Fotograf Magazine

#41 postdigital photography

Few theorists of photography have a complex vision of the whole world of photography and the need not to confine this medium in discrete bubbles or groups of supporters. Filip Láb was one of these. He took part in debates during the preparation of issues of the magazine; he belonged to the editorial board. Filip left this world prematurely. His exceptional capacity to span photojournalism and to reflect on contemporary art was unique, and it is precisely this type of understanding and openness that helps to merge bubbles instead of reinforcing our confinement in them. We will all miss it.

The intention of this issue is to develop the legacy of Filip Láb and his latest book of the same name, Postdigital Photography. Filip’s contributions consisted both in an interest in the medium of photography and the technological aspects of its further development, as well as in observing the media world and uncovering the manipulations that photography can facilitate in a way that is even dangerously brilliant. We will start on post-digital photography with the first digitally edited image in the world, John Knoll’s depiction of his girlfriend Jennifer in Tahiti. Artist Constant Dullaart dedicated an entire project to Jennifer using Photoshop filters with the ability to comment on both the recent past and ask questions about the future development of image making. Another paradigmatic example that Filip would rave with enthusiasm about is the case of photojournalist Jonas Bendiksen, whose book full of post-produced films is written about by Adam Mazur. What is postdigital photography? In this issue, it is a spectrum of approaches, contexts, and technological aspects. From DeepFace and use of artificial intelligence for automatic image retrieval, through the (un)hidden carbon footprint of data, fake news and the notion of post-truth, to manipulation through post-production, to artistic approaches from home-office desktop documents or wild post-internet aesthetics or lapidary mixing of photos into liquid mucus. A rich selection.

Markéta Kinterová, editor-in-chief