Photography, like no other medium, is intrinsically tied to the technology used to produce it. Beginning with the most primitive attempts at recording projections through a camera obscura, image makers through history have pushed photographic technology through each iteration of its evolution. Early processes such as daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumin, and cyanotypes were quickly refined and polished in the pursuit of cleaner, clearer, and more accessible imagery; as was the camera machine itself.
In the roughly 200 years since the first working prototype of a machine that could capture a fixed image the camera apparatus has matured in ways that none could have predicted during the early days of its inception, and whose latest iterations still manage to astound and surprise. Alongside the technology, the role of user has progressed in a similar manner. From operator, to technician, to photographer, to artist, the user in this history has been both object and subject, innovator and servant.
Recognizing photography and the role of the photographer in an academic environment requires an examination of this non-linear, experiment-based, results oriented process and the people who pursue it. Image For Concept brings together the work of four image makers utilizing the photographic medium and traditional photographic materials in processes that deviate from tradition. The resulting imagery is displayed, installed, or otherwise exhibited in an academic venue—an environment that encourages deviation, experimentation, and supports both successes and failures as integral aspects of process.