Exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery presents the work of 11 contemporary artists and groups who questions how technology changed our relationship to images through the digital landscape.
By taking Donald Trump's quote 'All I Know is What's On The Internet' as the title of the show the curator Katrina Sluis, Sam Mercer and Karen McQuaid points out the ever increasing digital knowledge that humanity shares on the Internet. This knowledge which once was curated by humans can no more rely on simply human labour. Boundaries between truth and fiction, machine and human are increasingly called into question, and while the Internet has become a source of knowledge, it also increasingly knows about its users.
The exhibition focuses on the human labour that's behind the content management. The content which is increases by 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day on average. In 2000 there was only over 400 millions internet users accounting 6.8% of the World population which increased to 3.4 billion and around 46% by 2016. With the spread of the Internet and the so called 'democratisation of information' governments and tech companies had created massive technical infrastructures that sustain the web's 24/7 content feed. Behind this infrastructure there are content moderators, 'cleaners', programmers, scanners, street view photographers and everyday users who work to help automate the flow of online content.
As the curators explain traditionally photography played a central role in documenting the world, helping us to understand ourselves and each other. The age of social media however challenged us to process millions of images at the same speed. Today, visual knowledge and authenticity are increasingly linked to the 'like' and 'share' economy, subject to the actions of bots, crowd-sourced workers and AI machines.
'All I Know Is What's On the Internet' is a powerful and provoking exhibition that makes the viewer think about Internet and the power of information and images in our age. All we can say is that it's wort visiting The Photographer's Gallery before this show ends on the 24th of February 2019.
Participating Artists: Mari Bastashevski, Constant Dullaart, IOCOSE, Stephanie Kneissl & Max Lackner, Eva & Franco Mattes, Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg, Winnie Soon, Emilio Vavarella, Stéphane Degoutin & Gwenola Wagon, Andrew Norman Wilson, Miao Ying
Text by: Marton Schneider