From 1st December 2018, the CSNI researcher Katrina Sluis will be undertaking a Swiss National Science Foundation funded research project “Curating Photography in the Networked Image Economy” in collaboration with Dr Wolfgang Brückle, Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences, Fotomuseum Winterthur, FotoColectania and The Photographers’ Gallery. The central objective of the research is to generate new academic, professional and public knowledge and understanding of how the networked image economy is transforming established models of curating photography and the production and location of cultural value. In doing so, it proposes to bring the largely disconnected fields of museum curating, social media curation and computational photography into productive dialogue.
The CSNI associate researcher and artist Simon Terrill is currently showing his work in two exhibitions in Melbourne. The first is at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) where Terrill presents a retrospective of his ‘Crowd Theory’ project (2004 – today). The exhibition explores crowd dynamics and the relationship between urban architectural spaces and those who inhabit them. In a conceptual dialogue with the CCP exhibition, Like Fire Walk with Me in Sutton Gallery, is centred around the Plato’s Academy Park in Athens, Greece, a public space of gathering and a site that Terrill returns to time and again.
Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP): 2 February – 31 March 2019
Sutton Gallery: 2 February – 2 March 2019
Over 4 days in January 2019, CSNI Researcher Katrina Sluis worked with the artist Jonas Lund to transform the 3rd Floor of The Photographers’ Gallery into an influencing office tasked with reversing Brexit. Part installation, part performance, part working think tank, Operation Earnest Voice aimed to explore and interrogate the numerous tools, methods and strategies used to influence public opinion online, from the generation of fake followers to the fabrication of images.
The name of the project is an inspiration from Operation Earnest Voice, the US-sponsored campaign, whose purpose is to spread pro-American propaganda on social networking sites.
Find our more about the project on the artist’s page, while you can also watch the stream that captured live the 4 days of the installation / performance here.
In dialogue with The Photographers’ Gallery exhibition All I Know Is What’s On The Internet, the one day symposium ‘Post-Capitalist Photography Now!‘ explored issues around photography’s capacity to challenge neoliberalism and bring alternative systems into view, and the roles of public institutions and the art world in such a context.
Questions addressed include how do we make sense of photography’s relationship to corporate power? Do participatory photographic cultures serve the interests of global capital or provide potential sites for resistance? In what ways can we think about photography as work? And does computational culture extend, disrupt or intensify photography’s historical relationships to post-Fordist capitalism?
The full programme of the symposium is available here and you can watch the video documentation here.
[Presented by The Photographers’ Gallery in collaboration with The Centre for Photography and Visual Culture, University of Sussex & The Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University]
In December 2018, the CSNI PhD researcher Nicolas Malevé took part in the Image Net/Works conference, organised by Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Fotomuseum Winterthur. The conference focused on images and the associated economies of looking, producing and sharing as well as the photography’s changing role in the context of contemporary political-economic systems. Malevé presented his paper titled ‘Machine Glancing’. You can find the programme and the abstracts of the conference here.
The exhibition ‘All I Know Is What’s On The Internet‘ at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, presents the work of 11 contemporary artists and groups seeking to map, visualise and question the cultural dynamics of 21st Century image culture. It is curated by the CSNI researcher Katrina Sluis, whom you can hear talking about the ideas and the works of the show in the interview below:
Participating Artists: Mari Bastashevski, Constant Dullaart, IOCOSE, Stephanie Kneissl & Max Lackner, Eva & Franco Mattes, Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg, Winnie Soon, Emilio Vavarella, Stéphane Degoutin & Gwenola Wagon, Andrew Norman Wilson, Miao Ying.
Exhibition duration: 26 October 2018 – 24 February 2019
Professor Andrew Dewdney has published a book review in the forthcoming issue of Journal of Design History about ‘Memories of the Future: On Countervision’ edited by Dr. Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffe.
Read an excerpt here:
The second annual CSNI Summer School took place in the 7th of June at Jerwood Space in London and it was a rich day of presentations and discussions. This year’s invited speakers included Dr. Geoff Cox and Dr. Magda Tyżlik-Carver who presented their current research projects and responded to the presentations by the CSNI PhD students and led the discussion during the day. The Summer School was also joined by CSNI associate researchers Adam Brown and Simon Terrill from London South Bank University (LSBU), Dr. Elena Marchevska, head of the Centre of Digital Storymaking at LSBU as well as Dr Cayo Honorato from University of Brasilia.
See below the schedule of the day for an idea of the topics covered and discussed:
CSNI associate researchers Adam Brown and Alan Warburton, along with the game designer Tabea Iseli, were this year’s winning team of the P3: Post-Photography Prototyping Prize! Brown, Warburton and Iseli worked under the theme of ‘Generative Photography’ and created the prototyping project Freezing the Photographer.
The Post-Photography Prototyping Prize (P3) is a biennial prize that supports artists, creative technologists and researchers questioning the changing role of photographic media.
In 2018, the second edition of the P3 encouraged interdisciplinarity and collaboration, bringing artists, technologists and researchers together to address specific issues that underlie the changes in contemporary photographic culture. Academics, visual artists and creative coders joined forces to reflect on social and technological transformations within current image production, distribution and consumption.
Alan Warburton’s work Homo Economicus is part of a new exhibition at the Somerset House Studios which questions the implications of producing, collecting and sorting data for society and the individual. The exhibition, titled ‘Complex Values‘, includes the works of three resident artists at the Somerset House Studios: Alan Warburton, the curatorial platform Album Corp and the art-research duo FRAUD.
Homo Economicus is an installation with video and sculpture which focuses on the ideas of men who work in the City of London’s financial district, and examines how they both modify and commodify their own bodies. The work intentionally conflates the corporate and the corporeal, questioning male self-worth and its apparent apotheosis in the hyper-competitive financial services industry.
Exhibition duration: 13 – 24 Jun 2018
Somerset House, River Rooms (New Wing)
Opening Times: 12.00 – 18.00 (Wed & Fri until 20.00)
Entrance is FREE
[featured image: Homo Economicus, Alan Warburton, 2018]
What does photographic curation mean in an era of the fluid image and during a time of non-medium specificity?
On the 2nd of June 2018, Katrina Sluis, CSNI Researcher and Digital Curator at The Photographers’ Gallery, spoke in the ‘Encounters: Photography and Curation’ symposium – a collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery and London College of Communication, UAL).
The symposium aimed to examine the relatively under-discussed area of photography curation at a time when academic curating programs are expanding globally and our understanding of the practice is evolving.
Sluis’ presentation was part of the panel Encounters which also featured Tim Clark (Curator and Founding Editor, 1000 Words), Lucy Moore (Director, Claire de Rouen Books), and Lars Willumeit (independent curator, writer and editor).
Find out more information, here.
On the 10th of May 2018, Professor Andrew Dewdney presented a talk with the title “What Is The Current Fascination With VR On The Part Of Museums And Art Galleries?” in the Contemporary Art Society’s 2018 Annual Conference. This year’s annual conference explored the rapid development of digital imagery in the artistic realm and its representation in museums.
Abstract: Over the past two years more and more national and international museums and galleries have teamed up with technology companies to demonstrate how VR applications can be used in the cultural heritage sector. Modigliani’s studio in VR at Tate Britain, The Royal Academy in partnership with HTC Vive demonstrating VR in the ‘From Life’ exhibition, Zaha Hadid’s Architecture in VR at the Serpentine or Matt Collishaw’s reconstruction of the first photographic exhibition studio in VR at Somerset House. I could go on, The National Gallery and The British Museum teaming up with Oculus to provide virtual 3D headset tours, not to forget Google Arts and Culture’s now established Google Art Project partnerships using Google software tools. How are we to assess this growing trend? Is it a potential moment of radical change in the museum, or is it another fleeting fascination? One way of thinking about this is to ask how the current interest in VR applications relates to the wider technological environment of networked culture? The presentation takes the view that whilst VR devices and software are now more widely available and applicable, the current interest in their use may well be a distraction from a much greater virtual reality that has already taken place in everyday life. The network of networked computers, the World Wide Web, and global positioned connected mobile devices, have and continue to profoundly change what it is to be human. Whilst current interest from corporate content providers is in testing market appetite for immersive 3D interfaces, VR may very well turn out to be a nostalgic longing for a past imagined future world, rather than portal into a new one.
Read the full presentation, here: VR and the Museum, Andrew Dewdney
[featured image: Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier (Courtesy of Preloaded)]
Juan Martín Prada, CSNI external researcher associate, has contributed a paper titled New Media Egologies in the 6th issue of the journal Re-visiones.
This article addresses the notion of the web as a mirrored sphere.
The debate about the primacy of a psychomorphic vision of reality, associated with the use of the new technologies of connectivity, is here related with the practices of self-representation and hipervisibilisation that are characteristic of the new communicative and social habits that take place in the network-system.
Key words: web 2.0, social networks, self-representation, egology, multitude
Read the full article, here.
CSNI Researcher Katrina Sluis was recently interviewed by Lewis Bush for 1000 Words Magazine about her curating and research. You can head over to 1000 Words to read more.
CSNI Researchers Annet Dekker (21st Feb) and Katrina Sluis (24th May) will be participating in “Curating Machines”, a series of events organised by Olga Goriunova, Lilly Markaki and Chris Townsend (Dept. of Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London): https://www.facebook.com/
CSNI Researcher Katrina Sluis was recently interviewed for the BBC Radio 4 Programme ‘PowerPointless’, a documentary on the culture and aesthetics of Microsoft PowerPoint. She discussed the production of the 2016 Media Wall project PowerPoint Polemics at The Photographers’ Gallery and the contribution of artists including Clunie Reid.
Listen to the programme, here:
Gabriel Menotti and Bruno Zorzal interview Katrina Sluis for the Brazilian Photography publication ZUM: Revista de Fotografia.
Read the interview (in Portuguese), here:
CSNI Researcher Alan Warburton has just released a new video essay online
It’s 2017 and computer graphics have conquered the Uncanny Valley, that strange place where things are almost real… but not quite. After decades of innovation, we’re at the point where we can conjure just about anything with software. The battle for photoreal CGI has been won, so the question is… what happens now?
Written and animated by Alan Warburton with the support of Tom Pounder and Wieden + Kennedy.
Workshop 22 July, 12pm start
with Nicolas Malevé and Adam Brown: Rethinking workshop / Rethinking work
@The Photographers’ Gallery in London [part of geekender and Experimental Photo School]
16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW
What kind of work is photography, and how can a photographic worker be taught, in the face of increasing automation, precarious working and a saturated market? Thinking back to the beginnings of workers’ education in the nineteenth century, a historical emphasis on self-empowerment through creativity persists in contemporary creative education, but how does one empower an algorithm, and does the camera or digital network now play the role of ‘middle management?’ [Read more…]
5-7 May 2017
TPG Geekender: Experimental Photo School
with Morehshin Allahyari, Gretchen Andrew, Adam Brown, Rich Cochraine, Claire Davis, Gene Kogan, Nicolas Malevé, Andrew McGettigan, David West,
organised by Katrina Sluis, Ioana Zouli with support from Nicolas Malevé
The collision of photography with planetary scale computing is transforming the medium, disrupting traditional conceptions of visual literacy, raising new questions concerning the agency and cultural value of images and creating new job opportunities even as it destroys others.
Today, computer scientists develop algorithms to read, organize and valorize the billions of images which circulate online without familiarity or reference to the history of aesthetics or photography theory. Animals, weather cameras and Twitter bots create images for large online audiences. The product photography which plasters our magazines and screens now originates in CGI software rather than the photography studio.
The camera itself is becoming an increasingly intelligent agent, remade by those in the field of computational photography who proclaim that “software is the new optics”. Photographers are now advised to create their portfolios not for the aesthetic sensibility of the human eye, but for the seduction of search engines using SEO and carefully coded templates. The mirage of analogue culture becomes fetishized as the hyper-analogue both at the consumer level (with platforms like Instagram) and the art world (with the return of the unique photographic print).
Over the first weekend in May, The Photographers’ Gallery digital programme will be transforming the Gallery into an Experimental Photo School, with a series of workshops, talks, reading groups, drop-in sessions and a new Media Wall commission by Morehshin Allahyari.
For the full list of events and how to book see Experimental Photo School at The Photographers’ Gallery
In Unthinking Photography, September 2016
This short text is the result of an attempt to understand photographic theory by YouTube, which took the shape of an online errand of forking paths, full of interesting digressions, leading of course everywhere and nowhere. After several evenings of semi-distracted browsing and a solid half-day of clicking and watching I had to put a stop to it. Just how many paid/unpaid, work/leisure hours should one dedicate to the world’s third most visited website, where five billion videos are watched each day by over one billion users who upload 300 hours of video every minute ? By what methods is such a vast repository of data to be navigated and made sense of? Or, perhaps the goal of making sense belongs to an older and possibly generational logic, now overturned by the non-linear essence of digital archives and the click or swipe of a screen replacement. As a strategy to avoid the mental exhaustion of finding a theory of photography via YouTube the quest took a reflexive turn towards the question of what YouTube does to the user. A question I consider more anchored in the body, real time and space and possibly more pertinent to our period of accelerated cultural consumption and its precarious conditions. Surely, if you can watch a video that shows you how to remove the oven door, then you can learn about photographic theory, or can you? [Read more…]
In Unthinking Photography, September 2016
I am watching Professor Fei-Fei Li, director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab giving a TED Talk titled ‘How we teach computers how to see’, uploaded to the YouTube platform. She begins her lecture by evoking an image of a three-year-old girl: “She might still have a lot to learn about this world, but she is already an expert at one very important task: to make sense of what she sees.” (00:38)
The little girl is the first of the many children that will illustrate the presentation, including Leo, Li’s son. However, another child (albeit never qualified as such) looms in the background: the machine learning algorithm. [Read more…]
Juan Martín Prada & Remedios Zafra
July – September 2016
Expected Research // Centre for the Study of Networked Image, LSBU
Considering art as a privileged practice for the critical examination of digital and visual culture, the purpose of this research proposal is to investigate in depth the emerging challenges and transformations of the photographic image as a symbolic agent and as a medium for the (self)representation of social identity as produced and distributed in the Internet. [Read more…]
Katrina Sluis @ Animate Projects in partnership with QUAD
Friday 22 January 2015, Derbys (UK)
Animate Projects in partnership with QUAD are holding an informal seminar on critically engaged digital practice. Artists and curators will make brief provocations, referencing notable artworks, organisations and events, to set a context for a discussion addressing questions that may include:
How do we square embracing and utilising technological change and forms, with critical interrogation?
Does public strategy help or hinder, lead, follow or shape practice?
How does creative innovation and experiment blur distinctions across commercial and cultural practice? [Read more…]
In this new essay, writer and researcher Andrew Dewdney responds to Daniel Rubinstein’s essay What is 21st Century Photography? published by The Photographers’ Gallery in July 2015.
Annet Dekker, 10 December 2015, @ Alternative Film/Video Research Forum 2015, in Belgrade
Whilst video art is just being accepted in the commercial and museum art worlds, it is overtaken by the proliferation of web-based video that is increasingly delivered via all kinds of networks and based in databases. [Read more…]
4 and 25 October @ The Photographers’ Gallery, London
Join us for our inaugural “Geekender”, a weekend of events and workshops devoted to digital culture on 24th and 25th October at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Saturday night we will open late until 9pm, with a party to celebrate 25 years of Photoshop. Experience the delights of being hands-on with Photoshop version 1.0, a live “cut and paste” studio (SouthBank Collective) and a Photoshop Battle. Photoshop Layer Cake and RGB Drinks will be served from the Photoshop “Toolbar” whilst Adam Brown (Buncefield Records) will translate your favourite JPEG images into sound in a special DJ set. Visuals taking you through the history and culture of Photoshop will be provided by Central Saint Martins MA Photography Students.
PhD research by Nicolas Maleve (collaborative PhD with The Photographers’ Gallery)
Today, as we are confronted on a daily basis with millions of images on the Internet, grasping the visual world seems an overwhelming task. [Read more…]