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Marti Peran
“Local Communities and Nomad Artists”, in Going public 05. Communities and Territories, Larissa: Larissa Contemporary art Center, 2005



Suzanne Strum

This seminar focuses on the history of topographic photography and explores its development in current public commissions and its incorporation into contemporary art practices. The topographic tradition is an ancient concern with the depiction of place, especially towns, buildings, ruins and countryside's and predates the invention of photography. Photography's emergence coincides with the unbounding of the traditional city into the new urban amalgamations of the metropolis. The desire to chemically fix "drawings of light" was already suggested by the widespread use of prosthetic drawing apparatuses such as the Claude glass, the camera obscura and the camera lucida used by travelers to record their journeys. Urban photography acts as an agent of memory, documenting those places that are destined to change and to disappear. Landscape photography develops out of the desire to posess and copy the shifting singularity of nature, whereas aerial photography is a tool of territorial survey, expedition, and conquest. As such, the archive of the city and places over time has been one of photography´s ongoing projects. Topographic photography is an exploration of the idea of place and the human constructions that constitute this notion. As part of this course, a photographic workshop will be conducted by Diego Ferrari.

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