The Photogram
Light, Trace, and Shadow
Sat, April 08, 2006 – Sun, April 09, 2006, Symposium
Photograms have not yet appeared at a »documenta« or »ars electronica.« This lack of attention to the photogram as an art media, implies a degradation of photography as a genre. The symposium will offer the first scientific confrontation with a media that has led a hitherto shadowy existence—not only with respect to cultural economy, but also media-theory. Because the photogram as technique is positioned in scientific history rather than in art, and light impressions, too, are discussed outside of usual photographic discourse, this interdisciplinary meeting aims to develop a new perspective on the outlawed media. Among other things, a contrast with scientific developments by Becquerel or the X-ray, or, for example, occult picture creation processes, such as those used by Louis Darget, should clarify that the photogram’s technique presents a radical break with prior methods for producing vision and image. By comparing various imprint techniques and shadows, the aim is to show that the photogram, as a tracing media, has little in common with lens-based photography. The emancipation from photography plays a crucial role here, as it poses the question of the significance of acheiropoetic pictures, i.e., those not made by the human hand. Also, the semiotic question of the relationship of image, body/object and traced outlines seems to need re-negotiation. Ultimately, the symposium aims to show that, at the start of the twenty-first century, the visual realm in no way tends exclusively toward a mathematical form, but that there are also—thoroughly complementary—counter-trends within the indexical horizon such as the photogram, an archetypical and also modern tracing image. An evening program on Saturday with photogram films by Man Ray, Stan Brakhage, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, and others.


Monika Dommann, Zurich
Peter Geimer, Zurich
Thomas Fechner-Smarsly, Krakow
Andreas Fischer, Freiburg
Floris M. Neusüss, Kassel
Philipp Slusallek, Saarbrücken
Lambert Wiesing, Jena
Kelley E. Wilder, Berlin
Conference Chair:
Peter Weibel, Karlsruhe
Concept: Tim Otto Roth, Cologne
Project team
Prof. Peter Weibel, Karlsruhe
Tim Otto Roth, Köln

Noam M. Elcott, Princeton
Ulf Erdmann Ziegler, Frankfurt
Tim Otto Roth und Peter Weibel
Organization / Institution