exhibition no. 1

We–Gilbert RoeEric Algra and myself-— are having an exhibition at the Atkins Photo Lab gallery  opening October 7th, 2016.  This is a  kick starter exhibition  for the project,  as it were. We each have an individual  section in the gallery for our images and a common space  of shared images. It will be minimal from my perspective–I have the least number of the images in the exhibition-  only 5 images— but I do have a number of cards, or 6×4 prints.

This week  we  have been working out the logistics of the exhibition–what images go in what spaces in the gallery,  and how  we divide the gallery space between the three photographers–and then hanging the exhibition. This is the poster for the exhibition that was created by Eric:

Poster, Mallee Routes

One of my  interests in the Mallee Routes project is to connect our  photography of the Mallee to the digital humanities, since the humanities  have been traditionally  committed to  a non‐vocational, non‐instrumental pursuit of knowledge. Our   photography of the Mallee is this kind of knowledge. 

This desire  to connect  photography to the humanities  is in opposition to a photographic culture in Australia that is  primarily focused on technology and is hostile to  texts,  indifferent to academia, suspicious of aesthetics and assumes  that as  the image is everything, so  there is no need for a critical writing  about photographs.

Connecting our   photography of the Mallee to the humanities is not that easy. First,   online magazines like the  Australian Humanities Review are  centred around ways of reading  texts rather than images. Secondly, the neo-liberal restructuring of society is transforming the humanities and  forcing them to adapt to,  accept, and come to terms with,   their precariousness. The academic humanities as a teaching formation, academic career, and knowledge discipline appear precarious from a range of positions.

 However, there is room to reforge  connections between the photography of the Mallee to the humanities   The internet is beginning to make the institutions of the conventional or traditional humanities in the university look sluggish and conservative–eg., the close readings of the literary canon.  The internet is  opening up de-institutionalized spaces  for dialogue premised on an awareness and criticism of culture in all its senses; even as  the public commons itself has become fractured and dispersed, distributed along the nodes, protocols, networks and cyber-clouds of our Information Age.