THEMATIC: Photography and Historical Methods


"Above June Lake," 2005. C-print, 86 x 72 inches. © Florian Maier-Aichen. Courtesy Blum & Poe, Los Angeles and 303 Gallery, New York.

Since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century, technological advances have changed the way we take pictures. Florian Maier-Aichen takes photographs of landscapes with a traditional camera, and uses digital technology to add new layers to the images. In his Art21 feature, Maier-Aichen discusses how he reinterprets landscapes by manipulating his photographs. Watch the artist's segment, and consider the evolution of photography and its connection to advances in technology.

Compare the way Florian Maier-Aichen creates photographs to the methods of other artists, including: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Cindy Sherman, Robert Adams, and Sally Mann.


SEGMENT: Florian Maier-Aichen in "Fantasy"

Before Viewing
How has digital technology influenced the way we take photographs? How has photography changed since the nineteenth century?

While Viewing Make a list of the tools and techniques that Maier-Aichen uses to alter or manipulate the images he photographs. Consider how his artistic process includes traditional and contemporary photographic methods.

After Viewing
How does Maier-Aichen re-imagine the art of landscape photography? In what ways is his work similar to early landscape photography? How does it differ from it? What do his images suggest about our relationship to nature and to technology?

Create
Alter a postcard image to fictionalize or reinterpret a familiar tourist or local destination.