New exhibition explores AI’s influence on the future of photography

New exhibition explores AI’s influence on the future of photography

A new exhibition at RMIT Gallery explores photography’s transformation into a software output, featuring an interactive AI-image-generator.

The exhibition, execute_photography, is part of PHOTO 2024, Melbourne’s biennial International Festival of Photography. The festival runs until 24 March, with 100 free future-themed exhibitions at galleries and outdoor locations across Melbourne and Victoria.

Reframing photography as a kind of ‘program’ with a software output, execute_photography  features work by Australian and international artists speculating on future photography’s social and political ramifications.

Dr Alison Bennett, exhibition curator, artist and Associate Dean, Photography in the School of Art, explained that photography has already been through several deaths and rebirths.

“Recent examples include the transition from analogue film to digital media in the late 20th century, then the introduction of the internet connected smart phone from 2007,” they said.

“These changes fundamentally redefined what was possible and how photography was used.

"The AI tipping point is just another example of how photography is constantly being redefined.”

Bennett said the exhibition features works that explore how photography has transformed into a software output, cannibalising the camera and even transforming it into a set of executable text prompts.

“The works are interactive and playful, prompting us to gain an embodied experience of this emerging and evolving territory.”

A person sitting at a big console playing an AI image generator game As part of the exhibition, people are encouraged to test out an interactive AI-prompt-image-generator.

Other curators include Shane Hulbert, artist and Associate Professor in the School of Art, Daniel Palmer, Professor in the School of Art and Katrina Sluis, curator and Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at The Australian National University.

In total, RMIT is hosting four exhibitions as part of PHOTO 2024:


Date: Until 4 May 2024
Location: RMIT Gallery
Entry: Free
Exhibition Curators: Alison Bennett, Shane Hulbert, Daniel Palmer, Katrina Sluis
Read more.

Wanderings About History

Wanderings About History shows a selection of photographs taken between 1978 and 2019. While the observations captured here are rooted in Germany’s division and its mending, at the same time they always relate to universal phenomena of social change and its material manifestations.

Date: Until 20 April 2024
Location: RMIT Gallery
Entry: Free
Exhibition Curators: Matthias Flügge
Read more.

To See is to Change

Mumbai-based collaborative studio CAMP present To See is to Change, an exploration into how Surveillance and news media both shape and reveal how we live in the world today.

Date: Until 27 April 2024
Location: RMIT Design Hub Gallery
Entry: Free
Exhibition Curators: Helen Rayment
Read more.

A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion

In A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion, Liu Di envisions future worlds and investigates the potential of digital manipulation, departing from documentary photography without completely breaking into fiction.

Date: Until 24 March 2024
Location: Rodda Lane, RMIT University
Entry: Free
Exhibition Curators: PHOTO Australia, RMIT University
Read more.

Paula Toal, Head of Cultural and Public Engagement at RMIT, said RMIT is thrilled to partner with PHOTO 2024.

“This is the third time we have partnered with the festival and it’s exciting to see our participation grow each time,” Toal said.

“This year all of our gallery spaces are activated with some truly impactful new, contemporary and historical photographic works and collaborations.”

Read more about other exhibitions at PHOTO 2024.

Story: Thomas Odell


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