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Online Masterclass

Contemporary Photography and Capitalism with Estelle Blaschke on Vimeo on Demand

In this masterclass, Estelle Blaschke, professor in media studies at the University of Basel and lecturer at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, discusses the entanglement of photography, big data and artificial intelligence as a driving force of today’s capitalist societies. As billions of images are created, shared and archived every day, photography has become a valuable commodity and a currency that shapes many cultural, social and economic practices. Showing examples from industry, business and science, including banking, robotics, policing, mapping and navigation, Estelle argues that since these technologies and applications are becoming increasingly widespread and obscure, the field of contemporary art is the place for addressing, commenting and transcending these issues.

Estelle Blaschke is a historian of photography working in the intersection between art and media history, the history of science and cultural history. She holds an interim professorship in media studies at the University of Basel and teaches at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. She is a member of the editorial committee of the journal Transbordeur. Photographie. Histoire. Société; the author of Banking on Images (Spector Books, 2016); and a part of several artistic research projects, including Image Capital, with Armin Linke.

Watch on Vimeo on Demand

©  Evan Roth, Since You Were Born at MOCA, 2019


Topics covered in class:

I. Books/Articles/Magazines

Edo Collins, Radhakrishna Achanta and Sabine Süsstrun – Deep feature factorization for concept discovery, European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV, 2018).
Vannevar Bush – As we may think (Life Magazine, Vol. 19, 1945).
Jacques Samain – Filmorex: une nouvelle technique de classement et de sélection des documents et des informations (1952).
Paul Valéry – The Conquest of Ubiquity (1928).

II. Artists

Géraldine Juarez
Evan Roth
Trevor Paglen
Ryan Trecartin
Jakob Kudsk Steensen
Melanie Bonajo

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