Natasha Caruana

03.02.14 - Talking at the Science Museum

Curated and introduced by Steven Bode
Speakers: Artists Natasha Caruana, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin, Julie Henry and Lucy Kimbell

Theorist and critic Sean Cubitt

Writer, lecturer and curator Julian Stallabrass

To coincide with the last days of Only in England, the symposium looked back on the influential legacy of Tony Ray-Jones, and ahead to the future. When Ray-Jones was taking the iconic photographs that made his name in the late 1960s, he did so to chronicle and celebrate the particular eccentricities and social rituals of the English, which he feared were at risk of disappearing with Americanisation.

In the increasingly globalised world of the early 21st century, the day discussed if equivalent expressions of cultural identity, or equally idiosyncratic social rituals and behaviours, that modern life seems to be passing by - and who are the contemporary artists and photographers who are recording them?  In the age of the ‘selfie’ and social media, might it be the figure of the Photographer, as observer and recorder of social change, that is becoming passé, destined to be replaced by a new type of collective ‘portrait’ formed from the aggregation and analysis of big data?