Photo Archives V: The Paradigm of Objectivity

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Videos from the 2-day Symposium held at the Getty Research Institute
Los Angeles, February 25-26, 2016

Photographic reproductions of works of art and other research objects have long been considered neutral documents capable of supporting the research methodologies of art history and related disciplines. The introduction of digital imaging saw the adoption of the same model, in that digital copies were presumed closer to the originals.

Today, the neutrality of photography has been deconstructed; nevertheless, the rhetoric of objectivity continues to shape the uses of analog and digital photographs, which are deemed “evidence,” even if one is aware of the possibility of technical manipulation and the influence of social conventions. Similarly, there is little awareness that archives are far from neutral guardians of memory.

This symposium, which is part of the Photo Archives series, explores the relationships among photographic reproduction technologies, archival practices, and concepts of objectivity, with an interdisciplinary outlook and a focus on art history.

Watch the videos

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