Research project, ECAL 2017


Augmented Photography

Photography has contributed, throughout its history, to building up a framework of knowledge based on an ability to demonstrate visibly, and therefore objectively, the reality of things. The widespread nature of digital imagery – images that have been created, processed, disseminated or stored as digital data – has led us to review critically the precision of our gaze. In the past, photographic images were deemed to be trustworthy and irrefutable documents. They have now become malleable and plausible data that we instantly assimilate into our visual habits. Since the 1990s, this development has given rise to considerable discussion about the nature of photographic realism, and a questioning of entire areas of activity. The digital creation of images has been accompanied by their manipulation in ways that are similar to painting, sculpture and, more analytically, the computer sciences. In this respect, Web 2.0, by facilitating in the circulation of ideas, things and persons at unprecedented speed, has further accelerated a process that began with the advent of the Internet.

This research project allowed us to experiment with new practices and analyse the positions adopted by influential actors, such as photographers, critics and curators.

It offered participants conceptual and practical tools to allow them to position themselves in hyper-connected environments.

In the absence of any master’s degrees in photography in Switzerland, this research helps provide a robust theoretical framework and a way of keeping abreast of the shifting nature of the discipline.

Book : Augmented Photography, edited by Milo Keller, Joël Vacheron and Maxime Guyon, ECAL, Renens, 2017

ISBN : 978-2-9701157-4-8


Main applicant
Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
Milo Keller (project leader)
Maxime Guyon (senior researcher)
Joël Vacheron (research assistant)
Visiting lecturers: Ann-Christin Bertrand, Estelle Blaschke, Rachel de Joode, Marco De Mutiis, Anne de Vries, Christophe Gaillard, Claus Gunti, Joe Hamilton, Kim Knoppers, Nicolas Nova, Harm Van Den Dorpel

October 2016 – October 2017

Project funded by the HES-SO (University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Exhibition, ELAC, October 2017

© ECAL / Nicolas Polli

Book, October 2017

© ECAL / Nicolas Polli