photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

a unit guide


Unit Title:    Photographic Index
Unit Level:    One
Unit Reference Number:    AME-1-PIN
Credit Value:    15
Student Study Hours:    120
Contact Hours:    36
Private Study Hours:    84
Pre-requisite Learning (If applicable):    Digital image fundamentals
Co-requisite Units (If applicable):    Developing the digital image
Course(s):    BA (Hons) Digital Photography
Year and Semester    Semester 2 2009
Unit Coordinator:    paula roush
UC Contact Details (Tel, Email, Room)    Email: roushp[-at-]
Tel: 02078155418
Office: Caxton House 28a (2nd floor)
Borough Road London SE1 0AA
Teaching Team  & Contact Details     Cris Packham tel:6777, K-113
Subject Area:    Digital Photography
Summary of Assessment Method:    Practical Project (75%)
Production Analysis (25%)

Photographic Index is a unit that examines the nature of the photographic image through critical methodologies and practice-based research project. It focus upon understanding the photographic representation of contemporary youth culture both in terms of the representational aspects of photographic imagery and as a cultural practice.


By the end of this unit you will be able to:
•    Demonstrate an understanding of relationship between cultural theory and photographic practices
•    Develop intellectual skills in the use of performance-based methodologies
•    Demonstrate through practical project an understanding of key issues on the youth culture-photography debates
•    Produce digital based photographic work for publication next semester (unit: photographic cultures, level 2/ semester 1).


4.1    Knowledge and Understanding

• Understand the validating context within which the project is to be assessed, as demonstrated by your knowledge of the relationship between cultural theory and photographic practices

4.2    Intellectual Skills

• Apply conceptual skills as evidenced by your ability to evaluate and the use of performance-based methodologies in the field of youth culture and photography,

4.3    Practical Skills

• Develop practical photographic skills as evidenced by your ability to apply a range of resources to the development of your practical digital photography project;

4.4    Transferable Skills

• Develop written communication skills appropriate to academic study as evidenced by your critical and analytical skills in writing assignments



The coursework will examine both theoretical understanding and practical skills in working with photography in a research-based project.

1. Practical project (75%)
You will work in response to the theme youth culture and photography and the context provided by the box GS and the responses from the photographic index 2007 and 2008 cohorts.

The work develops from an initial stage of active research on representations of contemporary youth culture in the media and artistic and photographic practices (week 01-06), and research seminars performed and photographed by the group and posted to facebook with tags. [read this if you need help tagging in facebook]

This is complemented by the use of the group’s blog []
for archiving and sharing research and links to facebook images.

2. Project statement 2 (25%)
You will submit an artist’s statement, which reflects on the process undertaken by yourself and the group. Your analysis will demonstrate familiarity with the discourse of performance-based learning and photography as social practice. (500 -1500w)

Overview of process

Week 02

1. contribution to performative photograph 2 Image photograph
named after Image Theatre

(10%, including blog/ facebook contributions)  

Week 03
2.    contribution to performative photograph 1 Invisible photograph

named after Invisible theater in a public space

(10%, including blog/facebook contributions)

Week 04
3. contribution to performative photograph 3
Newspaper Photograph (10%)
named after   Newspaper Theatre
(10%, including blog/ facebook contributions)

Week 05
4. contribution to performative photograph 4
Invisible photograph,  in a virtual space (second life)

(10%, including blog/flickr contributions)

Week 06
5. contribution to performative photograph 5
Image photograph
After Image Theatre but in a video streaming platform such as oovoo or skype
(10%, including blog/flickr contributions)

Week 07
Project research week
4. Project proposal     development of the most successful concept/images into the project’s final work

Weeks 08-11
Project development

Week 12
5. Presentation of your project: final output (25%) and statement (25%)    Presentation of the process and final work with feedback

Submission procedure:
CD with artists statement, documentation of contributions towards the research seminars, and final selection of images week 12

Photo file formats:
1-tiff files at 300 dpi
2-Jpeg files at 72 dpi
• Texts file formats: word


Feedback will be integral to the unit, taking the form of tutor’s feedback and peers’ feedback.
– At the end of each research-seminar we will reflect on the contributions
– Session 07 is for feedback of proposal
– Session 12 is for feedback of projects


7.1    Overview of the Main Content

In this project we will be developing a new photographic project that relates to the concept of youth culture.
The unit has been organised as a practice-based research project in order to help you explore the way photographers apply performance-based visual methodologies in response to visual culture.

The project started in 2006, taking as a departure point the camerawork archive at LSBU, containing the box Girls Subcultures, and the work Visible Girls (1981) by Anita Corbin. Camerawork was a London-based photographer’s gallery that operated from 1975 to 1998. Twenty boxes related to Camerawork’s touring exhibitions programme are currently housed at LSBU.

We will be surveying the work develop by the 2007 and 2008 photographic index projects, available online in a variety of self-publishing formats (flickr, wordpress and lulu) and debating it in the wider context of documentary and socially engaged artistic strategies.

7.2    Overview of Types of Classes
Photographic Index is taught over 12 weeks and is based around a weekly three-hour taught session, which will include six research seminars, creative workshops and tutorials, one gallery visit and a guest-lecturer. In addition, you will be allocated a weekly two-hour period when you have access to the Digital Media Labs in Keyworth Street for project development.

7.3    Importance of Student Self-Managed Learning Time
In addition to the class seminars and research-production time, you need to invest time doing research to fulfil the brief, as this requires familiarity with the way contemporary youth culture is represented in varied media. Finally you will have to spend some of your own time planning and photographing your project. This will require from you an investment of approximately 84 hours.

7.4    Employability
Working in a team and independently, research and presentation skills, developing practice-based research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: