Research in Photography

Research activities at the unit of Photography focus on doctoral studies. There are 20 doctoral students and the unit has produced 10 doctors since 1997. Aalto-Taik ́s first dissertation with an artistic sector came from the Photography unit in 1998.


•  Merja Salo 1997: Signs of Pleasure, Danger and Warning. The first doctoral dissertation published as a cd-rom in Finland.
•  Taneli Eskola 1998: Water Lilies and Wings of Steel. The first doctoral thesis with an artistic sector in Finland.
•  Harri Laakso 2003:Valokuvan tapahtuma and Mika Elo 2005: Valokuvan medium, opening the theoretical research of Photography.

•  Ten Doctors of Arts since 1997, four of them with artistic sector: Taneli Eskola 1998; Kristoffer Albrecht 2001: Creative Reproduction & Metropol (photobook); Juha Suonpää 2002: Petokuvan raadollisuus; Petri Anttonen 2005: Touch of Time.

Research areas

•  Photography as a research object.
Theoretical and empirical studies of photography. Marko Karo, Iina Kohonen, Hanna Weselius, Yrjö Tuunanen, Antti Ahlström. (doctoral students in 2011).

•  Photography as a research tool or method. Social projects using photography. Päivi Setälä, Liisa
Söderlund .

•  Photography as a research result.
Artistic research. Marjaana Kella, Ari Kakkinen, Harri Pälviranta, Pekka Luukkola, Ismo Luukkonen.

Research group

Media Aesthetics is a new research group at Aalto University, Department of Media. It focuses on theoretical and artistic research concerning interrelations of aesthetics, media and sense experience. More specific focus is set on media theoretical questions related to the heterogeneous field of photographic media.

Future vision

The Helsinki School of photographic studies, international center attracting both Finnish and foreign DA students and researchers.

Helsinki Photomedia ONE – conference 28.-30.3.2012. Startup for a regular international photography research conference to be held in Helsinki every two years. Payment: 100e/participant.