PhD research by Gaia Tedone
Gaia’s current research project considers the shifting conditions of the photographic image within contemporary culture at large, exploring how digital technologies and social media are opening up new spaces for encountering and exhibiting visual material. In the context of today’s networked culture, while artworks and photographs circulate online alongside other commodities and digital objects, online users and data aggregation tools partake in the selection, filtering and dissemination of visual content. The conflict of differentiation emerging from within the shared space of the Internet is at the same time aesthetic, social and political. At the core of my research lies the question of how the curation of networked images can produce cultural value and social meaning in the face of such conflation of interests and agendas. Arguing for the necessity to reconsider the conventional paradigm of art curating in light of these shifting conditions and in response to the emergent discipline of digital curation, my study repositions the role of the curator and the work of networked images within this accelerated and evolving field. To achieve these aims, I employ a practice based mode of inquiry grounded in curatorial work, undertaking a number of projects located at the intersection between the fields of photography, contemporary art and online image culture. Critical reflexivity informs the research’s methodological framework and is posited as the differentiator for the production of cultural value in a time when search engines and algorithms are becoming generators of meaning and aesthetic patterns themselves.