Photography and camouflage have a long history of a contested relationship in which changes in one continuously cause adaptations and developments of the other. Employed by repressive state apparatuses as advanced technology of surveillance, photography has been countered by the ever more sophisticated technique of camouflage (concealment, mimicry, mimesis, countershading, disruptive color and pattering, dazzling, disguise). On the other hand, photographers have continuously sought to conceal their cameras, their presence or the act of photographing itself. This too has led to the development of new photographic technology and various techniques of camouflage. These technological developments of course extend beyond photographic technology to arms industry, highlighting the proverbial connection between photographic camera and weapons – between the two types of shooting. Camouflage is deeply imbedded in the history of the social (identity, theatre, art, masks, costumes …) and yet always related to its place in the natural world as it evolves around the notion of visibility, around the ability to remain unseen while been looked at or while looking. It foregrounds the issues of revealing and concealing, of surface and essence, of unmediated access to reality and potential for hiding. The dual relationship between photography and camouflage seems only to accentuate this relationship. In contemporary image saturated and hyper photographed reality, the camouflage opens up not only questions of power and surveillance, or their increasing corporatization and commercialization, but more and more the right to be unseen, the right to control one’s photographic representation and the (un)ability to resist photographic representation. But this (un)ability is far from being grounded just in the practical – there is something magical, charm like in photographic representation as it is in camouflage that draws us to both with unrelenting power – aesthetical and political.
We invite contributions that explore the relationship between photography and camouflage from (but not limited to) the following perspectives:
- camouflage, surveillance and social control
- camouflage and/in art
- camouflage and quotidian (identity, mask)
- camouflage and deception (pretence, sham, trickery)
- camouflage and computerized processing and recognition of images
- camouflaging the act of photography (in natural photography, social surveillance and control, or art)
- photographic surveillance equipment and military technology
- photography and spying
- camouflaging against photography
- concealing in/through photography (e.g. steganography)
Format of contributions
- Essays, theoretical papers, overview articles, interviews (approx. 14.000 characters with spaces)
- Short essays, columns (approx. 6.000 characters with spaces)
For both length visuals encouraged.
Proposals and deadlines
Please contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for finished articles is 30 October 2015.
About Membrana / Fotografija magazine
Membrana is a new magazine on photography, dedicated to promoting a more profound and theoretically grounded understanding of photography. In light of this its aim is to encourage new, bold, and alternative conceptions of photography as well as new and bold approaches to photography in general.
The magazine builds upon the long tradition of publishing Slovenian language magazine Fotografija (published since 1997) as well as on long tradition of critical and investigative approach cherished by its editors. The special issue on Camouflage will be the first issue of the magazine to be completely published in English language and it will set a new path for the magazine both conceptually and visually.
Membrana will publish a wide range of contributions, ranging from interviews to theoretical articles, essays on contemporary photography, columns, regional portfolios, exhibition and book reviews. Positioning itself in the space between scholarly magazines and popular publications, it will offer an open forum for critical reflection on the medium, presenting both analytical texts and quality visuals. The magazine will be published bi-annually in the summer and winter by Slovene non-profit institute