Lomography and Situationism


Herr Eddy Peters, a dutch lomographer and student of comparative arts & cultural science at Radboud University, Nijmegen, recently finished an essay on Lomography and Situationism and kindly sent it to us.

In his work The revolutionary eye: Lomography as an urban spatial practice he connects the concepts of Situationism (an avant-garde art movement co-initiated by French writer Guy Debord in the 1960’s) and its dérive, a concept of the aimless walk through the city, to Lomography. He concludes his essay with the thesis that the practice of Lomography can be seen as ultimately connected to the thoughts behind the situationist movement.

*The situationist dream was a new society, in which there is no boundary between art and the everyday, and where art no longer is solely the domain of specialists. In this article I have tried to show that this dream has in some ways become a reality with the arrival of lomography in the early nineties. Every lomographer is an amateur photographer, even if he practices photography for a living in his daily life. In lomography it does not matter if a photo is blurry or otherwise ‘failed’. Lomography is a lifestyle. It has for some people even become an identity. The eye of the Lomo LC‐A has become the ‘I’ of the lomographer. With it he ruthlessly documents the city, making no difference in what is aesthetically beautiful or not. Back to the questions that were the basis for this article. In chapter two I showed that lomography can be seen as an urban spatial practice that is in some ways comparable with urban subcultures like skateboarders and graffiti artists. The way lomographers use and produce space is very different from them. How this works in lomography I explained using the theory on the production of space by Henri Lefebvre. In chapters four and five I introduced the basic philosophy of the situationists, and how the dérive and psychogeography are connected with lomography.
Is there a single principle behind lomography that connects it with situationism? There is. It is the simple thought that everyone can use a camera in any way he wants to, and is as much an artist as any professional photographer. It is this democratic principle that is the fulfilment of the situationist dream of transgressing the borders between art and everyday life.

Putting his thoughts into practice, Eddy also went himself on a dérive through Brussels, Belgium, and shot the images in the gallery below.

Visit Eddy’s lomohome

If you want to write an essay about Lomography or if you are working with Lomography in other academic works, feel free to contact us! We’re always interested in all kinds of concepts, thoughts, writings and words on Lomography, and we are happy to support you with information. Drop us a line!

written by severin on 2008-05-23 #news #people #university #situationism #academic #work #theory #derive


  1. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Very interesting essay! Congrats for your work eddy! :))

  2. g_ray
    g_ray ·

    ooo I didn't know 'situationism' exist as a word. Now I know better! mmm...i feel smarter already :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. phonehome
    phonehome ·

    Good essay, Edfx. I like the idea of situationism combined with lomography.

  4. edfx
    edfx ·

    Thanks for all your nice comments and reading my essay!

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