This seminar is devoted to the role of photography in art and science since its beginnings in 1839. We will read selected texts on the theory of photography and analyse photographs for getting an overview over its fascinating history.
When photography started to conquer the world in 1839, it was unclear whether it belonged to the arts or to the sciences. Since those times and despite the digital revolution, this double function of photography has not changed significantly. The aim of this seminar is twofold: First, we want to reconstruct the transformations of photography in the trading zone of the sciences and the arts. Second, we want to analyse epistemological and aesthetical theories, which reflect the function of photography. The use of the photography archive of ETH Zurich will be part of the seminar.