Introduction to the History of Photography
The course "Introduction to the History of Photography" explores the photographic practice in its broad-systemic-mediatic contexts, as a central social, cultural and political phenomenon in the modern era, and not merely as an artistic tool. The course presents different ways of looking at the complex past of this medium. It is built on two main axes: thematic axis (by subject) and chronological one (timeline). In this section we will focus on the history of landscape photography and the camera's relationship to the environment and the land. Starting with early uses of the camera-obscura for observing the outside world, through colonialist photographs of "exotic" sites, pictures of battlefields, projects in the western United States, secret and covert sites, military aerial photography and finally, contemporary global environments. The course examines how historical, technological, social and theoretical changes affect the way photographs are produced and consumed. We will investigate the relevance of the history of photography to the work of contemporary photographers and artists. During the lectures we will discuss a variety of fascinating visual materials. The course will be delivered online via Zoom.