Forever//Now International Conference

Digital and Material Arts Research Centre, University of Derby, UK

in partnership with QUAD and FORMAT

Derby, United Kingdom, 2019


CONFERENCE PAPER: "Now and then of Photography"



The conference is an interdisciplinary event on the FORMAT19 festival theme Forever//Now, with three parallel strands throughout the day involving presentations from over thirty international artists and researchers, high profile keynote and special guests.



The conference for FORMAT19, 15th March 2019, was hosted by University of Derby and the Digital and Material Artistic Centre. In place of the single stream events that had taken place in previous years, the organisers arranged three parallel streams with over 30 contributors, many from outside the UK, and 200 delegates. This dramatic upscale in ambition produced the largest scale FORMAT conference in the history of the University of Derby. The selection of papers and presentations drew upon an open call by the organisers with the inclusion of selected participants in the FORMAT19 festival with rigorous review by both editors.


The overall form and structure of the conference was developed, managed, and realised by the editors with a schedule of three streams titled in relation to the evocative theme of the festival, Forever//Now, as follows:


1. Myths, narratives and histories

2. Archiving the future

3. Territory, identity and memory


Specific contributions by academics from the University of Derby/D-MARC:

• Marc Bosward provided a critical examination of digital montage as a means to visually negotiate issues of politics and history.

• Gemma Marmalade’s (ed.) paper presented her performed intervention on the delivery of her paper for the project Green Fingered. • Philip Harris (ed.) presented a philosophical examination of obsolete media and its potential to examine issues of politics and social concerns.

• Alys Russell provided a critical examination of domestic photography and its relationship with locative memory.

• Dominic Chapman’s paper examined the collective mythologies and visual tropes employed by the Leave Campaign in the UK Referendum to leave the EU, 2016.

• Mark Hall presented a critical examination of the Stephen Shore’s work American Surfaces.

• Stephanie Rushton discussed the philosophical context for her project The Archaea, centred around ecology and intelligence in nature.


The conference, in its drastically enlarged scale and scope, provided a highly valuable source of new knowledge across a highly diverse range of ideas, themes and issues, representing the diverse range of practices and themes in contemporary research on photography.