Photographic Epistemologies Seminar

Academy of Finland research project Post-Digital Epistemologies of the Photographic Image (PEPI) organises a seminar on Photographic Epistemologies at the Finnish Museum of Photography.

Photographic Epistemologies
A PEPI Seminar 25 October 2019
The Finnish Museum of Photography
Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1 G, 00180 Helsinki

PEPI (2019–2022) combines psychology, visual studies and artistic research. The project studies photographic epistemologies in post-digital condition where the photograph has become a dynamic data object with three faces: the visible surface facing the viewer, the interface suggesting various connections, and the invisible subface of algorithmic processes. What do these three faces and their entanglement tell us? What kind of epistemologies do they imply?


10.00 Welcome to the Finnish Museum of Photography. Museum Director Elina Heikka

10.05 Opening words. Janne Seppänen

10.15–11.00 Keynote. Barbie Zelizer: Why Invisibility Matters in the News: Notes from the Cold War

11.00–11.30 Discussion

11.30–13.00 Lunch break

13.00–13.45 Keynote. Laura Pérez León: Photographic Potentialities: Transparency, Opacity and Social Interactions

13.45-14.15 Discussion

14.15-14.45 Coffee

14.45-15.30 Keynote. Annet Dekker: Imageability today. Telling stories in images.

15.30-16.00 Discussion

16.00-16.30 Closing of the seminar


Barbie Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. A former journalist, Zelizer is known for her work on journalism, culture, memory and images, particularly in times of crisis. She has authored or edited fourteen books, including the award-winning About to Die: How News Images Move the Public (2010) and Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera’s Eye (1998), and over 150 articles, book chapters and essays. She is presently working on a book titled How the Cold War Drives the News, for which she received a 2018-2019 ACLS Fellowship.

Annet Dekker ( is Assistant Professor Media Studies: Archival and Information Studies at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University. Recently she published Collecting and Conserving Net Art: Moving beyond Conventional Methods (2018) and Lost and Living in Archive. Collectively Shaping New Memories (2017).

Laura Pérez León is a visiting faculty member at Cornell University. Her current research focuses on the intersections between the philosophy of perception, social ontology and aesthetics. Laura has published articles on social vision and visual attention, social vision and possibilities for action, and the problems of perception, and a volume of recent work on the theme of affordances will appear in 2020. Her framing of certain philosophical problems has coexisted with her interest in furthering public and collective philosophy and bilingual philosophical inquiry. Currently, she collaborates with an independent collective in Ithaca, NY, joined by persons interested in public inquiry and art.

PEPI brings together researchers from Tampere University, University of Helsinki and University of the Arts Helsinki. Professor Janne Seppänen from Tampere University is the Principal Investigator of the consortium. At the University of Helsinki, the team is led by Docent Jukka Häkkinen. At the University of the Arts Helsinki, the research is led by Professor Mika Elo. Tuula Närhinen (University of the Arts Helsinki), Tuomas Leisti (University of Helsinki) and Jenni Niemelä-Nyrhinen (Tampere University) work as postdoctoral researchers in the project.