Call for Papers Vol. 2, no. 2 - Cabinet

[ARCHIVE CFP - Published in spring 2017]

Collecting photographic images has for long stirred both interest and imagination of photographers, artists, photographic theorists, just as it did those of information loving intelligence officers, flea market loving amateurs and free market loving entrepreneurs. Contemporary proliferation of image production and sharing seems to have only intensified the practices of collecting, appropriating and curating of found, already existing images.

The resulting amassments of images – either in forms of personal albums, institutionalised collections, server farms of social networks or archives of state institutions – are also amassments of narratives, of projections about societies and individuals, of attempts to limit the mere potentiality and contingency of meaning. In particular it was the archive – as a concept, a distinctive repressive social apparatus, and as a pool of (in)accessible images – that has for long been a focal point of theoretical and discursive contestations, creative artistic practices and critical appropriations.

Membrana #3 wants to reinvigorate these discussions from the perspective of ubiquitous photography and re-politicisation of social life in post-democratic societies through the metaphor of cabinet. For us, the notion of the cabinet has multiple meanings and can be seen as a bureaucratic image storage and retrieval system, an image display surface, a desktop icon or an Wunderkammer-ish collection of wonders and curiosities and can be approached literally or metaphorically.

We invite textual and visual contributions that explore the notion of cabinet/archive from (but not limited to) the following perspectives:

  • contingency of image collections and potentiality of meaning- collecting/exhibiting/archiving in the age of ubiquitous digital photography
  • collecting photographs, vernacular collections and archives
  • apparatus, control, power
  • visibility, invisibility, searchability
  • archive and (non)accessibility of past (corporate acquisitions, private collections, secret services, newspapers and agencies)
  • stock photography as/and archive
Proposals and deadlines

Please contact the editors at The deadline for 150-word abstracts is 10 June 2017.  The deadline for finished contributions from accepted proposals is 15 September 2017.