Tuesday, September 06, 2005

an INCITE afternoon

INCITE is hosting an afternoon of talks, discussion, food and farewells tomorrow. Starting with Kris's seminar about his ESRC study - Photo's Leave Home - departmental staff, special guests from PDD, BBC and the RCA, INCITE researchers and other students will then descend upon the INCITE room to talk projects, ideas and other nerdy technological things over nibbles.

This is Kris's last official task prior to leaving the UK to start his PhD in the Art History Department at the University of Chicago. He has been with INCITE for over three years as a Research Fellow, teaching, researching and generally particpating in the Department, and for the last year he has run his own ESRC research grant. So the afternoon will wrap up with farewell drinks, presents and general emotional outpourings. His enthusiasm for ideas, responsiveness to other people's projects, supportive presence and more (including his uncanny ability to talk theory whilst running up hills) - will be widely missed. We are all very sad to see him go.

Here is an overview of his seminar.

"Photos Leave Home"
I'm at the end of a one-year ESRC study of personal (aka snapshot, aka amateur) photography and its newly massive presence on the internet. The questions I was asking were less about why anyone would want to put their personal photographs online in the first place (although I have a little bit to say about the popularity and prevalence‹the apparent irresistability‹of that particular question) and more about the effects that this efflorescence of (a certain kind of) photography might be having on our ideas about what photography is and does. I'm in the process of writing a series of three papers, one of which addresses popular reactions to this ourpouring of heretofore sequestered (or privatised) photography, one of which addresses itself to the previous sociological literature on photography, and the last of which discusses these phenomena within a history and theory of images. Here, I'll be primarily focused on the second of these papers, which considers photographs as *public* rather than social entities.

More about his project can be found on his blog.

- kat