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Mapping Meaning Journal: Archives and Photography

Deadline February 15, 2019

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In a strongly fragmented and disciplined-based world, Mapping Meaning offers a collective space to imagine, create, and propose new models in the face of radical global change and ecological and social crises. Each issue takes up a particular theme and is edited by different curatorial teams from a variety of disciplines. Published two times per year, all issues include the broadest possible calls for submission; gathering together divergent and experimental knowledge practices.

In 2017, the editors of this edition (#3) came together with a shared interest in photography and archives. We spent time together at the AP (Associated Press) archives in lower Manhattan, NYC. As we looked through and handled a selection of photographic materials, housed in yellowed manila envelopes  -- the very negatives, slides, and photographs and typed and cursive captions that set standards for national and international news over 100 years-- we became acutely aware of the materiality of photographic archives. The AP archives highlighted for us tensions between archives as institutional structures and grassroots counter archives. At the same time, working in analogue archives became a generative place to ask questions about the materiality of public and private archives in the digital age.