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Are we REALLY all photographers, publishers, visual storytellers?
Photography has never been a more dominant and embedded part of contemporary culture than it is now. The pervasive eye of the world has arisen and new practices of visibility have emerged confronting the power of the establishment. The net has amplified our ability to connect and build communities across the globe and digital technology and the social media sharing and communication of images has facilitated an exponential growth in picture capture and seamless digital distribution.
In 2011 Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun at Stanford University shook up educational institutions by opening their doors to their ‘Introduction to Artificial Intelligence’ interactive MOOC (Massively Open Online Class). Two years earlier in the back of a converted cinema in the UK 1, Jonathan Shaw together with his colleagues Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston seeking to enhance student engagement with photography and connect them with their wider professional networks, had explored a similar idea, allowing the world to peer into their classroom. Picturing the Body better known by its hashtag #picbod, a free and open undergraduate photography class was born. #picbod together with its sister open class #phonar (short for Photography and Narrative) are now referred to as Open Boundary 2 by JISC as a third distinct thread running within the wider weave of what might be commonly termed MOOCs.
This presentation will reflect upon and explore the motivations, rational and strategies that led to the development and support of open, online courses specifically within context of photography education. The workshop will also showcase Newfotoscapes, a 'living' book about the new topography of visual storytelling through lens-based media by Jonathan Shaw.
Newfotoscapes seeks to navigate the evolving topography surrounding the image in the twenty-first century, offering a focused eye on the contemporary creative author-curator and image-maker and on the possibilities afforded by an increasingly complex professional landscape. Jonathan advocates a new way of thinking about photographic production and education in a post-digital era.
Newfotoscapes can perhaps best be understood as a series of curated texts arising from a series of in-depth conversations with 10 key stakeholders in, and influential commentators on, photography; including: Andy Adams, Charlotte Cotton, Dewi Lewis, Mishka Henner and Stephen Mayes. Perspectives and views cover a wide range of topics such as photo-books, archives, mobile, community, value, curation, appropriation, power, open education, connected/networked image, governance, licensing and the agency.
In the spirit of today's mobile and connected world Newfotoscapes will be simultaneously available on the web under a Creative Commons license and versioned in ePub and print formats.