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Rethinking Photography in the 21st Century

Christopher Jones

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 375 6

    Size: 222 x 222 mm

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 128

    In association with:

    Date published: February, 2022

    UK £25 /US $35


  • Accompanies major exhibition at The Ringling Museum of Art from March 6 – August 28, 2022.
  • Explores the work of artists Mohsen Azar, Viktoria Binschtok, Mladen Bizumic, Joy Buolamwini, Ali Feser and Jason Lazarus, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Lilly Lulay, Trevor Paglen, and Penelope Umbrico.


What’s behind a picture? The term “metadata” is used to describe the information that travels with a digital image file but is unseen within the image itself. In our networked digital environment, metadata is accessed by both human users and artificial intelligences. Software algorithms orchestrate what images we see and exchange while collecting the valuable data generated by our interactions. In our moment, dominated by image-based social media and surveillance, we are becoming increasingly aware that understanding the information that circulates unseen around photographic images is just as important as seeing what they represent.

This fascinating, fully-illustrated publication explores new paradigms for understanding the ecology of the photographic image through the work of an international selection of contemporary artists and visual activists. This includes not just the tags or descriptors attached to image files, but the power relationships, biases, and economic interests that are not always visible in the image itself.

Author information

Christopher Jones is the Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL.