Open Call: Photography in Virtual Culture

Following the first successful Virtual Photography Symposium held at the University of Westminster, London in 2022, the University of Westminster are delighted to announce the call for contributions to a new International Conference Photography in Virtual Culture in May 2024. The conference is organised in collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery who will co-host the event. The aim is to develop a communal space for discussion, forming critiques, thinking and making what can be called ‘virtual photography’.

The last decade has seen a clear shift in the operational frameworks for the production, dissemination and consumption of photographs in contemporary computerised societies. The representational function of the medium is progressively converted to algorithmic and generative processes through computerized connectivity and control. Recent developments of AI systems and expanded reality technologies have exponentially changed the possibilities for image making and the ways in which photographic images might be created and used within, and beyond, virtual space. While this might be exciting times for creators, thinkers and developers, it is also a pivotal moment in the history of the photographic medium, with debates about its materiality, social function and essence taking place.

We invite proposals presenting the following subjects:
• AI, Generative and Synthetic Images
• Digital Communities and Critical practices
• Datasets and Ethics
• Computation and Virtual Space
• Theories of Virtuality
• Digital Labour and Environments
• Sexuality and Vision
• Games and Narratives
• Photography Education
• Virtual Image Systems

We invite conference papers in the form of 20-minute presentations, talks, collaborations, critical essays and visual arguments, addressing any of the above or related topics. We also invite proposals for participatory workshops and demonstrations.

Please send a 200-word proposal, alongside a 50-word biography of each participant, by no later than 18th September 2023 to:

If you are proposing a practice or artist talk, please include relevant examples of your work and a link to the project when possible. Selected proposals will be announced in October. All presented papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume.

Unfortunately, we are unlikely to be able fund any travel, visa or accommodation expenses. Registration fees, lunch and refreshments will be covered for participant speakers by the organisers. We plan to hold the event at both the University of Westminster (Regent St Campus) and The Photographers’ Gallery in London. A fee is available to speakers/performers/workshop leaders who aren’t in institutionally-affiliated or in full-time employment.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Download the call as a .pdf

Conference Convenors
Dr. Paula Gortázar, Lecturer in Photography, University of Westminster Prof. David Bate, Professor of Photography, University of Westminster
In partnership with Digital Programme at The Photographers’ Gallery