Lewis Bush Biography
The short version:
I research, write and create images which visualise forms of contemporary power 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.
For example in Metropole I investigated the transformation of London at the hands of unaccountable developers and property speculators. In Shadows of the State, 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 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 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. Critically, I see all of these projects as small chapters in a much larger interconnected archive of power which I am slowly building, and which demonstrates the inter-reliance of different forms of power on each other.
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 work has been nominated and shortlisted for lots of things but I recently decided that I don’t really care about awards so I’ve removed them from my bio. If you really want to see them they are 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.