20 December 2006

invited guest: Jörg M Colberg

I am very glad to have the possibility to present Jörg M Colberg on The F Blog. Since I discovered his homepage and blog I am amazed by his inspiring photographs. Jörg was born in Wilhelmshaven in West Germany in 1968 and has since lived in Bonn, Munich, Paris, Boston. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. He holds a doctorate in theoretical astrophysics and is working as a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. I strongly recommend his homepage and blog Conscientious. Now I leave the word to Jörg and his serie Higher Education.

Higher Education
We live in a bit of a schizophrenic time. On the one hand, we realize how modern sciences have brought improvements that have greatly enhanced the quality (and actual durations) of our lives. On the other hand, we have become increasingly suspicious of science and, especially, academia - where it is not directly involved in the development of new weaponry. We
have seen deep cuts in funding, especially for sciences deemed not useful enough - in particular liberals arts or art itself. And we have come to call scientists 'eggheads' who are out of touch with reality, in particular if the results of their research clash with our political beliefs. But what does academia really look like? In what kind of environments do those people work who, it is assumed, are overly pampered 'liberals', out of touch with the common people? And if we do not want to dwell on the conditions of work of academics, let's not forget that those academics fulfill the role of educators. So by asking what the academic environment looks like we're also asking what the environment looks like that young students are subjected to when learning the skills that are supposed to help them in life. 'Higher Education' is an effort to portray academic environments. It is an ongoing project.

all pictures © Jörg M Colberg
Invited by Fredrik Skott


mary c. mitchell said...

Very interesting photographs and truly amazing buildings to work inside ;)

ulf said...

Interesting to have a look into this world. I like the typewriter and the painting above. Very cool environment.

Markus said...

How I recognise some of theese environment. Well, not the actually environments but this kind of. One would think it should be hard to be creative in such surroundings

j. s-g. said...

I recognise something of the aesthetic of Candida Höfer in these pictures, though this is of a different environment than libraries. Not far apart though, sometimes, from the university library to the actual university.

As I myself work in academia, I find these pictures especially interesting. It does not look like what I am used to, but that is, I believe, because I work in social science. These pictures seems to be more related to other sciences, like physics, chemistry, etc.

How would you portray Higher Education in social sciences or liberal arts, I wonder?!

Great photos. We need more of this kind of documents. And we need to realize, as have you, that they say more than just "work place documentation".

Thanks for being here, Jörg!

JM Colberg said...

j.s-g., there are more photos in the series that look more like social-science buildings - those I will present once the full series is done. Thank you for your nice comment!

christofer said...

I like it, and I recognize this kind of environments too.

The enviroments of chemists...one and another fire, maybe an explosion just round the corner...

And the constant humming from the lights. I like how you transmit a mood in this.

f. skott said...

thanks for sharing your interesting photographs Jörg. I also work in academia, department of history, and can somewhat recognize the environments. At least some of them. Great!
- F.

Jeanette said...

Hm - i have missed this in the flow of images here.....such a pitty, but now i have seen them and it´s great!