Jo Ganter




Edinburgh College of Art, United Kingdom


Originally from England, I moved to Scotland in 1983 to study at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with Fine Art MA in 1988. In 1989 I was awarded a Rome Scholarship in Printmaking to work at the British School at Rome for nine months.

In 1994 I went to the United States of America for the first time with the assistance of a Boise Scholarship.  I worked at Robert Blackburn’s Print Workshop in New York and then at the KALA Institute in California. I’ve subsequently returned to the States to make work at Dieu Donne Papermill in New York in 2001, and in 2011 as a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In Europe, I have enjoyed two residencies at the Frans Masereel Centre in Belgium. I have contributed to the Krakow International Print Triennial a number of times, also to exhibitions in Sweden, Estonia, and Hungary. Later this year I am exhibiting in Olsztyn in Poland, and have a solo exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius, Lithuania.

I live in Glasgow, where I am a member of Glasgow Print Studio. I teach at Edinburgh College of Art, and became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2004. 


C21Artists: C19 Spectators


This paper explores the conflicting notions of photographs as objective traces of the world and as subjective, artistic, expression. It considers the question of photographs as printed objects with material presence, against photography as an invisible medium: a window on the past. Can either of these philosophies of photography continue to be relevant in a digital era where photographs are coded, binary data, that is able to be disseminated worldwide, without ever taking a material form?  I want to look at this question as an artist who uses photographic imagery, and as a spectator: two possibly conflicting roles.

In her book, The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age, (Prestel Publishing 2010), Sylvia Wolfe presents an overview of contemporary artists working with digital photography.  It describes a wide and varied usage of the computer to collage, distort, appropriate from, and present the world, through digital photographs.  She clearly defines an electronic age of photography where artists are free to create their own ‘realities’ without the constraints of ‘truth to appearances’; and yet, her conclusion, while recognising that: “photos no longer merely describe our world.” goes on to state that the position of the spectator is still that of someone who looks at photographic images for an image of the ‘real world’: “We may know that there is no such thing as an unmediated record of an event .. But our belief in photography’s relationship to the real continues to colour how we experience photographic images, digital and analogue.”  Are we then, c21 artists and c19 spectators?


Tuesday 27 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm





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