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# 4 (37) 2019: After Post-Photography
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Topic of the Issue

Friedrich TIETJEN

PhD in Art History, Independent Researcher and Curator at the Reinbeckhallen
Berlin, Germany


European University in St. Petersburg, Russia
Assistant Professor, Department of Art History
St. Petersburg State Institute for Culture, St. Petersburg, Russia
Assistant Professor, Department of Art
PhD in Philosophy

After Post-Photography. An Introduction

In the late XX century with the arrival of computer and information technologies, one of the main and earlier points of the debates around digital opportunities and futures for photography was the point of photographic “veracity”, or “truthfulness”, or “credibility”: the new technologies seemed to have uncovered the dubious nature of photography’s connection with reality that it had long been expected to depict. This topic is an example of how the “post-photographic” discourse developed: the new visual and social realities, brought about by the fast spreading of new technologies, required a theoretical framework and "toolbox". At the same time, the search for adequate theoretical models to approach these new phenomena made clear the need to re-address the history of photography and its theoretical research. This development of photography studies and revision of its historical material is, as this article suggests, as much part of the "post-photography" as is the current state of photography itself, with the digital and information technologies playing a major role in contemporary culture. The article introduces the collection of essays that shows a variety of material and methodology in the field of photography studies.

Key words: post-photography, theory of photography, digital photography, photography studies.


  • T.Bartscherer, R.Coover (eds), Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).
  • Sean Cubitt, Digital Aesthetics (London: Sage, 1998).
  • Geoffrey Batchen, Photogenics, in History of Photography, Vol.22/No.1, Spring (London: Taylor&Francis, 1998).
  • Peter Blank, Which History of Photography: The Modernist Model, in Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter 1994), pp. 19–21.
  • Ya’ara Gil Glazer, A new kind of history? The challenges of contemporary histories of photography, in Journal of Art Historiography No.3 (December 2010),
  • John Hartley, Digital Futures for Cultural and Media Studies (Chichester: John Wiley, 2012).
  • Sarah Kember, Visual Anxiety, Photography, New Technologies and Subjectivity (Manchester University Press, 1998).
  • Martin Lister (ed.) The Photographic Image in Digital Culture (London:Routledge, 1995).
  • Lev Manovich, The Paradoxes of Digital Photography in Hubertus v. Amelunxen et al. (eds.), Photography After Photography (G+B Arts, 1996).
  • William J.T.Mitchell, The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1992).
  • Douglas R. Nickel, History of Photography: the State of Research, in The Art Bulletin, 83: 3 (Sept. 2001), pp. 548–558.
  • Fred Ritchin, In Our Own Image, the Coming Revolution in Photography (New York: Aperture, 1990).
  • Martha Rosler, Image Simulations, Computer Manipulations, Some Considerations in A.Cameron (ed.), Digital Dialogues: an introduction, Ten.8, Vol.2/2, Autumn (1991).
  • John Tagg, The Burden of Representation. Essays on Histories and Photographies (New-York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1988).

* used for pictures of guest editors are images of non-existent faces produced by Nvidia’s StyleGAN algorithm on


Braunschweig University of Art, Germany 
Assistant to the Director of the Institute and Coordination, Institut für Medienwissenschaft

Not what, but HOW is the Index? On the Differentiation of the various Indexicalities of Photography

An analogue photography is indexical, a digital photography is too – just different. And analogue photos are not just as any other analogue photos, so as there are different types of digital photographs. For the indexicality of photography, however, it is not so important whether the photo is analogue or digital – in most cases only the final image is of actual interest. But if one looks at the different forms of acquisition of 'photographic traces', one notices that the way how they are indexical differs and that they can be divided into more than two categories.
This text will deal with the question of the extent to which different manifestations of the index occur in different forms of photographic recording. The text will look at analogue recording methods, such as negative/positive printing methods, direct positive printing methods, Gum bichromate and Polaroid, as well as digital recordings. It is to be shown that different recordings also result in different materiality, which ultimately also includes the question of how much materiality is required for a photo to become a photography and, eventually, what is needed for an index to be an index. Or in a nutshell: It should no longer simply be asked what an index is, but – with regard to various photographic techniques – what is the index like?

Key words: index, photographic techniques, digital photography, media theory.


  • Elmar Baumann (n.d.): „Fotografie-Informationen. Aufbau des Farbfilms“, URL:, last access: 16.11.2019.
  • Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Jay Kinney, „Digital Retouchug. The Ende of Photography as Evidence of Anything,“ in Whole Earth Review, H. 47(Juli 1985), p. 42–47.
  • Simon Brugner, Über die Realität im Zeitalter digitaler Fotografie (Boitzenburg: vwh, 2012).
  • Martin Doll, „Entzweite Zweiheit? Zur Indexikalität des Digitalen,“ in Segeberg, Harro (ed.), Film im Zeitalter Neuer Medien II. Digitalität und Kino (Paderborn: Fink 2012), pp. 57–86.
  • Joseph Maria Eder, Geschichte der Photographie (Halle/Saale: Wilhelm Knapp, 1905)
  • Peter Geimer, Theorien der Fotografie zur Einführung (Hamburg: Junius, 2009).
  • Heinz Haberkorn, Anfänge der Fotografie. Entstehungsbedingungen eines neuen Mediums (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1981).
  • Wolfgang Hagen, „Die Entropie der Fotografie. Skizzen zu einer Genealogie der digitalelektronischen Bildaufzeichnung,“ in Herta Wolf (ed.), Paradigma Fotografie (Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 2002), pp. 195–238.
  • Wolfgang Hagen, „Es gibt kein ‚digitales Bild‘. Eine medienepistemologische Anmerkung,“ in Lorenz Engell, Bernhard Siegert, Joseph Vogl (eds.), Licht und Leitung (Weimar, 2002), pp. 103–112.
  • Christopf Hoffmann, „Die Dauer eines Moments. Zu Ernst Machs und Peter Salchers ballistisch-fotografischen Versuchen 1886/87,“ in Geimer, Peter (ed.) Ordnungen der Sichtbarkeit. Fotografie in Wissenschaft, Kunst und Technologie (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2002), pp. 342–377.
  • Susanne Holschbach, „Das verteilte Bild. Erscheinungsweisen und Performanzen digitaler Fotografie,“ in Ilka Becker (eds.), Fotografisches Handeln. Das fotografische Dispositiv Band 1 (Marburg: Jonas, 2016), pp. 111–130.
  • Dean Keep, „Artist with a Camera-Phone. A Deacade of Mobile Photography,“ in Marsha Berry, Max Schleser (eds.), Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones, (Palgrave Pivot, 2014), pp. 14–24. Søren Kjørup, Semiotik, utb Profile, Band 3039, (München: Fink 2009).
  • Robert Knodt and Klaus Pollmeier, Verfahren der Fotografie (Essen: Folkwang, 1989).
  • Mirjam Lewandowsky, Im Hinterhof des Realen. Index – Bild – Theorie (Paderborn: Fink, 2016).
  • Peter Lunenfeld, „Digitale Fotografie. Das dubitative Bild,“ in Hertha Wolf (ed.), Paradigma Fotografie (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2000), pp. 159–177.
  • Lev Manovich, „Die Paradoxien der digitalen Fotografie,“ in Amelunxen et al (eds.), Fotografie nach der Fotografie (Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 1996), pp. 58–66.
  • William J. Mitchell, The Reconfigured Eye. Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era (Cambridge: Mass, 2001) Rolf F. Nohr, Nützliche Bilder. Bild, Diskurs, Evidenz (Münster: Lit, 2014).
  • Winfried Nöth, Handbuch der Semiotik. 2., vollständig neu bearbeitete und erweiterte Auflage (Stuttgart/Weimar: Metzler, 2000).
  • Claus Pias, „Das digitale Bild gibt es nicht. Über das (Nicht-)Wissen der Bilder und die informatische Illusion,“ in zeitenblicke, 2(1) 2003, URL:, last access: 13.10.2019.
  • Charles Sanders Peirce, Semiotische Schriften (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2000).
  • Philipp Reinfeld, Image-Based Architecture. Fotografie und Entwerfen (Paderborn: Fink, 2018).
  • Jens Schröter, „Gestaltung und Referenz in der analogen und digitalen Fotografie,“ in Claudia Mareis, Christof Windgätter (eds.), Long Lost Friends. Wechselbeziehung zwischen Design-, Medien- und Wissenschaftsforschung (Berlin: diaphanes, 2013), pp. 63–76.
  • Jens Schröter, “Digitales Bild” in Image 25 (2017), pp. 89–106.
  • Timm Starl, Bildbestimmung. Identifizierung und Datierung von Fotografien 1839 bis 1945 (Jonas: Marburg, 2009).
  • Hito Steyerl, Die Farbe der Wahrheit. Dokumentarismen im Kunstfeld (Turia + Kant: Wien, 2008).
  • Bernd Stiegler, „Digitale Fotografie als epistemologischer Bruch und historische Wende,“ in Lorenz Engell, Britta Neitzel, (eds.), Das Gesicht der Welt. Medien in der digitalen Kultur (München: Fink, 2004), pp. 105–126.


Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Media Studies

New Aesthetics and Long-Standing Notions of Truthful Representation: On Post-Photographic Cell Phone Images and Hito Steyerl’s Documentary Work

This paper examines two claims made by media artist and philosopher Hito Steyerl. First, in relation to a CNN cell phone live broadcast, Steyerl describes a new form of documentary. She calls it abstract documentarism. Second, Steyerl argues that documentary images do not simply represent reality. Documentary images produce reality. For that reason, they should present what could be in a better future. The author supports Steyerl’s claims and considers them from a slightly different angle. He does so by introducing a thesis of media scholar Volker Wortmann. Wortmann argues that truthful representations are cultural patterns of action. They are related to notions or models that are historically consistent. What changes historically are the forms and aesthetics through which these models are realized. The author suggests that abstract documentarism is a new realization of two long-standing models of truthful representation. Furthermore, he argues that Steyerl’s documentary work is a new realization of another long-standing model, the model of the constant doubt.

Key words: abstract documentarism, cell phone, constant doubt, distribution of the sensible, documentary, Fox News, Hito Steyerl, Liquidity Inc., historically consistent models, media aesthetics, post-photographic, representation, truth.


  • Capa, Robert. American Troops Landing on D-Day, Omaha Beach, France. Gelatin silver print, 24 x 35.5 cm², Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, 1944. Web. October 5 2018. URL:
  • Coleman, Allan D. “Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day,” Photocritic International. Web. October 5 2018. URL: /artandphoto/photocritic/tag/robert-capa/.
  • Fox News. “OP Iraqi Freedom. Reporting: Greg Kelly with US Army 3rd Infantry.” YouTube, 01:30 min., posted June 4, 2012. Web. October 5 2018. URL: ?v=ICYzFZdbdP8
  • Mitchell, William J. The Reconfigured Eye: Vis-ual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era. Cam-bridge: MIT, 1994. Print.
  • Rancière, Jacques. Die Aufteilung des Sinnli-chen: Die Politik der Kunst und ihre Paradoxien. Berlin: b_books, 2008. Print.
  • Steyerl, Hito. “Documentary Uncertainty.” A Prior #15 (2007): 302–308. Print.
  • Steyerl, Hito. Die Farbe der Wahrheit. Doku-mentarismen im Kunstfeld. Wien: Turia+Kant, 2008. Print.
  • Steyerl, Hito. Liquidity Inc. 30:00 min., single channel HD video installation, Van Abbemuse-um, Eindhoven, NH, 2014. Web. April 5 2016 URL:
  • Wortmann, Volker. Authentisches Bild und au-thentisierende Form. Köln: Halem, 2003. Print.
  • Wortmann, Volker. “Die Magie der Oberfläche. Zum Wirklichkeitsversprechen der Fotografie.“ In Wirklich wahr! Realitätsversprechen von Fo-tografien, Ed. S. Schneider and S. Grebe. Ost-fildern-Ruit: Hatje-Cantz, 2004. 11–21. Print.
  • Wortmann, Volker. “Was wissen Bilder schon über die Welt, die sie bedeuten sollen? Sieben Anmerkungen zur Ikonographie des Authen-tischen.“ In Authentizität. Diskussion eines ästhetischen Begriffs. Ed. S. Knaller and H. Mül-ler. München: Fink, 2006. 163–184. Print.


University of San Diego, California, USA
Artist and Assistant Professor of Photography

The Gunman Gestures

This paper uses the reception of Burhan Ozbilici’s photograph of Mevlüt Mert Altintas’ assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, to unpack the circumstances of contemporary viewership of photographs. The paper suggests that while neither viewers nor photographs have essentially changed over time, something has. The contemporary photograph indexes other photographs rather than the real world, but ending on this note risks leaving viewership at the impasse of Baudrillard’s simulacra. Instead, the paper suggests that, given the conflation of author, actor, and audience in the simulacra, it is possible to recognize renewed agency in each position – not despite the digital consequences of dissemination, but because of them.

Key words: photography, simulacra, digital, analogue, viewership, media, index, sign.


  • Baudrillard, J. (1981). Simulacra and simulation. (S.F. Glaser, Trans.) Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1994.
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  • Illustration of assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo. Illustration from Le Petit Journal, July 12, 1914. (Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images) Retrieved from
  • Illustration of assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo. Illustration from La Domenica del Corriere, July 12, 1914. (Achille Beltrame) Retrieved from
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* Photo by Geoffrey Berliner.

Nadezhda KRYLOVA

Independent Researcher, Moscow, Russia

Police Archive: Photography, Power and Spectator

This article focuses primarily on the photographic collection of the Police Department, currently hosted by the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF). Special attention is given to its isolation and new links, established by the archivists while rearranging the photographic material in order to include collection of the former chief political surveillance agency of the Russian Empire into the structure of its Soviet successor. Department’s photographic collection in this sense presents just a glimpse of a much bigger problem – the meaning of the politics while forming an archive and its transformations in time. As a result contemporary investigators are faced with a radical shift in the status of the photographs, which have transitioned from pieces of evidence into speechless documentary ruins of sorts.

Key words: archive, document, identity, police photography, ruin.


  • Oleg Aronson The moment of the document and the completeness of the memory in Irina Kaspe (ed.), The status of a document: an expropriated certificate or conclusive piece of paper (Moscow: New literary observer, 2013), pp. 218--244. (In Russian)
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  • Oksana Gavrishina, Whose reality? Portrait in the Lithuanian photography of 1940—1950s in Oksana Gavrishina, Empire of Light: Photography as visual practice of modernity (Moscow: New literary observer, 2011), pp. 44--55. (In Russian)
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St. Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Faculty of Arts, Associate Professor, PhD in Arts History

Early City Photography: to the Question of the Iconography of Space

One of the questions that is important for the study of photography is the principle of the image of space. The possibility of precise representation was the condition, connected with the peculiarity of technique. Almost immediately after the invitation of photography, space became the object of distortion in both areas: visual and informative. Space and emptiness turned to be a meaning field of photography. The tricks connected with presentation of space were reproduced and copied, they turned to be one of the generally elements of photographs. The graphic regulations of space and emptiness are associated not only with the technical conditions of photography. They are the part of a conscious program, the elements of which were used in the artistic system of the 20th century. This study examines the basic principles of demonstrating space in early photography and focuses on meaning- and semantic programs of photography and space.

Key words: city photography, image of space, perspective, Peter Galassi, Eugene Atget, Jacob Burchard.


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St. Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Practices in Arts
Senior Lecturer, PhD in Cultural Studies

Rethinking the Past: Photography Beyond Language Function

The article is devoted to one of the key phenomena in contemporary Russian photography, namely to rethinking historical and aesthetic past which is connected with the turn from photography’s signifying function to pure sensuality. The main aim of the article is to reveal this tendency in contemporary artists’ creative work as exemplified by “Amplitude №1” project which has been shortlisted at prestigious international Paris-Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. The contents of the article can be described through three conceptual questions: how do the photographs turn a spectator into a collective subject and work with collective memory? How contemporary projects rethink traditional forms of photographic representation? How does photography stop being just a means of representation and become a means to construct new sensuality? The author is answering these questions based on the theoretical points by Louis Althusser, Jacques Rancière, Maurice Halbwachs and Pierre Nora.

Key words: photography, photobook, sensuality, collective memory, photographic medium, contemporary Russian photography, Rancière.


  • Althusser L. Ideologiya i ideologicheskie apparaty gosudarstva (zametki dlya issledovaniya) [Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)] // Neprikosnovennyi zapas. – 2011. – №3. – Retrieved from: (08.01.2019) (in Russian).
  • Amplituda №1 [Amplitude № 1]. – Saint-Petersburg: FotoDepartament, 2017. (in Russian) – 280 p.
  • Bazin A. Ontologiya photograficheskogo obraza [The Ontology of the Photographic Image] // Andre Bazin. Chto takoe kino? [What is Cinema?] – Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1972. – pp.39–47. (in Russian)
  • Barthes R. Ritorika obraza [The Rhetoric of the Image] // Barthes R. Izbrannye raboty: Semiotika. Poetika [Selected Works: Semiotics. Poetics]. – Moscow: Progress, 1989. – pp. 297–318. (in Russian)
  • Barthes R. Camera Lucida. – Moscow: Ad Marginem Press, 2011. – 272 p. (in Russian)
  • Benjamin W. Proizvedenie iskusstva v epokhu ego tekhnicheskoi vosproizvodimosti [The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction] // Walter Benjamin. Uchenie o podobii [Doctrine of the Similar]. – Moscow: RGGU, 2012. – pp.190–235. (in Russian)
  • Cartier-Bresson H. Reshayuschii moment [The Decisive Moment] // Henri Cartier-Bresson. Voobrazhaemaya real’nost’ [The Imaginary Reality] SPb, 2013. – Pp. 20–45. (in Russian)
  • Kracauer S. Forografiya [Photography] // Siegfried Kracauer. Ornament massy [The Mass Ornament]. – Moscow: Ad Marginem Press, 2014. – pp.5–36. (in Russian)
  • Nora P. Problematika mest pamyati [Probem of Places of Memory] // Frantsiya-pamyat’ [France - Memory] / P.Nora, M.Ozouf, J. de Puymège, M.Winock. – Saint-Petersburg: Izd-vo SPbGU, 1999. – pp.17–50. (in Russian)
  • Pierce Ch.S. Chto takoe znak [What is a Sign?] // Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Filosofiya, sotsiologiya, politologiya [Journal of Tomsk State University. Philosophy, Sociology, Politology] – 2009. – №3(7). – С.88–95. (in Russian)
  • Rancière J. Chto mozhet ozhachat’ ponyatie “medium”: primer fotografii [What Madium Can Mean] // Media: mezhdu magiei i tekhnologiei [Media: Between Magic and Technology]. – Moscow, Ekaterinburg: Kabinetnyi Uchenyi, 2014. – pp. 289–312. (in Russian)
  • Halbwachs M. Kollektivnaya i istoricheskaya pamyat’ [Collective and Historical Memory] // Neprikosnovennyi zapas. – 2005. – №2−3 (40−41). – pp.8–27. (in Russian)
  • Hulick D.E. The Transcendental Machine? A comparison of Digital Photography and Nineteenth-Century Modes of Photographic Representation // Photographic Theory. An Historical Anthology / Ed. by Andrew Hershberger. – Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. – P.322–328.

Juliane WENZL

Braunschweig University of Art, Germany
PhD Candidate in Visual Arts
Freelance Researcher and Illustrator, Leipzig, Germany

Painting, Sewing, Directing – Creating Spaces and Narratives with Photographs

By discussing some composite photographic collages by Joyce Neimanas, David Hockney, and Robert Frank from the 1970s and 1980s I investigate how the three artists transform their experiences with the perception of our world into visual interplays. They deal with the limits of the “program of the camera” by tearing the fabric of reality, fragmenting it into photographs and using them as building blocks to assert their artistic autonomy from the apparatus and photographic conventions.
American photographer Joyce Neimanas sews Polaroids together like a patchwork quilt to give an impression of a comprehensive situation. British painter David Hockney takes a situation apart photographically, his Joiner Photographs appear to be multi-perspective, fragmented, and animated. And Swiss-American photo¬grapher and documentary filmmaker Robert Frank´s photo compilations construct narrative sequences and blocks, he uses them like storyboards, as visual diaries.
These artists show three concepts of how to bring to the fore the process of shaping an image over time that reflects the quality of a dynamic whole. The partial meaning offered by the visible parts of the photographic ensembles encourages beholders to complete what they see, to transform it into a coherent and meaningful image, to build patterns, time-images and narratives.

Key words: Robert Frank, David Hockney, Joyce Neimanas, photographic composites, joiner photographs, photographic ensembles, sequence, collage, perspective spaces, temporal complexities, memory, patterns, constructing realities, narratives.

Список литературы

  • Lars Blunck, ed., Die Fotografische Wirklichkeit. Inszenierung – Fiktion – Narration, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010.
  • Michelle Bogre, Photography 4.0: A Teaching Guide for the 21st Century. Educators Share Thoughts and Assignments, Photography Educators Series, London/New York: Routledge, 2014, pp. 91–92.
  • Gilles Deleuze, Das Bewegungs-Bild. Kino 1, Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1989 [1983].
  • Gilles Deleuze, Das Zeit-Bild. Kino 2, Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1989 [1985].
  • Ute Eskildsen, Robert Frank: Hold still, keep going, Göttingen: Steidl, 2016.
  • Vilém Flusser, Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie, Göttingen: European Photography, 1994 [1983].
  • Robert Frank, Robert Frank (Exhibition “Moving Out”, National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.), Zürich: Scalo, 1995.
  • Robert Frank, storylines, Göttingen: Steidl, 2004.
  • David Ganz and Felix Thürlemann, ed., Das Bild im Plural: Mehrteilige Bildformen zwischen Mittelalter und Gegenwart, Berlin: Reimer, 2010.
  • Stefan Hesper, “Kristalle der Zeit. Zur Anachronie der Wahrnehmung bei David Hockney und Gilles Deleuze”, in Jürgen Stöhr, ed., Ästhetische Erfahrung heute, Köln: DuMont, 1996, pp. 126–147.
  • David Hockney, Cameraworks, München: Kindler Verlag GmbH, 1984.
  • David Hockney, That´s the way I see it, London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.
  • Wolfgang Kemp, Der Betrachter ist im Bild. Kunstwissenschaft und Rezeptionsästhetik, Köln: DuMont, 1985.
  • Marco Livingstone, David Hockney, London: Thames and Hudson, 1996 [1981].
  • Nicole Mahne, Transmediale Erzähltheorie. Eine Einführung, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2007. Paul Melia, ed., David Hockney, Manchester/New York: University Press, 1995.
  • Rebekah Modrak, “Seeing, Perceiving, and Mediating Vision”, in Rebekah Modrak with Bill Anthes, Reframing Photography. Theory and Practice, London/New York: Routledge, 2011, pp. 3–45.
  • Miriam Schaub, Gilles Deleuze im Kino. Das Sichtbare und das Sagbare, München: Verlag Wilhelm Fink, 2003.
  • Steffen Siegel, “Das potenzielle photographische Bild”, in Ingeborg Reichle and Steffen Siegel, eds., Maßlose Bilder. Visuelle Ästhetik der Transgression, Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2009, pp. 87–108.
  • Urs Stahel et. al., Essays über Robert Frank (Exhibition storylines at Fotomuseum Winterthur), Göttingen: Steidl, 2005. ( [01.10.2019])
  • Friedrich Tietjen, “Post-Post-Photography”, in Moritz Neumüller, ed., The Routledge Companion to Photography and Visual Culture, London/New York: Routledge, 2018, pp. 376–378.
  • Anne Wilkes Tucker and Philip Brookman, eds., Robert Frank: New York to Nova Scotia, Huston: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1986.
  • Wolfgang Ullrich, “Sentimentale Bürokraten, beschämte Aristokraten. Oder: Wer betreibt konzeptuelle Fotografie?”, in Christina Leber, ed., Fotofinish. Siegeszug der Fotografie als künstlerische Gattung, Köln: Snoeck, 2018, pp. 405–452.
  • ( [26.04.2019])
  • Werner Wolf, “Das Problem der Narrativität in Literatur, Bildender Kunst und Musik: Ein Beitrag zu einer intermedialen Erzähltheorie”, in Vera Nünning and Ansgar Nünning, eds., Erzähltheorie transgenetisch, intermedial, interdisziplinär, Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2002, pp. 23–104.
  • Nina Zschocke, Der irritierte Blick. Kunstrezeption und Aufmerksamkeit, München: Wilhelm Fink, 2006.


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Zurich, Switzerland
Institute of the History and Theory of Architecture
PhD Candidate

Competing Visualizations: How Architecture becomes its Image

This paper aims to investigate the present meaning of the architectural rendering through an analysis of its different constellations and aspects.
In the last two decades, imagery production for architecture had become a phenomenon to such an extent that the processes of designing, depicting and commercializing architecture have undergone deep changes. Despite the image of architecture being produced principally for communication and information purposes, it is nowadays able to generate superior or independent visions detached from built reality. Virtuality does not necessarily remain subordinated to the role of previewing built architecture but can create alternative utopian and ideological narrations.
The Norwegian office MIR, founded at the dawn of the visualization-technology revolution in the 2000s, produced hyper-realistic images that became international renown. Viewing these images, the question arises: what makes architectural rendering different from architecture photography? The main characteristic of the rendering is its attempt at plausibility by means of supposed photorealism. However according to a functional perspective, the render is the alter ego of photography. In fact, architecture photography developed as means of representation and communicating built architecture. The rendering belongs to the unbuilt.
By narrating three different plots, this paper aims to explore the temporal, the intrinsic, and the cultural role of the architectural rendering in the work of MIR.

Key words: Architecture rendering; visualizing architecture; photorealism; MIR; future buildings; power of image; digital representations of architecture; reality and abstraction; image of architecture; renderist.


  • Marc Augé, The Future, translated by John Howe, (London and New York: Verso Books, 2014).
  • Christina Capetillo, Questions of Representations in Architecture, (Aarhus: Arkitektskolens Forlag, 2015).
  • Edwin E. Catmull, A Subdivision Algorithm for Computer Display of Curved Surfaces, (Salt Lake City: University Utah, 1974).
  • Barbara Flückiger, Visual Effects: Filmbilder Aus Dem Computer, Zürcher Filmstudie 18, (Marburg: Schüren, 2008).
  • Vilém Flusser, The Shape of Things: a Philosophy of Design, (London: Reaktion Books, 2012).
  • W. J. T. Mitchell, Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).
  • Annebella Pollen, Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life, Vol. 20. International Library of Visual Culture, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016).
  • Rendering, CLOG, (Canada: 2012).
  • Fabio Schillaci, Augusto Romano Burelli, Architectural Renderings: history and Theory, Studios and Practices, Construction and Design Manual, (Berlin: DOM Publishers, 2009). Especially the chapter: Augusto Romano Burelli, “Architectural Drawing in the Age of its Electronic Reproducibility”, pp. 71–112.
  • Wilhelm Worringer, Abstraction and Empathy: a Contribution to the Psychology of Style, translated by Michael Bullock; with an introduction by Hilton Kramer, (Chicago: elephant Paperbacks Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, 1997).

Friedrich TIETJEN

PhD in Art History, Independent Researcher and Curator at the Reinbeckhallen
Berlin, Germany

“It's virtual! Really!” Photography, Space and Reality in Video Games

As the necessary computing power and HD screens got available to consumers, photo realism in video games seems to be within reach. However the closer game designers come this goal, the farther it seems to elude. The visual surfaces even of advanced games still give away on first glance what they are: computer generated, not filmed or photographed. So why is there so much money, time and intelligence wasted on a goal that seems to be as much an illusion as the games themselves? The answer tried here has less to do with the visual surfaces of photography, and much more with the way photography and film structure the perception of temporality and space.

Key words: Video games, virtual reality, photo-realism, post-photography, theory of photography, game theory.


  • Guy Debord: Society of the Spectacle In: Sunil Manghani et al. (Eds.): Images: A Reader. London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi [SAGE] 2006.
  • Steven L. Kent: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon and beyond. New York [Three Rivers Press] 2001.
  • Michael Nitsche: Video Game Spaces. Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Game Worlds. Cambridge, Mass./London [The MIT Press] 2009.
  • Susan Sontag: On Photography, New York [Farrar, Strauss and Giroux] 1977.
  • Friedrich Tietjen: Immer gleiche Bilder. Zur Notwendigkeit der Re-Inszenierung fotografischer Gruppen- und Einzelporträts. In: Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann, Matthias Weiß (Eds.): Re-Inszenierte Fotografie. Munich [Wilhelm Fink Verlag], 2011.

* used for a picture of the author is image of non-existent face produced by Nvidia’s StyleGAN algorithm on


University of Mississippi, USA
Associate Professor, Department of Art History, PhD in Art History

ThisTheoryDoesNotExist: Historicizing and Understanding Artificial-Intelligence-Generated, Hyper-Real, Photographic Data Visualizations offers a refreshable, seductively realistic, series of images of exactly that: a steady supply of amalgamated images of fictional people. Built from an unknown number of Flickr photographs gleaned from the open archives of the internet, these photographically hyper-realistic images enjoy the appearance of veristic “truth,” yet are framed by their status as synthetic products generated by Artificial Intelligence, or A.I.
Like other images generated using A. I. algorithms (General Adversarial Networks, or GANs), thispersondoesnotexist is known as a “DeepFake” generator. Thispersondoesnotexist, its spinoffs (thisAirBnBdoesnotexist, thesecatsdonotexist,, and thisstartupdoesnotexist), FakeApp, DeepFaceLab, DeepDream, Lyrebird, AIMonaLisa, DeepNude, and a proliferation of others, create images and videos so seemingly realistic using an archive of materials that they hardly – if at all – can be distinguished from actual video clips and photographs of real people. This technology, currently in its adolescence, is feared by many for its capacity to create “fake news.” It feeds fears of a digitally-kindled, “post-truth,” fake news, era of “alternative facts,” and widespread information illiteracy.
This essay examines the recent phenomenon of A.I . – generated DeepFakes and looks past the anxieties they have raised, in order to address their veracity and pace of machine learning. It considers that these images are extensions of digital photo/video montage practices that predate the digital era (even if the use of A. I.’s human-generated algorithms to make them is new). The emergence of digital media simply calls us to the task of articulating the complicated nature of ThisPersonDoesNotExist’s “data portraits” – ones that may be produced independently by computers following human-provided directives.

Key words: photography, indexicality, DeepFake, Artificial Intelligence, GAN, Generalized Adversarial Networks, Deep Learning, ThisPersonDoesNotExist.


  • Batchen, Geoffrey. “This Haunting,” in Photography Theory, Elkins, ed. New York: Routledge, 2006.
  • Brozek, Bartosz, Bartosz, Janik. “Can Artificial Intelligences Be Moral Agents?” New Ideas in Psychology, Vol. 54 (Aug. 2019), pp. 101–106.
  • del Rio, Jose Sanchez, Moctezuma, Daniela, Conde, Christina, de Diego, Isaac Martin, Cabello, Enrique. “Automated Border Control E-Gates and Facial Recognition Systems,” Computers and Security, Vol. 62 (2016), p. 49–72.
  • Druckrey, Timothy. “From Dada to Digital: Montage in the Twentieth Century,” in Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age. New York, Aperture, 1994, pp. 4–7.
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  • Frizot, Michel . "Who's Afraid of Photons?," in Photography Theory, ed. James Elkins. New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. 269–283.
  • Galassi, Peter. Before Photography: Painting and the Invention of Photography. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1981.
  • Hao, Karen. “Congress Wants to Protect You from Biased Algorithms, Deepfakes, and Other Bad AI,” MIT Technology Review (April 15, 2019). Accessed June 26, 2019:
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К проблеме наездницы русского постмодернизма

Sunday, 22 September 2013 | Olga Kirillova
Посвящается В. Л. Рабиновичу Насмерть загоню? Не бойся — ты же, брат, не Брут: Смерть мала и ненадолго, Цезарь...
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Рецензия на книгу: Попова Д.Л Сакральная семиосфера северного города. - Архангельск, 2015

Saturday, 28 October 2017 | Alexander Lyusiy
Сакральная семиосфера северного города: монография/Д.Л.Попова; М-во образования и науки Российской Федер,...
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Арзрум, да не тот. Империобол как предчувствие футболистической революции

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 | Alexander Lyusiy
В основе материала — выступление автора на Международном конгрессе «Россия и Польша: память...
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Reminder about Humbert

Thursday, 05 April 2012 | Alexander Lyusiy
There are no translations available yet.
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There are no translations available yet

Friday, 01 July 2011 | Irina Sokolova
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Oil — a metaphor for culture

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | Anna Rileva
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The Chronotope of Illustrated Magazine

Friday, 14 January 2011 | Margarita Gudova
The article deals with the industry glossy magazines as an agent of modernization of consciousness and the transition from the patriarchal and industrial models to the identification of...
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There are no translations available yet

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | Alexey Krivolap
There are no translations available yet
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