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ADRI research seminar: Eugénie Shinkle
Thursday 6 December, Room CG51, Hendon Campus, Middlesex University

ADRI research seminar with Eugénie Shinkle (University of Westminster):

Prelude to a Future: Environmental Apocalypse and Global Risk in Contemporary Landscape Photography

From the mid-1970s onward, photographers around the globe have turned their attention on the ways that an increasingly codependent relationship between technology and capital is played out on the land. Driven by a relentless impetus to capital accumulation, technological development is now linked decisively to the threat of global environmental catastrophe. We are now said to live in a global ‘risk society’ – a society shaped by pervasive technological and ecological risk scenarios, and preoccupied with the need to control an uncertain future. Contemporary landscape imagery, I argue, increasingly participates in generating, transforming, and disseminating perceptions of technologically-produced environmental risk, posing possible environmental catastrophe as a globally shared social and political reality. Such work shapes the perception of global risk in the present by giving form to an unknowable future.  And it does this by appealing not just to the intellect, but to the guts: participating in what has been described as a ‘sensorial regime of anticipation’ – a regime in which environmental risk is not just signified, it is also felt.

About the presenter:

Originally trained as a civil engineer, I went on to study photography, art history, and critical theory, obtaining my doctorate from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2003. My academic research is interdisciplinary in nature: it includes both visual and scholarly practice, and reflects interests which have developed over a 20-year period. As such, it encompasses a number of different fields that are bound together by a common theoretical and methodological focus. The legacy of my early training as a civil engineer, and of my own practice as a photographer, is a longstanding interest in the haptic and embodied dimensions of our relations with images and image-making technologies. More recently this interest has grown to incorporate ideas drawn from affect theory and cognitive neuroscience, and to explore ways that such approaches can broaden our understanding of our relationships with photographic images. Fashion photography, in particular, is an excellent platform for this line of inquiry, offering exceptional opportunities for examining the complex ways in which the body and the socius are bound together in the perception of images.

My research into landscape photography – while drawing from disciplines such as architectural theory, human geography and political theory – also focuses on ways that the perception of landscape images is shaped and informed by embodied experience. In addition to my more theory-driven work, for the past three years I have also been working on a large-scale research project examining the recent (post-1970) history of landscape photography in the UK.

Location: Room CG51, Hendon Campus, Middlesex University London

Time: Thursday 6 December from 6.00pm to 8.00pm

Light refreshments are available.

 

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