Lewis Bush Biography
The short version:
I work across media and platforms to visualise powerful agents, technologies, and practices, and the links that connect them. I have exhibited, published, and taught internationally.
The long version:
In my work I look for ways to visualise powerful agents, technologies, and practices, and the links that connect them. To do this I employ a range of research strategies, from depth interviewing to open source investigation, and work across media and platforms, using photography, text, video, data visualisation, exhibitions, books, films, and apps.
In The Memory of History (2012) I travelled through ten European countries documenting the way the past was being politically manipulated in the context of the Euro and sovereign debt crisis that resulted from the 2008 financial crisis. In War Primer 3 (2013) I appropriated an appropriative work of photographic art to critique the method of its production and the hypocrisy of an art world which claims to be politically progressive while benefiting from inequalities.
For Metropole (2015) I investigated the transformation of London at the hands of unaccoutable developers and property speculators. In Shadows of the State (2018), I examined the secret communications used by intelligence agencies, creating images from intercepted signals and uncovering a previously unknown geography of covert radio broadcast sites. More recently I published Depravity’s Rainbow (2023) which investigates the connections between early space travel, colonialism and the Holocaust, and the impact of that history on present day efforts to explore space.
I am currently developing two new projects, Trading Zones, which examines the links between offshore financial centres and ‘legitimate’ onshore centres, and Ways of Seeing Algorithmically, an update to John Bergers 1972 book Ways of Seeing, using algorithmic procedures to produce a critical commentary on machine seeing and decision making.
My work has been nominated and shortlisted for prizes including the C/O Berlin Talent Award 2021, The FOAM Paul Huff award 2021 and 2020, the Kassel book dummy award 2019, Tim Hetherington Visionary Award 2018 and 2017, the Luma Rencontres d’Arles Dummy Book Award 2018, 2016 and 2015, the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Award 2017, the Self-Publish Riga Award 2016, the Photo Espana Book Award 2016, and the Bar Tur Photobook Award 2015 and 2014. For a full list of awards see here.
My books and prints are held in institutional and private collections including at The Museum of London (UK), The Victoria & Albert Museum Library (UK), The Tate Group (UK), The National Media Museum (UK), The Imperial War Museum (UK), Foundation Memorial de la Shoah (France), Centre National des Arts Plastiques (France), The Deutsches Museum (Germany) The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (USA), Yale University (USA), Art Institute of Chicago (USA), The Library of Congress (USA) and Yad Vashem (Israel).
My projects often incorporate extensive texts and I have also written about photography for a wide range of national and international print and web titles. Between 2012 and 2022 I published Disphotic, a blog on photography and visual culture. For more on my writing see here. I have also curated several exhibitions including It’s Gonna be Great (2017), Images of Power (2016), Very Now (2016), Incomplete Images (2016), Magna Errata (2015), and Media & Myth (2015). You can read more on my curatorial projects see and for a full list of exhibitions of my work see here.
As an educator I was course leader of the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online/part-time) course at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London for three years before standing down in 2022 to focus on my own work. I have been a visiting speaker at numerous other institutions including the Universities of South Wales, Westminster, Coventry, and Falmouth, the Royal Academy of Arts, Netherlands, Ecole nationale superieure Louis-Lumiere, France, Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerpen, Belgium, and the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland. You can read more about my teaching here and for a list of my talks and workshop see here.
I am currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, department of Media and Communications (supervised Dr Dylan Mulvin and Professor Lilie Chouliaraki) where I am researching the implications of computer vision and machine intelligence on photojournalism, and consequently on democracy, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council grant. You can read more about this research here.