The digital Image
The priority program (SPP) “The Digital Image” (from the end of 2019 under the joint direction of Hubertus Kohle/Munich and Hubert Locher/Marburg), which brings together exemplary projects from a multi-perspective view, addresses the central role played by the image in the complex process of digitizing knowledge in theory and practice. It is about a critical thematization and reflection of this dimension as a profound epistemological upheaval. In our understanding, this can only take place in a markedly transdisciplinary exchange and with the special involvement of the information sciences: Projects were included in the SPP which, on the one hand, reflect the image’s part in the digitization process in order to contribute to a theory of the digital image in its use in art, science and culture; on the other hand, describe and interpret the phenomenon of the manifestations and practices of the digital turn in its visual dimension, to which, for example, the digital turn is subjected; and on the third hand, aim at the practice of the technologies of the digital image, e.g. the development of innovative forms of the use of the digital image as a medium of knowledge in the scientific environment. The weighting of these three aspects can be fundamentally different within a project. Under the umbrella of the SPP, they should be fruitfully linked. One focus of the SPP should be in the field of practice, here the investigation and reflection of technological instruments and social infrastructures.
The transdisciplinary debate will occupy a special place in the events, which will be organized in cooperative workshops at the two locations Munich and Marburg as well as in the virtual research space of joint discussion and publication platforms. This can be implemented as a conceptual-development-oriented and/or media-reflexive position. This should establish the transdisciplinary debate central to the SPP and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. Projects which merely aim at the “digitisation” of an inventory or which exclusively offer new tools for the processing of this inventory are not meant here. In principle, the projects of the SPP should contribute to a better understanding of the role of the digital image in the knowledge society and thus reflect the pictorial character of knowledge in digital space. The specific format of the priority Programme was chosen because of the novelty of the approach with its focus on the pictorial, which excludes treatment at a single or a few locations within research groups or Collaborative Research Centres. Only in one priority programme can the competences distributed in Germany in this field be brought together. The concept of cooperation at two strong, relevant and proven locations presented here guarantees the competent combination of the various aspects and offers the necessary openness in an extremely dynamically developing environment.