Automated Photography

Automated Photography

The Automated Photography research project (2019–2021) is conducted by Milo Keller in the framework of the MA in Photography at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. It is a continuation of the research project Augmented Photography, equally conducted at ECAL (2016–2017), which aimed to question the mutability of the digital image, transformed both in its physical materiality and in its virtual expression. 

Research project (2021)

For the past twenty years, many photographers have been integrating images produced autonomously by machines into their work. We are now witnessing a paradigm shift in the process of creating photography. From photographic capture in the strict sense we move towards practices involving appropriation, automated and computational processes: a phenomenon which reflects a conception of space that is increasingly less built on the equivalence between the human eye and the machine.

The Automated Photography research project (2019–2021) is conducted by Milo Keller in the framework of the MA in Photography at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. It is a continuation of the research project Augmented Photography, equally conducted at ECAL (2016–2017), which aimed to question the mutability of the digital image, transformed both in its physical materiality and in its virtual expression. Automated Photography focuses on a specific aspect of these changes, which are omnipresent in contemporary visual culture: the automation of capture systems (smartphones, lidar, UAVs, satellites, space probes), the automation of image processing (machine vision analysis, facial recognition), and the increasing automation of image production and post-production (CGI, photogrammetry, artificial intelligence).

Automated Photography has a dual objective. On the one hand, it plans to develop a critical theory of the automated image, in order to confront the students of the MA in Photography with its multiple implications (social, political, technical and aesthetic). On the other hand, it proposes to respond to the profound changes in the photographic profession, which must constantly adapt to technological developments. By combining an analytical and a theoretical perspective with considerations resulting from the practical experiences with these technical devices, the project aims to take advantage of the crossroads of these different fields. The synthesis is based on a practical process by applying these technologies, on an aesthetic outlook by analysing the visual qualities of these devices and their creative potential, and on a theoretical approach by assessing the practical results in their cultural, social and political context.

Main applicant

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Milo Keller (project leader)

Research team

Claus Gunti (researcher)
Joël Vacheron (researcher)
Florian Amoser (research assistant)
Robin Bervini (research assistant)
Thomas Le Provost (graphic designer)

Visiting lecturers

Marco de Mutiis
Simone C. Niquille
François Zajega
Kurt Caviezel
Lauren Moffatt

Students

Sara BastaiEmidio BattipagliaRobin BerviniMaeva BoskoJasmine DeportaAnja Karolina FurrerAlessia GunawanChristian HarkerJung-Ting HuJohanna HullarSally JoPhilipp Klak , Doruk Kumkumoglu , Igor Lucena , Natalia Maximova , Valentin Russo , Jelena Schuhmacher , Yang Su , Gedvile Tamosiunaite , Joanna Wierzbicka , Olivia Wünsche , Manqin Zhang

Period

september 2019 – february 2021

Supported by

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Strategic fund of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO RCDAV)

Dissemination

Website
automated-photography.ch/

1718_S2_1BAPH_Keller-Gohan_CLambelet_What-is-photography_08.jpg
Gohan Keller, See Me In Depth, 2018. © ECAL / Gohan Keller
1920_S1_MAP2_Klak-Philipp_AutomatedKurt_238_7c8edeb45d51bacc.jpg
Philip Klak, See What Is Left, 2020. © ECAL / Philip Klak
Emidio_Battipaglia.jpg
Emidio Battipaglia, All Watched Over By Machine Of Loving Grace Ver 1.1B, 2020. © ECAL / Emidio Battipaglia
Sara_Bastai-AsWeMelt.jpg
Sara Bastai, As We Melt, 2020. © ECAL / Sara Bastai