The Art for Machines research focuses on the changes that the photographic image has undergone in the transition from analogue to digital and the consequences that this seemingly irrelevant transition has for the role of humans in image production.
Art for Machines
When celluloid was replaced by sensors twenty years ago, the photographic image became bilingual. The digital image, now being shot, shown, stored and shared by one device, lives up to (and beyond) expectations of analogue mnemonic technologies. Satisfying the human urge for visual traces, the easy-to-use digital apparatus tempt us to produce photographic images. Yet the current ubiquity of images demonstrates not only our ‘analogue’ needs to archive and share memories, it also points towards a ‘digital’ hunger for data. The photographic image, both data and imagery, speaks to different audiences. The human audience, with its growing need for visual updates of other peoples’ lives and the nonhuman technological audience, gathering data to index, recognise and categorise patterns in order to predict future developments. Pointing towards past and future at the same time, in between ‘narrative-based stories’ and ‘data-based storytelling’ (1) the data-image serves both needs. We, seduced by the digital device, feed the data-hungry and the image-needy more and more. And now, ‘Life is experienced as increasingly documentable, and perhaps, also experienced in the service of its documentation, always with the newly accessible audience in mind,’ (2) a seemingly irrelevant transition changed the human role in image production forever.
Louise Amoore & Volha Piotukh (2015) Life beyond big data: governing with little analytics, Economy and Society, 44:3, 341–366, p. 347
The Social Photo, On Photography and Social Media, Nathan Jurgenson, Verso, 2019.
The research project Vertigo was the predecessor of Art for Machines.Vertigois an attempt to grasp and capture‘a new perception’, which arose as drones and satellites made an array of visual perspectives, beyond human eye level, a part of our everyday lives.
Shift of perspective
This research examined a shift of perspectives, through combinations of bird’s-eye view and street view, and the influence technology has on our visual culture. The research question explores whether combinations of images taken from(human) eye level and bird’s-eye view lead to a new visual language that utilises technological progress to renew our view of the world. It is an art research, methodologically conducted through photography. The outcomes of this research were shared with students during the visual experiment Scenesfrom above that was carried out during Studium Generale 2017. Scenes were filmed synchronously from eye level and directly above, and overlaid in postproduction. The film touches on contrasts such as visibility and invisibility, and public versus private.
Technology and perception
Are we able to read the world around us if we ignore the immediacy of the embodied view? Are we able to decipher the world from viewpoints other than those of(human) eye level? Our senses expand through technical mediation and turn our x-y-z world into a 360º space. We view the world via drones and satellites, the hologram multiplies our appearance in real time, and VR takes our point of view to places our body is unable to go. Is our visual culture, built upon the photographic image, able to depict this new space? What is the impact of today’s mediating technology on our perception and worldview?
Completed research, 2016 – 2020.
Other researchers involved Prof. B.P. Veldkamp UT Twente
Collaborators buitenlandatelier Mondriaan Fonds Beijing (honoured), Somfy Photography Award (nominated), Isea2020 Artist talk (honoured), Noorderlicht Festival (honoured) Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam,presentation Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Photography, presentation Atelier Neerlandais, Paris, presentation
Industries Fw:Books, Amsterdam, Hans Gremmen, preparing for publication
Institute Avans University of Applied Sciences
‘Doing research connects my practice with teaching; it strengthens and brings them closer together.’
Martine Stig was a researcher within the Cultural and Creative Industries research group from 2016 until 2020. She is also a tutor at the Master Institute for Visual Cultures. She is co-founder of the practice and research-based art cooperative Radical Reversibility.
The research group Cultural and Creative Industries investigates the role of artists and designers as creative innovators and drivers of social and economic change. Affiliated researchers analyse the cultural and creative industries from a critical point of view and examine the conditions under which timely forms of aesthetic expression and social connectedness can actually take place within the precarious reality of this field. What economic models are required by artists and designers to create a meaningful practice within the aesthetic, social, and economic intentions of the cultural and creative industries? What skills sets are required for those artists and designers who don’t just want to follow movements, but actually shape novel social and economic models of the future?