Floppies, trannies, a CAD and the blues: unearthing the traces of late 20th-century exhibition practice
A quick note to say how much I enjoyed your excellent presentation, particularly on the uses of ‘trannies’, as you called them, in exhibition histories. I’ve been doing some research into the destruction of art school slide libraries (coming out at the end of this year in an edited collection called Photography Off the Scale) and am so pleased to hear that careful research is being done on the media of display as well as what it shows / contains. No questions, just congratulations!
Hi Bella, thanks for the comment.
I am delighted to hear that you are researching art school slide libraries: this is a really important area where histories of media intersect histories of pedagogy — both for art history and for art practice. I believe that Caroline Evans (Professor of Fashion History CSM) has also recently published on slide libraries, so let's both look out for that!
A few years ago, I visited the slide library at the Art History Department of the University of Hamburg, which has its own Media Curator (impressive!), Dr Anke Napp. The Hamburg Media Library is multi-layered and includes 150 years of projection technology. Furthermore, the slide library that was created by Erwin Panofsky during his tenure at the University of Hamburg (1920- 1933) is still extant, and retains its original structure and furniture/drawers. I attach a PDF of an article I have just published about Collections Based Research (Periskop, 23:2020) which contains a photograph of the UHamburg Media Library. Enjoy!
Just a note about the title: the word 'trannies' was used regularly and consistently in design and printing professions to indicate colour photographic transparencies from their introduction as a medium for print in the mid 1950w until the advent of ubiquitous digital imagery in the late 1990s. It is historically accurate as a term, and it is definitely a term that needs historical contextualisation!
all best, Martha
Thanks Martha for your reply and those additional resources, which I look forward to exploring. I am part of a panel about slides in art in October at UAAC (Vancouver / online) next month. I know Caroline Evans but didn’t know she was also writing on the same! By the way, I totally got the trannies reference in your title. I am old enough to remember...