Nina Lager Vestberg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) discusses the digital condition of photography through a phase model of digitisation.
What do we talk about when we talk about digitisation? People working with photographic images tend to understand this concept in different ways, depending on whether they work in museums, archives, the stock photo industry, media outlets, publishing, or education. Photography holds a significant place in all these fields of endeavour, the impact of digitisation has likewise been varied across these different areas. Inspired by the sociologist Roland Robertson’s (1992) attempt at ‘mapping the global condition’ through the development of a ‘minimal phase model of globalisation’, this paper charts the digital condition of photography through a similar phase model of digitisation, in which the ‘place’ of photography is plotted against a set of cultural, social, technological and economic coordinates.