All I Know Is What’s On The Internet is a new exhibition from The Photographers’ Gallery that presents the work of 11 contemporary artists and groups seeking to map, visualise and question the cultural dynamics of 21st Century image culture. Importantly, it investigates the systems through which today’s photographic images multiply online and asks what new forms of value, knowledge, meaning and labour arise from this endless (re)circulation of content.
Traditionally, photography has played a central role in documenting the world and helping us understand our place within it. However, in a social media age, the problem of understanding an individual photograph is being overwhelmed by the industrial challenge of processing millions of images within a frantically accelerated timeframe. Visual knowledge and authenticity are now inextricably linked to a ‘like’ economy, subject to the (largely invisible) actions of bots, crowd-sourced workers, Western tech companies and ‘intelligent’ machines.
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The exhibition considers the changing status of photography, as well as the agency of the photographer and the role of the viewer within this new landscape. The artists involved draw attention to the neglected corners of image production, making visible the vast infrastructure of digital platforms and human labour required to support the endless churn of selfies, cat pics and memes. Certain works draw specifically on the experiences of content moderators, clickworkers and Google Street View photographers, and invite visitors to consider their own position in the image flow.
All I Know Is What’s On The Internet presents a radical exploration of photography when the boundaries between truth and fiction, machine and human are being increasingly called into question.
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