The opening seminar from a two week studio workshop with MA Graphic Media Design Students at London College of Communication. The workshop explored ways in which the automated production and dissemination of visual culture affected our social, technological and political lives:
Increasingly, the production of images relies on automated processes; from photoshop filters to deep fakes. The automation of visual culture brings with it several critical issues, most notably a ‘foreclosure of the future’ (McKim, 2017, 291) led by those with the power to render and disseminate the most convincing or powerful imagery the fastest. The prevalence of convincingly real automated images limits the power of popular imagination to imagine alternatives by saturating visual culture in a particular aesthetic and ideological predilection. This predilection is manufactured through the particular qualities of the tools used and who uses them.
Drawing on DiSalvo’s notion of using design to ‘foster knowledge through engagement’ (DiSavlo, 2009, 56) this workshop will use a mixture of critical media and design techniques to identify and locate the automation of visual culture and speculate on alternatives or ways that this hegemony may be challenged. Consequently, projects may take the form of investigative critical media pieces or present speculative designs as alternatives.