The conference tackles the major challenges that have emerged in recent theoretical research in the field of time and photography. Its basic methodological and theoretical framework is interdisciplinary, with a strong focus on philosophically informed art historical interpretations and culturally inspired formal analysis of the photographic image as well as of photography as a social practice. The conference concentrates on the necessity of recovering the balance between the spatial and the temporal, the formally descriptive and the historically interpretive approaches of photography in photography which is no longer restricted to the mere field of artistic photography, but includes a.o. the documentary and the scientific use of the medium. More concretely, the conference brings together scholars from different fields who will present their answers to the following questions:

Which are the advantages and flaws of the main theoretical models that help to examine the shifting notion of the “time” in general and of the “contemporary” in particular in photography? And what are the features and dimensions of an overall taxonomic description of time in photography?

Which are the temporal dimensions of the basic notion of “index”, which has been interpreted until now in an almost exclusively spatial meaning?

Which temporal dimensions of the photographic image and the photographic practices are specific to the area, and how is it possible to transfer the notion of photographic time to the related fields of other mechanically produced, reproduced, distributed, and disseminated images?

Which are the best practices actually available and how can we increase the interdisciplinary surplus value of these examples?

How can we counter the wide-spread idea of the photographic image only as a still, often seen in contrast to the fluency of the motion pictures?

How can we counter the wide-spread idea of the digital as an environment without memory, and how does the idea of photographic time help to ask new questions to the notion of archival time?

Which are the consequences of the major emphasis on time for a global definition of the field of photography studies, i.e. to what extent can the twofold notion of time in photography and of photography in time broaden and redefine our global vision of photography?

Keynote speakers: Victor Burgin (San Francisco), Louis Kaplan (Toronto), Graham Smith (St Andrews), Sally Stein (UCLA).

Comité scientifique/Scientific committee: Jan Baetens (KUL), Hilde Van Gelder (KUL), Alexander Streitberger (UCL), Luc Pauwels (UA), Monica Turci (Univ. Bologna), Marc Emmanuel Melon (Univ. Liège), Sémir Badir (chercheur qualifié FNRS, Liège), David Green (Univ. of Brighton).

Jan BAETENS, KUL/Culturele Studies & Lieven Gevaert Centre
Mail: jan.baetens(à)
Tel. : 00 32 16 32 48 46
Fax : 00 32 16 32 50 68

Mail : alex.streitberger(à)
Tel. : 00 32 10 47 27 85