Future Histories


In his blog series »Future Histories«, written for the »Still Searching…« blog from Fotomuseum Winterthur, Steffen Siegel discusses various problems of older and more recent historiographies of photography – and how to go beyond them. Photographic image-production and the medium’s historiography share almost the same age. However, compared to photography’s innovative or even revolutionary visual strategies, the forms of writing about its history have remained surprisingly traditional.

Photography Studies always have been a nomadic enterprise within an interdisciplinary environment. Nevertheless, there is a risk of taming these research activities by adopting models and genres from other academic disciplines. This blog series is an invitation to discuss the following questions: How can we arrive at new ways of reflecting on photo history? How can we create a bigger picture without just writing another compendious book? Thus, how can »Future Histories« lead to different ways of representing the medium’s history?

The blog series consists of five parts, published between April and July 2020: »The Bigger Picture«, »Beyond Newhall?«, »Lowering the Sights?«, »Leaving the Book Behind«, and »Collaborations«.