The main source of inspiration for my artistic and theoretical practices are the creators and scholars, who try to overstep the boundaries of their own field. I am following the articles written in a way that does not put the human in the centre of the research, and are interesting constructs by themselves. For the last few years I’ve been fascinated by James Gibson's concept of affordaces, Richard Schechner’s idea of performativity, as well as thoughts connected to the posthumanity (Bruno Latour, Rosi Braidotti, Donna Haraway). The studies of William John Thomas Mitchell and Hito Steyerl were also really inspirational to my art, in helping me analyse in this new and creative way.
In my artistic practice I mainly focus on post-photography, which in my opinion in the last several years has become one of the main ways of expression, not only of an artistic kind. It is connected to the changes happening because of the technological development, but also humanistic thought of ontology, which often asks about the ways of perceiving reality. With the regard to those thoughts, I am conducting my own theoretical/artistic research in which in try to show the evolution of images.
The project aims to translate the idea of post-humanism into the world of image. What would the images be, if they were released from the standard categories that humans put them in? What would the machine-made post-photography images look like? What is behind the digital image? Do images dream of seeing? How do images use people? What does the image do when no one is looking? Finally, following the thought of W.J.T. Mitchell, what do the images want? The research method will be concerned with the phenomenon of error – not only as an aesthetic category, but also as: the intuitive pursuit of connections between the theory and the experiment, an implementation of an intentional mistake in the empirical processes and the disruption of the deciding role of a human in the existence of a photographic image.
The main rules of my post-photographic practice would be:
- Fight with image pollution - there are too many pictures, so don't produce the new ones
- Being a photographer is not enough. You need to be an artist, curator, collector and sometimes and educator
- Many images are lonely, you can easily adopt them (smart people call it "appropriation). Found images are new the ready-mades
- Post-photography can't live without new technologies. Google view, CCTV, social media, Photoshop, 3D programs, scanners - they are the new cameras.
- Use knowledge about images. As you know, a picture is not only an image, it has also a material side of it.
During my research in post-photography I realized how important for me an experience of a singular image is. As a member of audience, I am submitted to the constant blitz of images. I feel that I need to be decisive. Internet, mass media, advertising, they all contribute to the number of images being sent towards us every single day. This is why I started to think more about meditative and contemplative values of an image. The result of this conclusion was a reason for creating ONE Project (www.one-project.uk) which is kind of “work in progress field” for testing my ideas with the artists, artworks and “audience”. Part of this project was shown during the Sharing Borders Exhibition in the Slade Research Centre (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0t5CZ00ZAY, https://vimeo.com/297904001).
“Today is such a time, when the project of interpretation is largely reactionary, stifling. Like the fumes of the automobile and of heavy industry which befoul the urban atmosphere, the effusion of interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities. In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capability, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.
Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world - in order to set up a shadow world of 'meanings.' It is to turn the world into this world.
The world, our world, is depleted, impoverished enough. Away with all duplicates of it, until we again experience more immediately what we have.”
― Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays
Fragment of my master’s thesis in English:
https://issuu.com/uap_photo/docs/como_08_web, p. 6-17
Member of 280A Artists Collective: www.280a.org
Magdelena Zoledz is a visiting research student (Erasmus+)