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Fotografiska drömmar och digitala illusioner: Bruket av bearbetade fotografier i svensk dagspress, reklam, propaganda och konst under 1990-talet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of the History of Art.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Photographic Dreams and Digital Illusions : The use of altered photographs in the Swedish daily press, advertising, propaganda, and art, in the 1990s (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to study what effects computer-based technology for altering photographic images had on the photographic medium and visual culture in general. The aim is also to describe the expectations and conceptions of photographic alterations and digital technology in the 1990s. The study is based on a quantitative analysis of altered photographs in the Swedish daily and weekly press, interviews with artists, artdirectors and picture editors at the five largest daily papers in Sweden, as well as a systematic survey of Swedish photography journals. The dissertation comprises a historic survey of the use of photographic alteration from the mid 19th century to 1989, and a detailed account of the 1990s in Sweden. The quantitative analysis shows that the quantity of discernibly altered photographic images in the daily press and advertising increased in Sweden in the 1990s. This analysis also reveals that the daily papers subjected to the study did not follow their own guidelines concerning the marking of altered photographs and the frequency of labelling was generally low. Three thematic Twentynine images are presented with more comprehensive image analyses. The first theme is the paradoxical photograph, which means that they present a paradoxical relationship between representational techniques and that which is represented. These kind of motifs are interpreted as an expression of an initial fascination with a new technology. The second theme is the perfect photograph, which concerns altered photographs that does not appear to be altered. The third, an last theme, the transgressive photograph, deals with photographic images that transgress the photographic medium by appropriating appearances and functions from other forms of signs and image techniques. The transition to computer-based image alteration did not only affect the character and extent of altered photographs, it also produced effects on the photographic medium and visual culture in general. As technical tools for alterations of photographic images enabled a higher degree of perfection, there was for example a reaction in the form of an increased interest in the imperfect. The uses of altered photographic images also show how questions of authenticity, reality and representation were brought to the fore by the use of image alteration in photography during the 1990s. This study problematise technology-based definitions of photographic images and show how altered photographs contribute to an increased awareness of the arbitrary character of photographic images.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion , 2005. , 315 p.
Keyword [sv]
photography, computerbased image alteration, digital photography, photomontage, press photography, advertising photography, art photography, image policy, visual culture, manipulation, authenticity, perfection, Photoshop
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-640ISBN: 91-7139-738-8OAI: diva2:196440
Public defence
2005-10-07, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2005-09-12 Created: 2005-09-12Bibliographically approved

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