Conference Papers & Talks

Conference Paper: ‘The Distance Between Theory & Practice’ at the Photography Next International Conference, Stockholm, 4-5 February, 2010. Download Paper below.

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Conference Paper: ‘Uncertain Wandering’, at The Constructed Environment International Conference, Venice, 17-19 November, 2010. Download Paper below.

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Conference Paper: The Tenth International Conference on the Book, Universidad Abat Oliba CEU, Barcelona, Spain, 30 June -1 July, 2012.

Paper Abstract
In 1958 The Americans a small book of eighty-three photographs taken by the Swiss photographer Robert Frank was published in Paris. One year later it was published in America with a short introduction by ‘Beat’ poet Jack Kerouac. This now iconic book of ‘visual poetry’ would come to define the possibilities of the printed photographic book form, or ‘Photobook’. The edit, the sequence of images, the use of text and the pagination of white space, alluded to new possibilities of visual communication through photographs. The book in this context is a unique form of printed publishing and hence cannot be ‘copied’ or ‘pastiched’ digitally. A font, a text and an image can be produced and disseminated electronically but are different orders of expectation and experience.

We communicate with one another in many ways and the electronic media whilst dominate is but one. To suggest that such a dominance signifies the death of print culture is premature. Untimely deaths are nothing new as the 19th century French painter Paul Delaroche reportedly stated with the invention of photography, “From today, painting is dead”. He was very mistaken. This presentation is about the photobook not the written book and how we ‘read’ in different ways. My contention is that this type of book conceived of as a three-dimensional and tactile object, provides a viewer a learning experience that the electronic media cannot replicate. The Americans was republished as a hardback edition in 2007 by Steidl.

Talk: ‘Why Study Art & Design’ at HE Conventions, Liverpool & Staffordshire, 2010-14

Talk: ‘Photography is Beguiling' at UCAS Design Your Future Educational Fairs, London and Manchester 2010-13

Talk: ‘Photography a Cabinet of Curiosities’ Staffordshire University Fringe Arts Festival 2012

Talk: 'We Begin Life in the Dark: Reflections on the Camera Obscura & Enlightenment Values' Staffordshire University Fringe Arts Festival 2013

Why are we fascinated by images and why do we also fear them? The camera obscura from the Latin; camera for vaulted chamber/room, obscura for dark, is one manifestation of our fascination to see the world as an image. This talk reflects upon how ‘Enlightenment’ thinking used the obscura to produce scientific explanations for how vision, ‘the noblest of the senses’, might work and how after the First World War, a change and resistance to privileging sight would arise through Surrealism and particular strands of European intellectual thought.

David Noble is the Award Leader for BA(Hons) Photography at Staffordshire University. Besides his role as a teacher where photography as visual communication is paramount, he is fascinated in the relationship of photographing and how it can contribute to an ‘existential’ idea of the individual. His current personal practice as a street photographer and the idea of the expressive print, are combined in the production of handmade books.

Talk: 'We Begin Life in the Dark: Reflections on the Camera Obscura & Enlightenment Values' Macclesfield Philosophical & Literary Society 2013