I’ve just got back from a very hot few days at Nottingham Universities (Trent and the one which is is just called Nottingham) where I presented my paper ‘Re-shaping the landscape’ at the APHE Conference – this was the abstract:
“By considering the camera as a node connected to a network through which information is transmitted and received this paper will consider what issues confront those seeking to offer photographic education. Asking if the twenty first century presents us with a different photographic student, who now identifies with a new and equally distinctive character and form of photography.
The paper will present a framework of what the environment of photographic education could look like. Suggesting that it is the interactions of photographic and other image based practices that may constitute the basis of a re-shaping of the landscape of photographic education. The challenge is how photographic education directly addresses the modifying medium of image creation. How does it distinguish its modern methods from its past ones? How does it meaningfully relate to the multiple discourses of image making and image consumption? How can photographic education acknowledge the importance of a practice that connects with and relates to a network of imagery already taken and continuing to come into existence? Beginning with these questions, I shall ask how we can create in students the capacity to extend or challenge their own understanding of photography.
If, as historian David Wootton suggested, the purpose of the discipline of history is to ‘give the past its place in us.’ Then perhaps the starting point and underlying purpose of the discipline of photography may be to find us in the images we all have taken. With this is a starting point; I shall suggest that as the world around us changes our relationship to photography and its relationship to us also changes. As the terrain of photography is re-shaped we will inevitably need to create new maps to orientate and link the multiple nodes of twenty first century photography.”
I know it shouldn’t but I also know it sometimes happens – I didn’t get the timing quite right on this occasion. I had so much more to say. But I will write up what I had written and see what I can do to get it published somewhere.
As usual I met some fantastic people. So here’s a brief outline of the social aspect: It was good to catch up with more familiar faces including Nick Sergeant who studied for his MA at Westminster at the same time as me some 15 years ago. It took a five hour drive to end up speaking to Simon Standing and Oliver Udy from Plymouth University (. . . who are actually only over the road from my lecturing day job) but we’re hopeful the conversation will continue back in Devon. It was really nice to see Clem Munroe from Lincoln University who I’ve not seen for a long while and Sharon Harper who I met only a few weeks ago in London! And of course there was Frede and Dave and Jonathan and Paul and Phil and Linda and Jill and many others who I spoke to throughout the three days. It was great to meet everyone.
Anyway, I will reflect on what I learnt a little later on.