Experimental Photo School
5-7 May 2017
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.
Machine Learning for Artists. Courtesy Gene Kogan
Courtesy Gretchen Andrew
Programming for Photographers
Material Speculation: ISIS. Courtesy Morehshin Allahyari, 2015
Workers Education in the Age of Intelligent Machines
5 May, 6.30pm followed by private view of her new Media Wall commission