Unthinking Photography is an online resource that explores photography's increasingly automated, networked life.

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An Introduction to Image Datasets

November 2019

In 2019 The Photographers' Gallery digital programme launched 'Data / Set / Match', a year-long programme that explores new ways to present, visualise and interrogate contemporary image datasets. This introductory essay presents some key concepts and questions that make the computer vision dataset an object of concern for artists, photographers, thinkers and photographic institutions.

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Into the Universe of Rendered Architectural Images

June 2019

"While the capacity to intervene in the production of urban space or formulate an effective vision of what’s to come has appeared increasingly cut off to the general population, long-term development projects and real-estate schemes continue to dictate city transformation well into the future. And we are increasingly inundated with the architectural visualisations that accompany these plans..."

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Embodying Others

"Use of capture technology involves a level of selective resolution; an emphasis of certain elements over others. As the image production process isn’t a linear hermetic process, decisions are taken in it’s production that will be visible in the rendered outcome..."

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The Entasis of Elon Musk

June 2019

"The idea that an architectural rendering can be ‘real’ or ‘fake’ involves a transference of the logic of one medium—building—to the logic of another—drawing. Architectural rendering has always exploited the potentials of the page or canvas where money, knowledge, taste or gravity proved prohibitive..."

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Rendering the Desert of The Real

June 2019

The artist and designer Tobias Revell has been invited by The Photographers' Gallery digital programme to curate a strand for Unthinking Photography on the theme of photography, rendering and CGI and their effect in architecture and the built environment. In this text the curator of the series introduces the topic through a short history of image manipulation and the emergence of CGI technologies.

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‘Hooded Prisoner’ in 3D – a discussion between Julian Stallabrass and Alan Warburton

June 2019

A 3D model depicting a hooded prisoner from Abu Ghraib, was the starting point for a discussion between the artist Alan Warburton and the art historian and curator Julian Stallabrass.

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A cold draught in a hot medium

February 2019

"Images now published on social media are valorised in terms of distribution and quantifiable interactions, particularly when triangulated with data about a user’s online purchases or social media behaviour. This process shapes visual representations of human identities into ‘data images’ outside the control of the person the data originates from. These identity images, or profiles, are bought and sold without our knowing, and provide more insight into our behaviour and motivations than we perhaps have ourselves"...

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The Windshield and the Screen

February 2019

"A Google Street View car in Los Angeles once captured a picture of Leonard Cohen. It happened a couple of years before he died. He was sitting with an acquaintance on lawn chairs outside his modest home in the Mid-Wilshire neighbourhood. The driver was an accidental paparazzi. Cohen didn’t even notice him. (...) Google Street View isn’t photography as aesthetic representation, but the production of leftovers that happen to be images. These images are the husk — the dead skin of a surveillance charade. This archive can be fascinating and even useful to spectators—the users of it. But this data created and cleaned at scale is a source of Google’s power"...

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Nonhuman Photography: An Interview with Joanna Zylinska [PART II]

February 2019

In this second excerpt of her interview with Andrew Dewdney, Joanna Zylinska talks about representation and post-photography while she reflects on archival as well as institutional practices in the age of the Anthropocene. As she mentions: "I am trying to develop sets of relations between images and practices across time, across species, across technologies, and identify certain old tropes that are returning today. I would like to think that my mode of looking, which involves placing images along those deep-historical lines, is also a way of showing why photography matters".

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Nonhuman Photography: An Interview with Joanna Zylinska [PART I]

February 2019

Andrew Dewdney interviews Joanna Zylinska for Unthinking Photography, on the occasion of her recent publication ‘Nonhuman Photography’ (MIT Press, 2017). We are publishing here two excerpts from the conversation while the full interview is available to download as a pdf. In this first part, the discussion unpacks the notion of the nonhuman in image culture.

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