On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs

Zylinska, Joanna. 2010. On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs. Photographies, 3(2), pp. 139-153. ISSN 1754-0763 [Article]

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This article explores anxieties over the challenge digitisation poses to our established notions of art, culture and the media. It also questions some of the ways of defending these established notions and values via multiple strategies of remembrance, archiving and data storage. Although photographic arts – in particular, Gerhard Richter’s Atlas, Walid Ra’ad’s The Atlas Group Archive, Tacita Dean’s Floh – provide an entry point for the discussion at hand, the argument focuses on socio-cultural and political, as much as aesthetic, issues. The “amateur” is taken here as a pivotal concept for rethinking the relationship between media production, media consumption and art, and for considering what it means to both photograph and archive photographs "seriously” in the age of digital cameras, Flickr and the ubiquitous “delete” button.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Research Office > REF2014


September 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Sep 2011 12:32

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 15:13

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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