And Where are We Now?

This was the question we asked artists, cultural producers, curators and programmers to address with their contributions to Diffusion 2013, and the one we will be exploring with audiences and participants.

People encounter photographic images daily not only in newspapers, magazines, on TV and in advertising, but also through online channels, mobile phone applications and social networking sites. We live in a time of image glut, and with the boundaries increasingly blurred between artist and audience, amateur and professional, we might ask and where is photography now? The world has never before been so visualised, yet the nature and meaning of photography and its status in art has never been so hotly debated.

Diffusion 2013 examines these cultural shifts and different approaches to artistic production, presentation and distribution. We look at the relationship in photographic art between traditional and new hybrid forms and their place within contemporary visual culture. Diffusion 2013 offers a space for artists, cultural agents and audiences to share experience and creative endeavour, to begin to make sense of a world where almost anyone can and will become a photographer and distribute their images within online communities – a society in which our experience of time and space has dramatically changed.

Diffusion 2013 is staged in Cardiff, Wales’ capital, a city that in recent years has undergone major economic and social transformation. The festival uses both traditional and new media to create a strong visual presence across existing venues and found spaces and through various interventions in the public realm. We encourage visitors and residents alike to navigate Cardiff and its environs in new ways and to discover facets of the city they would not normally expect to find.

At a deeper level, the festival interrogates our position in Europe and its wider global ramifications. Diffusion 2013 highlights the role of photography, as arguably the world’s most democratic and visible medium, to record contemporary life as lived, to represent urban and rural experience, and to imagine a future orientated new European Identity.

Above all, Diffusion 2013 is a celebration of photography and the photographic image, in all its forms. Whether created, published, exhibited, collected or distributed in a physical or virtual way, the photograph has the power to inspire and provoke reaction, to reflect our own experience and that of society evolving around us.