It is community based in the sense of both providing a an alternative space for art photography, to foster connections between art photographers working in South Australia and, in doing so, to nurture the art photography culture in South Australia. It builds on the Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000 of the analogue era through recognising that the photographic present is clearly digital and that contemporary art photography is now a networked digital image. This undercuts the idea of photography as a specific or particular medium and how we have traditionally understood photography.
It is also community based in the sense of being an open group. It is envisioned that most of the material on the site will come from art photographers in South Australia; or from those art photographers in other states who participate in the field trips within South Australia. Open is minimally qualified in that art photographers will need to meet two prerequisites to participate.
Firstly, the photos + text shown on the website are to be from a particular art photography project rather than casual snaps. Light Paths is for, and about, art photography and Facebook is the appropriate place to post the casual snaps. Secondly, if art photographers want to have their photos included in the annual (physical) exhibition, then they will need to attend one of the two annual field trips in South Australia.
Light Paths is going to be kept simple and lo key. It will be minimal when it goes live sometime in October as it is primarily a container, receptacle, or space (Chora or Khôra ) for images from working art photographers. Its vitality and growth as a public good depends on the art photography being produced in South Australia.
One way to think of art photography is to follow Peter Osborne and make the shift to photography in art’, rather than ‘photography as art’, since the latter in no way exhausts the former. Photography plays an important role in contemporary art beyond what we may call photographic art, or what others might still want to call ‘art photography’ eg., as an element or component of a wide variety of different kinds of installation work.
So there is both a difference between a conception of photography as a pictorial medium and a conception of photography in art as the domain of the image in general, and a conflict between them. Light Paths embraces both understandings.