street. The digital means of production of street imagery – never delivering a clear end product and always in circulation between material and virtual networks – and the fleeting glance with which consumers relate to that imagery, point towards a distinctly performative visual language. It seems that what is most important to this visual culture is not so much the content of the imagery as its immediacy. This development asks for new concepts, theories and research methods that would combine close analyses of the image with the study of the practices of production, circulation and consumption of the image, and the diverse set of social, cultural, affective and performative implications of it in everyday life.
The conference program can be downloaded here.