Symposium for Artistic Research in Analog Photography

We are delighted to announce an international Call for Abstracts for the "Symposium for Artistic Research in Analog Photography" in Helsinki from 4th to 6th of March 2022. The symposium will take place as part of the Helsinki Darkroom Festival at the Finnish Museum of Photography.

The Vision
The digital turn, which began with the new millennium, changed the photographic practice thoroughly. The practice of analog photography was set aside when digital techniques and digital-based practices swept through the field. At the same time, possibilities to practice photography with analog techniques shrank. However, the familiar pendulum movement of artistic traditions has seemingly swung back, and interest in analog photography is rising again. The past couple of years, marked by the global pandemic, have seen artists and photographers experimenting with new sources of inspiration and new ways to connect with the material world in which analog practices have gained salience.

The Call
We welcome presentations from artist-researchers for the symposium, focused on analog photography in its creative and contemporary practice. The symposium will focus on artistic and practice-based research. We welcome original thinking, out-of-the-ordinary visions and playfulness. We are excited to hear the motivations and reasons for researching and practising analog photography in the 2020s and innovative approaches for combining analog and digital. We hope to see presentations with a strong emphasis on artistic research, including some research outcomes or preliminary results from projects instead of bare project descriptions.

Helsinki Darkroom Festival
The symposium takes place under the auspices of the Helsinki Darkroom Festival 2022. The purpose of the Helsinki Darkroom Festival is to bring together various institutions, researchers, and artists and bring to light the multiple reasons and methods for doing analog photography today. At the festival, an exhibition of works from artists who possess original and innovative approaches to analog and are passionate about their analog practice in today’s digitalised world will be presented. The mission is to show that analog photography is far from forgotten – indeed, it is a vital part of contemporary artistic practice offering unique paths and rich palettes of techniques to be explored.

Submission Guidelines
The authors are invited to submit an abstract of 200 words in English in the following categories (but not necessarily restricted to these):

1. Photography and materiality (meaning of touch and sensing in analog practice)
2. Skills to be trained (meaning of practice in contemporary analog photography)
3. Combining old, odd and new (alternative and exploratory approaches)
4. Analog in new media (fashions, trends and values in today's analog practices)

When submitting the abstract, please specify if you wish to be presenting live in Helsinki or online by Zoom or similar streaming platform. There may be some online presentations included in the program but the live presentations are much wished for.

Presentation Guidelines
Presentation time is 15 minutes, after which follows a 10 minute discussion, led by the session chair. Presentations including video materials must be checked beforehand with the session technician. Sessions will be streamed online.

Practical information
The symposium will be held in the Project Space of the Finnish Museum of Photography on 4.-6.3.2022. The symposium consists of two and a half days of presentations. In the symposium, we will hear presentations from keynote speakers and around 20 speakers. The symposium space will allow about 60 people to join us live. Symposium will be streamed on the internet, and it can be participated for the most parts also online. Some online presentations may be included in the programme, although live presentations are much wished for. The live participation requires full COVID vaccination series completed (2-3 vaccines) and submitting to the quarantine regulations or COVID tests completed, required in Finland at the time of the symposium for the international participants.

If you have any questions regarding the Call for Abstracts or the Symposium, please contact

Online fee:

Analog fee:
100€ (full price)
50€ (for students and free researchers without university affiliation)

What is included in the fees?
In Online fee is included only the participation to the conference. In Analog fee is included a set of three morning coffees, three lunches and two afternoon coffees as well as the free museum entrance at the Finnish Museum of Photography during the weekend. The conference dinner (40€) on Saturday evening is not included in the fee.

About the organisers
The Finnish Museum of Photography is Finland's national museum for photography. Through exhibitions, collection management, education, research, and a wide range of public and community programmes, the museum strives to promote and foster photographic art and culture in Finland. Founded on the initiative of Finnish photography organisations, the museum opened its doors in 1969 and is the oldest photography museum in Europe.

The Finnish Darkroom Association is a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 with the purpose of ensuring the preservation of analog photography. The mission of the association is to share and develop the skills and craft of darkroom printing in Finland, to support the network of individuals and organisations in the field and to create international cooperation. The association has built and continues to maintain Mörk, a fully equipped, professional black and white darkroom. The association actively organises courses of all levels in black and white printing and special techniques, such as wet plate collodion process and daguerreotype.

Helsinki Darkroom Festival 2022 is supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Aalto University is our partner in organising Symposium for Artistic Research in Analog Photography.
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Email *
Let us know your name and affiliation *
Select the category or categories your abstract best relates to *
Submit your Abstract below (approx. 200 words) *
If your abstract is selected, which of the following ways to present it do you prefer *
Thank you submitting your abstract for the Symposium for Artistic Research in Analog Photography
We are open for submissions until 18th of December, 2021.

The selected presenters will be contacted in January, 2022.

The program of the symposium will be announced in February, 2022.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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