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Lecture | Jonathan Shaw: A creative call for Photo

It is perhaps not too much of an overstatement to describe photography as a quintessential practice of life. Indeed, over the last few decades photography has become so ubiquitous that our very sense of existence is shaped by it.

The photography of old, used to be something that others – professionals equipped with large machines that allowed them to capture a better image of the world out there, advertisers trying to sell us chunks of that world, photojournalists dispatched to the world’s remote corners that few of us could regularly access – did, in the age of the camera phone and wireless communication, surely we are all photographers now? Yet we are all not just photographers today: we have also become distributors, archivists and curators of the ‘image’. Victor Burgin aptly points out today’s hyper-connected reality, ‘…in effect turning every photograph on the Web into a potential frame in a boundless film’.

The creative call for Photomediations: An Open Book is an attempt to creatively respond to the inadequacy of the rigid formulations and categories through which photography has been perceived and approached, embracing the idea that it is time to radically transform, rather than just expand, the very notion of photography.

Jonathan Shaw is a photographer and educator based in the UK.

He is the Director of the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University, UK, Chair of the Association for Photography in Higher Education, visiting fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University and Adobe Education Leader. He was awarded a Direct Fellowship of Royal Photographic Society (RPS), and a Fellowship of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), in recognition for his achievements in Photography and innovative educational practices. In 2014 he became a member of the Board of Directors at Birmingham Open Media (BOM), Birmingham and a Trustee of The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Jonathan is in Melbourne courtesy of Photography Studies College, where he is completing a research sabbatical.