‘Intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century’, said Mark Getty, founder of the photo agency Getty Images. The agency no longer belongs to him, although he and executive director Jonathan Klein continue to hold shares in the company. In August 2012, the photo agency was sold to the US private equity company Carlyle for 3.3 billion dollars.
This issue of the Junge Akademie Magazin takes up the subject of visualisation in the dossier. How are things portrayed in science when they are too small to see? How do natural scientists construct the world of particles in general and for didactic reasons? How do they combine measured data in order to create a picture of the internal workings of a galaxy? Are there good and bad ways of handling pictures, for instance in medieval studies? Where are the limits of visualisation in life and in art? The way scientists visualise data can influence their future research, both in terms of content and in their career.
Whether in the media, in academia, or in art – visuals are in demand more than ever. At the same time they are under pressure: with photo agencies, pricier agencies have had competition for years; so-called microstock agencies sell amateur photos in the cent range. Photo agencies double as archives, and archives do not always quote the correct sources: the history of an image and its use today can be decontextualised and thus lead to false conclusions – another subject in our focus.
Finally: what role does digitalisation play in all of this? The internet is widely regarded as a large archive, but in his guest article, JA alumnus Oliver Grau asks whether contemporary culture and media art might be threatened by loss.
On behalf of the editorial team, I hope you enjoy reading our magazine!