The Symposium 2018 Programme

The Fotobiennalen Symposium 2018 was held in Copenhagen on

August 31, 2018

9:00 – 16:15

You will find the detailed programme for the day below and a quick time table at the very bottom.


The Symposium Schedule

9:00 – 9:15 Inscription

9:15 – 11:15 Morning session “Post-photography”
Geoffrey Batchen (NZ)
Kirstine Autzen (DK)
Kristoffer Ørum (DK)


11:40 – 13:25 Mid-session “Disseminations of the Image”
Cecilia Grönberg (SE)
Eva Stenram (SE)
Jana J. Haeckel (BE)


14:15 – 16:15 Afternoon session “Beyond the Index / Beyond the Pictorial Plane”
David Bate (UK)
Robert Overweg (NL)
Closing remarks by Mette Sandbye (DK)

16:15 – 16:45 Network Opportunity

Keith Cottingham Ice Cave Interior, 2006 digitally constructed 3D model Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York
Drape (Cavalcade III), 2012 © Eva Stenram
Courtesy of Eva Stenram & Ravestijn Gallery
The Symposium Theme

The Post-photographic Image

In our hyper-digitized contemporary societies how are photographs made, distributed, used and perceived? And what is a photograph if it is no longer to be understood as a printed image on the wall – or even a defined image on a (single) screen? And what are the consequences and possibilities on a societal and an artistic level?

The Fotobiennalen Symposium 2018 seeks to delve into such questions to better understand the ontology of the contemporary photograph by revisiting post-photographic discourse and tracing recent developments of the lens-based media as well as the current relation between irl and url. In so doing we hope to better understand the potential of the Post-photographic Image.



The Morning Session presents Professor Geoffrey Batchen, Kirstine Autzen, and Kristoffer Ørum.

9:15 – 11:15

“Disseminations of the Image”

The Mid-session presents PhD Cecilia Grönberg, Eva Stenram, and Jana J. Haeckel.

11:40 – 13:25

“Beyond the Index
/ Beyond the Pictorial Plane”

The Afternoon Session presents Professor David Bate, Robert Overweg, and AVPD.

14:15 – 16:15


Sessions & Content

The Fotobiennalen Symposium 2018 is divided into three sessions with one keynote in each.



9:15 – 11:15

Geoffrey Batchen “The Post-Photographic Image. A Little History”

The title given to this symposium would seem to confirm that the term ‘post-photographic’ has become part of the vernacular, an adjective apparently now able to be applied to just about any contemporary photograph. Like most terms, however, this one has a history.

A tracing of that history might allow us to address what is at stake in the use of such a word, and what questions can and should be asked about that use. I will argue that, in the context of a nuanced understanding of the history of photography, the kind of self-reflexive attitude to the photograph I first described as post-photographic in 1992 continues to be relevant, perhaps even essential, today.

9:35 – 10:15

Kirstine Autzen “Disseminations of the Image”

”New Tactics – moving in a soft field” is an exhibition about bodies becoming images and images acquiring a ’body’ through merging with other media. It examines the role of the artist in navigating an image saturated visual culture full of photographic hybrids (such as face recognition software, discrete retouching apps and alternative printing techniques).

The curatorial process was inspired by a shift in wording, from talking about photography ‘converging’ with other media to defining photography in the post-photographic era as ‘porous’, a word borrowed from an essay “Post-Photography” by Geoffrey Batchen. It is a term that denotes physical matter more than representation, and which also references the permeability of and overlap with the body, and the new works created for the exhibition show great sensitivity towards the qualities of surface, materiality and movement.

In conversations with the exhibition’s artists Nanna Lysholt Hansen, Kristoffer Ørum, Sandra Vaka Olsen and Valérie Collart it is evident that they each define their role as artists as resonance boards, librarians of our visual image history and hackers in our visual culture today.

10:20 – 10:40

Kristoffer Ørum “Putin’s Nose”

During my talk I will reflect on life and staging of identity in an age of ubiquitous surveillance. Taking the project “Putin’s Nose” which is a part for the exhibition “New Tactics – moving in a soft field” at Galleri Image, as a point of departure.

On my way home I look into a bag full of groceries and notice a beetroot. For a moment. It looks like my Russian grandmother’s nose. Later, at home I slice the beetroots to make soup, studying a random online recipe under the watchful gaze of my laptop’s webcam. I wonder if the computer vision software might also detect something Russian in my facial features, or the nose of someone long lost in one of the beetroots?

From the cover of the newspaper that the greengrocer wrapped the beets in, the Russian President Vladimir Putin looks up at me. His face is now covered in beetroot juice splatter. The headline reads “The Inscrutable Face of Russia”. I wonder how much difference there actually is between the paranoid gaze of computer surveillance technologies and that of human beings.

10:45 – 11:05


Disseminations of the Image

11:40 – 13:25

Cecilia Grönberg “Gelly index, inscription->transmission, photography as publishing”

“Händelsehorisont || Event Horizon. Distributed photography” is Grönberg’s 1012-page dissertation on ‘distributed photography’. The book is an artistic research project in photography that between 2004 and 2016 sounded, mapped and visualized some of the persisting effects of analogue photographs within digital ecologies. Händelsehorisont is localized between different images and systems, technologies and ways of reading; between humans, animals, and software.
Her presentation will gravitate around some of these renegotiated photographic concepts and practices where the photographic index is being reshaped into a more gelatinous existence, where inscription becomes transmission and publishing a decisive aspect of the photographic act.

11:45 – 12:25

Eva Stenram “Drapes, Shutters, Screens”

Taking the point of departure in her own artistic practice, Eva Stenram – one of the participating artists in the exhibition “Photography to end all photography” at Brandts in Odense – will share her thoughts on digital manipulations and the transmutation of meaning when motifs are reproduced or repeated.

In her works we often encounter images from popular representations of the female body from vintage erotic magazines widely distributed and consumed. Through manipulations of such photographs she conceals the body as object for the male gaze and evokes a different kind of desire than the mere libidinal. In her presentation she will talk about this tactic of detournement and her subversive position vis-à-vis consumption.

12:30 – 12:50

Jana J. Haeckel “(Un-)masking digital face culture. On the politics of the image overflow in the work of Ryan Trecartin”

Based on her PhD Dissertation Jana J. Haeckel is looking into the birth of a new generation of artists who use their work to focus on the changing conditions of the represented body and face in the age of the digital.

For these artists, smartphones and social networking play an essential role in their image production and distribution. Looking both at the ‘selfie’ and the self-representational shift in the new-media art Haeckel will share her perspectives on the collective group-videos of interchangeable bodies by Ryan Trecartin (US), whose work is included in Brandt’s exhibition for Fotobiennalen 2018, “Photography to end all Photography”.

In Trecartin’s cosmos the face becomes a total mask as part of a system of digital self-promoting, differing from earlier conceptions and employments of the mask as a means to question personal and sexual identity, famously demonstrated through the works by Gillian Wearing or Cindy Sherman. Trecartin’s installations celebrate the image overflow and play with uncanny and grotesque media caricatures. By integrating excessively new media formats like 3D cinema, drone and GoPro cameras, Trecartin presents a non-immersive but disturbing setting and confronts the spectators with a flip-side of digitization.

12:55 – 13:15


Beyond the Index / Beyond the Pictorial Plane

14:15 – 16:15

David Bate “Fotofication – We are All Artists Now”

The widespread use of smartphone cameras and associated processes of uploading pictures online have not only intervened in how we see the world, but also changed how we see older forms of analogue photography. On the one hand, this shift triggers nostalgia for a format that some have never used, whilst on the other, those same new formats provide a new visioning of everyday life. What are the effects of these technologies and their shifting platforms on the image of the human body and culture? 

14:20 – 15:00

Robert Overweg “Goodbye Reality”

As an artist Robert Overweg has been exploring virtual worlds of computer games. He has been documenting them as a photographer since 2007, with a focus on the shifting border between the physical and the virtual world.

His talk will be about how Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will influence our photography and images. Where can we already encounter this influence? What Hollywood tech is slowly flowing into the hands of consumers? We take a step back and sketch out a possible future where digitization could alter our notion of what is ‘real’. — if it hasn’t already. Where doubt and uncertainty will be paramount. But don’t worry it’s not all dark and gloomy there is a silver lining. 

15:05 – 15:25

AVPD “Thawed Time”

Through spatial staging and experimentation, the exhibition “Thawed Time” by the Danish artist duo AVPD – opening at Fotografisk Center after the Symposium – will challenge our traditional understanding of photography as created with a camera and bound to a flat surface.

AVPD presents us with a radical departure from photography as an image and at the same time an ontological scrutiny of the photograph as traces of light.  With an emphasis on the photographic processes of light and time, they deconstruct our understanding of photography as well as our perception of space within the ‘white cube’ of the art gallery. .

15:30 – 15:50


Moderator, Professor Mette Sandbye, will lead the Q&A and add the closing remarks

After the symposium, there will be half an hour where guests and speakers are given the opportunity to intermingle.

17:00 – 19:00 All are welcome to join the opening of the exhibition “AVPD – Thawed Time” at Fotografisk Center, in Staldgade 16, a two-minutes stroll down the road.

Time Table

August 31

9:00– 9:15
9:15 – 11:15
11:40 – 13:25
14:15 – 16:15

The Venue

DGI-byen is located close to Copenhagen Central Station.
To reach “Forsamlingshuset” in DGI-byen use the entrance on the corner of Tietgensgade and Ingerslevsgade next to the climbing wall. Turn right when inside.