Yosemite through collective eyes: Ecological traces and trajectories of early twentieth-century lantern slides

Apr
06
April 6, 5:00 pm
Where

Online on Zoom.

HDEA Webinar with Carolin Görgen (MCF, Sorbonne Université/HDEA)

Where

Online on Zoom.

When the largest camera club in the early twentieth-century U.S. – the San Francisco-based California Camera Club – ventured out to Yosemite Valley by the dozens, the photographers relied on a vast network of sponsors, supplies, and infrastructure to produce views of the region. This talk explores the ecological repercussions of photographic practice in California, c. 1910, by tracing the tensions between aesthetically pleasing landscape imagery and its material afterlife. Looking at a series of Yosemite lantern slides, I will examine how the club’s seemingly preservationist agenda was interwoven with detrimental practices of the photographic industry and the state’s infrastructure. In dialogue with recent research in ecocritical art history, I will ask how the photographers’ dominant understanding of the Western environment was directly linked to the social and economic fabric of the club. 

Event contact information

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