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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

‘Your Photographs on our Walls’: Public-Generated Photography in Art Exhibitions', conference session

Moschovi, Alexandra and Galani, Areti (2012) ‘Your Photographs on our Walls’: Public-Generated Photography in Art Exhibitions', conference session. In: 38th Annual AAH Conference & Bookfair, 29 - 31 March 2012, The Open University, Milton Keynes. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


A hundred and twenty years after G. Eastman launched his Kodak box camera with the slogan ‘You press the button we do the rest’, the sweeping developments in the areas of mobile-phone technology and the Internet have revolutionized amateur image making anew. In this digital universe the means of production, (micro)publishing and displaying of photographs have come to the hands of the people at the largest ever scale, enabling a new culture of making and consuming photographs, and thus breathing new life (and afterlife) into vernacular practices. Although at an institutional level vernacular photographic practices had traditionally been excluded from the official history of photography, and the museum as a consequence, since
the mid-90s several large-scale exhibitions have attempted to recontextualize the historical vernacular in the museum. In recent years the participatory nature of ‘crowdsourcing’ afforded by social media platforms has also captured curators’ imagination, leading to an increasing number of exhibitions that either focus entirely on public-generated photography or accommodate public-contributed photography within a wider exhibition concept. So what makes vernacular imagery so appealing to curators and art museums and institutions today? This session aims to articulate the historical, institutional and curatorial motivations that underpin the integration/ assimilation of such imagery and its mundaneness and renewability in art exhibitions online and onsite. It accommodates academic and practice-based papers that explore current display practices around public-generated photography, the existing tensions between art and nonart
artifacts, and the role of public-contributed photography in the formation of more inclusive curatorial narratives.

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More Information

Additional Information: Session participants: Carol McKay (University of Sunderland) and Arabella Plouviez (University of Sunderland), Mass-participatory Photography and the Critically-engaged Practitioner: Commissioning and Exhibiting Contemporary Photography; Helen Graham (University of Leeds), Rhiannon Mason (Newcastle University), Chris Whitehead (Newcastle University), Tracing Value: Photographers, Flickr, Funders, Policies, the Gallery and Visitors; Helen Ennis (ANU School of Art), Curatorial Contradictoriness
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amateur image making, vernacular imagery, mobile-phone technology, participatory practices, museum narratives, interactivity, curatorial strategies, public-generated content, cultures of display, crowd-sourcing, networked communications, micropublishing applications
Depositing User: Alexandra Moschovi


Item ID: 2764
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Alexandra Moschovi: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 11:33
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:33