A funny thing happened to photography on the way to the 21st century: It went from being degraded as an inferior way to convey aesthetic concepts to one of the most significant aspects of contemporary visual culture. The medium provides the foundation not only for a wide array of photo-based artworks -- from paintings and prints that incorporate mechanical imagery to films and videos that rely on it -- but also a lot of digital media that involves the use of cameras or camera-type devices such as scanners. This burgeoning importance has changed the place of photography in the fine arts and the way people think about it. For example, historic materials that were originally used for commercial purposes look more and more like works of art and less like the advertisements that... More >>>