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Workshop 2: Building Photography Collections for the Future

Join us online for a day of presentations, panel discussions and dialogue with international peers.

Friday 24 May 2024, 09:45-16:00 BST – Online

Building on the discussions and themes that developed during the initial workshop, this second networking event will focus on collecting strategies, covering various institutional processes—from planning and acquisition to documentation, collection management, and conservation. The impact of evolving photographic technologies on collecting and preservation practices was highlighted as a significant concern for creators, curators, keepers, and conservators alike. Equally, contemporary digital practices involving crowd-sourced content and social photography as well as algorithmic photography and AI raise questions about ethics, authorship, and ownership. Sustainability issues, including the materials used for photography and the environmental impact of digitisation and digital storage, are also key topics.

Presentations and break-out sessions will explore the following questions:

  • What strategic approaches can museums employ to collect both analogue and born-digital photography, ensuring the development of relevant photographic collections for the future?
  • How should institutional practices evolve or what new methods are necessary to effectively incorporate diverse types of photographic images into museum collections?
  • What opportunities and challenged do changing technologies, including AI, present for the preservation of digitised works and born-digital images, and how can works of variable media be efficiently documented for the future?
  • What are the challenges associated with maintaining photographic collections in a sustainable manner?
  • How can social digital photography be preserved contextually within the museum and what added value would such a collection bring to the institution?
  • What does a 21st century transnational photographic collection look like?

Confirmed Speakers:

Anni Wallenius, Chief Collections Curator at The Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, Finland and member of the Collecting Social Photo project.

Charmaine Toh, Senior Curator, International Art (Photography) at Tate, UK.

Stamatis Schizakis, Curator of Photography and Digital Media, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece.

Catherine Troiano, Curator of Photography, V&A, UK.


Confirmed Speakers

Anni Wallenius

Anni Wallenius works as Chief Collections Curator at The Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, Finland. Her background lies in art history and museology. In her work she is interested in developing methods and practices to bring photography collections, contemporary collecting, and audiences together in new relevant ways.
Between 2017-2021, Wallenius was part of the team of Collecting Social Photo, a Nordic project with a focus on developing sustainable work practices for collecting social digital photography in heritage institutions. She is co-author of the anthology Connect to collect: approaches to collecting social digital photography in museums and archives (Nordiska museets förlag, 2020). She continues to work on issues related this topic in a Nordic follow-up project Connecting and Collecting: Developing participatory methods to collect social digital photography in Nordic archives and museums. She is also a member of working groups of Network for Collections Management and Contemporary Documentation in Finland.

Stamatis Schizakis

Dr Stamatis Schizakis is an Art Historian and since 2015 has been Curator of Photography and New Media at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.  Stamatis studied history and theory of art and photography at the University of Derby and art history at Goldsmiths College. He completed his PhD at the University of Sunderland, on the subject of the introduction of new technologies in art in Greece.
Stamatis has curated the exhibitions Bia Davou, Retrospective (2008) (co-curated with Tina Pandi); George Drivas, (un)documented (2009); Angelo Plessas, The Angelo Foundation: School of Music (2011); Rena Papaspyrou, Photocopies straight through matter (2011); Georgios XenosProcession No 163 & Thousand Images (2012); Phoebe Giannisi – TETTIX (2012); Dimitris Alithinos, A Retrospective (2013) (co-curated with Tina Pandi); PLEXUS Petros Moris – Bia Davou – Efi Spyrou (2015) (co-curated with Tina Pandi); Mikhail Karikis – Because we are together (2023); as well as the screening programs Wonder Women (2010), Secret Journeys (2011) at EMST and Terrhistories-Greece as part of the 26th Festival instants Video in Marseilles (2013).
Since 2017, he has curated and convened the First and Last and Always Psiloritis Biennale.

Catherine Troiano

Dr Catherine Troiano is Curator of Photography at the V&A, with a focus on contemporary and digital practices. She co-curates the contemporary programme and leads the digital programme in the V&A Photography Section, which span acquisitions, exhibitions, commissions and research. Troiano has worked on major V&A projects, including the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society Collection (2016-17) and the launch of the V&A Photography Centre (2018; 2023). She has curated or contributed to several displays and exhibitions at the V&A and elsewhere, and she publishes and presents regularly on aspects of contemporary photography, curatorial practice, digital culture and institutional history. Troiano was the inaugural National Curator of Photography at the National Trust (2019-22). She holds an MA in History of Art (University of Edinburgh) and a PhD in Visual Culture (Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester).

Charmaine Toh

Dr Charmaine Toh is Senior Curator, International Art (Photography) at Tate. Her current research interests include International Pictorialism and the colonial photographic archive. In her former role as Senior Curator at National Gallery Singapore, she curated Living Pictures: Photography in Southeast Asia (2022), which was the first major survey of photography in the region. She was also co-curator for the Singapore Biennale (2013). Charmaine received her PhD from the University of Melbourne and is the author of Imagining Singapore: Pictorial Photography from the 1950s to the 1970s (Brill, 2023). She contributed to Survey Practices and Landscape Photography Across the Globe (Routledge, 2022) and An Alternative History of Photography (Prestel, 2022).

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