Biography
21 December 2017

Biography

© Marin Avram
Photo: Marin Avram


The short version:

I work across media and platforms to visualise powerful agents, practices and technologies, and the links that connect them. I have exhibited, published, and taught internationally.

Awards   –   Exhibitions   –   Press   –   Talks


The long version:

Born in London, I studied at the University of Warwick, worked as a consultant researcher for the United Nations HIV/AIDS taskforce, and then started to develop my own research led photographic projects from 2012 onwards. In my work I look for ways to visualise powerful agents, practices and technologies, and the links that connect them. To do this I 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 economic crisis and recession. In War Primer 3 (2013) I appropriated an appropriative work of photographic art to critique the method of its production and the power relations of the art world. For Metropole (2015) I documented the transformation of London at the hands of aggressive 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 transmitters. Many of my projects have been published as books.

In terms of current projects, since 2017 I have been researching a book on the origins of space exploration and it’s links to the holocaust. In 2018 I spent six months as photographer in residence at the Société Jersiaise in the Bailiwick of Jersey, where I laid the groundwork for an ongoing project about the international finance industry, tentatively titled Trading Zones. And in 2019 I was BMW artist in residence at Gobelins – École de l’image, Paris, France, working on an augmented reality app about computer vision and artificial intelligence, titled Ways of Seeing Algorithmically.

As well as being recipient of both the Archisle and BMW residencies, my work has been nominated and shortlisted for prizes including 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 Library (UK), The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK), The British Library (UK), The Library of Congress (USA)  Franklin Furnace Archive (USA), Wende Museum (USA), Luma Foundation (FR), and the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DE).

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. Since 2011 I have 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). For more on my curatorial projects see here and for a full list of exhibitions of my work see here.

As an educator I am course leader of the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online/part-time) course at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. 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, Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerpen, Belgium, and the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland. For more on my teaching see here and for a list of my talks and workshop see here.

I am currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics Media and Communications department where I am researching the impact of digital automation and ‘artificial intelligence’ on visual journalism, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council grant. To read more about this research see here.