the3rdspace: mapping the magazines of photography

Venue: Birmingham Institute of Art & Design [UCE]

Location: Birmingham B4 7DX, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Sep 04, 2004 End Date/Time: Sep 05, 2005
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The history of photography since the end of Modernism is being rewritten in a myriad anthologies, reappraisals and surveys. The tangled roots of this history lie in an obscure network of magazines that have, since the 60s, placed the photograph at the centre of various discourses - critical, theoretical and esthetic. As test beds and portable galleries of image makers, writers, editor/curators and designers, such titles form a unique archive of shifting attitudes and passing trends.

These periodicals are the "third space" of photography, situated between the mass media the gallery. For while their subject is culture, they use the tools and conventions of print and operate in a competitive retail environment that is moulded by the perceived needs of audiences.

the3rdspace is the first conference to focus on the magazine as a major institution of photography. With contributions from editors, designers, historians, artists and curators it will survey the contemporary scene, speculate on which forces are re-shaping the attitudes of audiences and consider the future role of the "third space".

As cultural barometers, these magazines will provide the starting point for a wide-ranging discussion around two current, contrary trends in publishing: the enduring impulse to showcase and critique photography as a set of subjective practices, and the convergence of visual editing and curating that is re-enchanting the camera image. The conference aims to initiate an overdue dialogue among representatives of different skills and disciplines who are involved in a platform which has immense impact on practice.

Key issues to be addressed include:

- as photography becomes practised and theorised within such broader fields as visual studies and media arts, its cultural periodicals are being reshaped. What are the forces - commercial, cultural, demographic - at work?

- as catalysts, what can photography magazines aspire to influence - when key institutions, from the gallery to the picture desk to university courses, operate in increasingly expanded fields?

- what is the relationship between the practice of editing and curating photography and between page design and gallery wall design?

- what can be deduced, from looking into the mirror image of our moment that these magazines provide, about the present and future of photography within the mass media, art and education?

- what is their role as a key social site of photographic production and what is their future as a source of meanings and as distributors of images?

Invited speakers include:

Hans Aarsman - Dutch photographer and co-editor of Useful Photography,Amsterdam; David Brittain - former editor of Creative Camera; Pavel Buchler - artist and designer; Angus Carlyle - co-editor of Themepark; Charlotte Cotton - The Photographers' Gallery, London; David Campany - artist and photo historian; artists Uschi Huber and Jorg Paul Janka - Ohio magazine, Cologne; Martin Parr - Magnum photographer; Richard West - co-editor of Source magazine, Belfast; members of the editorial team of Camera Austria.


Additional Information

Conference fee for two days £75 [£45 concessions]includes lunch, coffee and bus to the private view of Out of Print, an exhibition featuring the work of Ohio magazine.