"Who’s in charge of making history? Who is responsible for the fragile and enduring threads that weave together a world? Where lies the root, the primary cause of the hues of reality? "
So starts ‘After the High Tide’ a speculative fiction by philosopher Dario di Paolantonio written in response to the works of our graduates for a new book published by Folium.
In the 20th century, the photograph was central to the construction of representations, culminating in the society of the spectacle. Here the eye is at the centre of this spectacle, the frame delineates and orders signs and meanings. Working mainly online, our students have experienced another paradigm shift to that of the society of information and communication. The photograph is no longer a physical artefact, but appears on a screen. The instantaneity and immediacy that characterises virtual and digital images encourages a frantic consumption and lack of attention.
Our students had to deal with this paradigm shift, finding ways of slowing down or questioning the ideology of the screen and its neoliberal demand for instant gratification. They have found ways to explore and make use of the visual pleasure that characterises physical pictures in order to propose and develop a critical practice of the still and moving image. Working with and against the fluidity of today’s image world, our students aim to bring some opacity and physicality to our experience of the online world.
After The High Tide, a publication of works by the graduating MA Photography students 2021, with text by Dario di Paolantonio is available here, published by Folium
Image: ‘Earthworm Eggs in the Messy Garden’ by Luyao Shi