Photographic Cultures is pleased to announce the publication of Photography and Ontology: Unsettling Images with the Routledge History of Photography Series, 2019.

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This edited collection explores the complex ways in which photography is used and interpreted: as a record of evidence, as a form of communication, as a means of social and political provocation, as a mode of surveillance, as a narrative of the self, and as an art form. What makes photographic images unsettling and how do the re-uses and interpretations of photographic images unsettle the self-evident reality of the visual field? Taking up these themes, this book examines the role of photography as a revelatory medium underscored by its complex association with history, memory, experience and identity.


Introduction: Natalya Lusty and Donna West Brett

1. Ontology or Metaphor?, Andrés Mario Zervigón

2. Unsettling the Archive: The Stasi, Photography and Escape from the GDR, Donna West Brett

3. Dark Archive: The Afterlife of Forensic Photographs, Katherine Biber

4. Hard Looks: Faces, Bodies, Lives in Early Sydney Police Portrait Photography, Peter Doyle

5. Anticipatory Photographs: Sarah Pickering and An-My Lê, Shawn Michelle Smith,

6. Eli Lotar’s Para-urban Visions, Natalya Lusty

7. The Presence of Video: Making the Displaced and Disappeared Self Visible, John Di Stefano

8. Contemplating Life: Rinko Kawauchi’s Autobiography of Seeing, Jane Simon

9. Suspending Productive Time: some photographs by Gabriel Orozco and Jacques Rancière’s thinking of modern aesthetics, Toni Ross

10. Photography as Indexical Data: Hans Eijkelboom and Pattern Recognition Algorithms, Daniel Palmer

11. Afterword: Photography Against Ontology, Blake Stimson