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Research, Scholarship and Engagement

In fulfilling its role as a leading educational and cultural institution, PSC has to confront the paradoxes of teaching and researching photography in a period in history that will surely be known as the era of the image. Today the social exchange of information is dominantly through images, a reflection of the development of technologies for image-capture, manipulation and transmission and new forms of social and cultural behaviour.  Around 7 million images are shared globally every minute; smartphones have made billions of people photographers or traders in images; the manipulation and decoding of images is a marker of software intelligence.

PSC as an institution has nominated three domains of research, scholarship and creative work within which its staff and post-graduate students will engage with the global academic community, professional partners and the public to explore the most evident paradoxes of image creation today. These have been categorised as:  

1.    Identity and Culture
2.   Truth and Technology
3.    Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

PSC will marshal the considerable creative energies and cultural engagement long demonstrated by our community around these shared areas of research and scholarship.

Through this exploration, the College will continue to build its global reputation for critical and creative contributions to understanding the current and future dynamics of photographic studies.  


1. Identity and Culture
Photography not only responds to reality but acts as a creator of meaning,
constructing and reproducing narratives that shape personal, social and cultural identity. In an increasingly globalised world the constructed image has the power to decontextualize identities, bluring boundaries between the local and the global.

Identity and Culture encompasses critical creative and academic work that questions the way we define ourselves and others, deconstructing and subverting dominant paradigms and amplifying minority voices in gender, sexuality, race, nationality, power, materiality and heritage.

2. Truth and Technology
Memory is unreliable, unless recorded. For two hundred years the photograph has been valued as an evidential record, a mechanistic-chemical capturing of real situations and events of a particular time and place.  Now, in a period of sophisticated manipulation of digital images, the photograph sits somewhere between an alleged record of the real world and visualised construction of an imagined reality.  

Truth and Technology engages with the paradoxical place of the photograph in an era in which the mediated image has become the dominant way of comprehending our social and physical world (a process underpinned by huge advances in technology) in spite of having disputed claim to evidentiary truth.

3. Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
What currently delineates the boundaries of innovation and entrepreneurship in the image-based creative industries (in the real-world and online)? Beyond the fundamentals of artistic inspiration, what novel ideas, fresh ways of working, original products, unexpected partnerships and new opportunities for commercial value will shape creative innovation for individual artists and cultural entrepreneurs?

Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship focuses scholarship and research towards a critical analysis of emerging challenges and opportunities for the photographic industry and workforce, locally and internationally, as well as the ways in which such analysis might be reflected in photographic education.

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