CONTACT is an annual month-long festival of photography exhibitions and events held throughout the Greater Toronto Area during the month of May.

Pervasive Influence

As technology evolves we witness the transformation of photography alongside the shifting social, political and cultural events of our times. In this era of instant information the image is stimulating sweeping, unprecedented change in the way we communicate.

In 1964 Marshall McLuhan wrote of the photograph as “the brothel without walls”. He described photographs as “dreams that money can buy” which could be “hugged and thumbed more easily than public prostitutes.” If we consider his metaphor within today’s global culture rife with image saturation, is the illusion images create now preferable to reality? Has the authority of the photograph been enhanced over time? Does it command our choices and grow stronger as the technology evolves? Or is photography losing its power to communicate ideas? Is its ability to convey meaning now diluted by the widespread dissemination of images?

CONTACT 2010 will consider the ways in which photography informs and transforms human behavior. The festival will recognize the influence of Marshall McLuhan, on the 30th anniversary year of his death. We will present images that examine connections between mass media, advertising, art and photography. This includes conceptual approaches to photography that utilize the codes of advertising, the language of consumerism, the stylization of marketing campaigns and the force of propaganda. Photojournalism and socially concerned documentary photography will provide a realist-based examination of the emotional and political impact of images and their effect on society and culture. CONTACT 2010 will explore the personal and social consequences of the medium of photography, in a society devoted to the image.

We invite you to post your photos and share your experiences at CONTACT 2009 FLICKR GROUP



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April 2009