Danny Birchall works in London for Wellcome Collection, where he commissions and edits digital projects.Read full Bio
At the northern end of London’s Tottenham Court Road, a state of the art proton beam therapy centre is being built by University College London Hospitals. The hoardings around the site feature familiar images of patients and medical staff; but this most intimate and molecular life-saving technology itself is represented by a graphic of a glowing orb shot through with the kind of blue plasma that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Wars.
Danny Birchall questions, has the sublime returned from technology to nature, through technology’s ability to show us what cannot otherwise be seen inside ourselves?
James Bridle is a British artist and writer based in Athens, Greece.Read full Bio
Through Non-Human Eyes
The steadiness and endurance of the camera’s gaze produces the strong sense that the camera is something other than an extension of the eye: it is a sensor, a monitor, a machine for being with and in the world.
Paolo Cirio is a conceptual artist and an activist that engages with legal, economic and semiotic systems of the information society.Read full Bio
Photography of the Internet extends to unprecedented social fields and challenges of social norms for questioning cultural, economic and ethical values of photos circulating within the networks.
David Raymond Conroy (b. 1978 Reading) is an artist that lives and works in Brussels and London.Read full Bio
Where someone said they saw some smoke, there very well may be no fire.
For the (conspiracy) theorist, the beauty of images is that they have the power to become simultaneously a source of proof and doubt.
Look again, don’t you see that?
There it is.
Andrew Dewdney is a research professor at London South Bank University whose current research is focused upon the intersections of art, media and technology.Read full Bio
The University of YouTube: the medium, the user, photography and the search for really useful knowledge.
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.
Nonhuman Photography: An Interview with Joanna Zylinska [PART I]
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.
Nonhuman Photography: An Interview with Joanna Zylinska [PART II]
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".
Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. Her controversial biopolitical art practice includes the project Stranger Visions in which she created portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material (hair, cigarette butts, chewed up gum) collected in public places.Read full Bio
For the past six years Heather Dewey-Hagborg has been researching, writing and producing artwork engaging the methodology of ‘forensic DNA phenotyping’. In this essay, she explores a different aspect of this technology and questions:
is forensic DNA phenotyping a photographic process?
Constant Dullaart‘s (Netherlands, 1979) practice reflects on the broad cultural and social effects of communication and image processing technologies, from performatively distributing artificial social capital on social media to completing a staff-pick Kickstarter campaign for a hardware start-up called Dulltech™.Read full Bio
A cold draught in a hot medium
"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"...
EFTD (Embassy for the Displaced) is a faux-institution established between London, Athens, and the Aegean archipelago.Read full Bio
When does the human need to leave the image? And what takes his/her place?
How can one attempt to image a life severed by representation, and who has the ethical right to attempt such an aberrant, aniconic distortion?
Francis Gooding works with music, art and film.Read full Bio
Artifact Readers: pixelated revelations, glitch augury and low-res millenarianism in the age of conspiracy theory
These images, drawn from films made by members of the YouTube conspiracy theorist community, are presented as evidence for the radically heterodox alternate worldviews of their original creators.
Natalie Kane is a writer, curator and researcher working at the intersection of digital culture, futures and design.Read full Bio
Soft Power / Hard Meme
In early 2016, @RussianEmbassy, the verified Twitter account from the Russian Embassy in the UK, sent an image to the Russian Ministry of Defence via Twitter, warning that ‘Extremists near Aleppo received several truckloads of chemical ammo.' On further inspection, rather than a matter of urgency, it became immediately apparent that these were neither extremist trucks, nor was it in fact an actual photograph of real trucks at all.
Gretta Louw is a South African-born Australian artist, writer, and curator whose practice explores the potential of art as a means of investigating psycho-social and cultural phenomena, particularly in relation to digital technologies and the internet.Read full Bio
Manifest Destiny in the Digital Age
Information asymmetry is power asymmetry. If “data is the new oil” in the 21st Century, then internet users are the raw earth from which this oil is extracted; a commodity to be exploited for the benefit of the oil barons. In this, there is at least some equity amongst users around the world: the parity of the powerless. Except that isn’t accurate either.
Visual artist, computer programmer and data activist. Lives and works between Brussels and London.Read full Bio
“The cat sits on the bed”, Pedagogies of vision in human and machine learning.
Our shares and likes, our annotations and social metadata are training a generation of AI agents. Everyday, we are already all teaching bots and algorithms how to look at images. If we consider the extent of our relationship with algorithms, we realise the magnitude of the effort of teaching and learning that is taking place.
The politics of image search - A conversation with Sebastian Schmieg [Part I]
Nicolas Malevé interviews the artist Sebastian Schmieg on image annotation, immaterial labour and his TPG commission 'Decision Space'.
The politics of image search - A conversation with Sebastian Schmieg [Part II]
The second part of the interview between Sebastian Schmieg and Nicolas Malevé. Schmieg reflects on his project 'Search by Image' and further discusses machine learning and intelligence as well the politics of image annotation.
Joel McKim is Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Culture and the Director of the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology at Birkbeck, University of London.Read full Bio
Into the Universe of Rendered Architectural Images
"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..."
Joanne McNeil is a writer interested in the ways that technology is shaping art, politics, and society.Read full Bio
Listening to a Face
“The truth is written all over our faces” was a tagline for Lie to Me, a procedural drama on network television several years ago.
The Windshield and the Screen
"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"...
Maria/Rosario Montero is an artist and founder of the Border Agency Art Collective.Read full Bio
An interview with Morehshin Allahyari
Maria Rosario Montero interviews Morehshin Allahyari on the occasion of the latter's commission 'She Who Sees the Unknown: Ya'Jooj Ma'Jooj' at The Photographers' Gallery Media Wall (2017). Allahyari discusses digital colonialism as a core concept in her work as well as the agency of feminist and activist practices using 3D scanning, 3D printing and storytelling.
Simone C Niquille is a designer and researcher based in Amsterdam NL.Read full Bio
"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..."
Professor Jussi Parikka is a Finnish media theorist who works at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.Read full Bio
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Steganographic Image
Who knows what went into an image, what it includes and what it hides? This is not merely a question of fine art historical importance of materials, or even media historical intrigue of chemistry but one of steganography - hiding another meaningful pattern, perhaps a message, in data; inside text or an image.
Tobias Revell is an artist and designer. Spanning different disciplines and media his work addresses the urgent need for critical engagement with material reality through design, art and technology.Read full Bio
Rendering the Desert of The Real
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.
Tamar Shafrir is a design writer and researcher based in Amsterdam.Read full Bio
The Entasis of Elon Musk
"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..."
Katrina Sluis is Curator (Digital Programmes) at The Photographers’ Gallery.Read full Bio
Interview with Wendy McMurdo
TPG Digital Curator Katrina Sluis interviews the pioneering artist Wendy McMurdo about the trajectory of her work since the 1990s and how debates around photography and digital culture have shifted.
Nye Thompson is a London-based visual artist and software designer.Read full Bio
These (in)security cameras are all around us. In our streets, shops, buses, restaurants, homes. They are looking, listening and recording. Their omnipresent gaze pierces, protects us, keeps us safe. Through them we are delivered from unknown evils, from the nameless things that might creep up on us if we don’t watch out. Through their panopticon gaze we are quantified, verified, analysed, documented, mapped, filtered and judged.
Alan Warburton is an artist, animator and researcher whose work critically reflects on CGI software culture.Read full Bio
Bursting The Filter Bubble of Photoshop Tutorials
As an artist using 3D animation software, much of my work comes in trying to introduce noise, dirt and detail into sterile, mathematically derived images. CGI wants to be photographic. Conversely, Adobe Photoshop is anchored to the photographic realm but strives to efface it.
‘Hooded Prisoner’ in 3D – a discussion between Julian Stallabrass and Alan Warburton
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.
Martin Zeilinger is a London-based new media researcher, practitioner, and curator. His work focuses in part on the societal and cultural impact of emerging financial technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies.Read full Bio
First as Snapshot, then as Decentralised Digital Asset
In the age of ubiquitous connectivity and seemingly limitless cloud-based storage capabilities, all photographers, whether as amateurs, artists, or professionals, face new and difficult questions regarding their work’s afterlife, which have continued to gain in importance over the last years: what becomes of digital photographs once they begin to circulate online, how can the rights of their creators be protected, and how should the constant churn of online photographs be controlled? In early 2018, Eastman Kodak Company announced that it was about to provide a solution to these difficult issues.