Computational Photography

In computational photography, camera and picture-taking are perceived as concepts that can be modified in do-it-yourself spirit and are therefore open to discussion, redefinition, and hacking. This artistic approach to the field differs from how the term is understood in the photographic industry where the focus is on features that serve typical photographic purposes.

The digital camera has become increasingly a tool for programming instead of merely recording images. Cameras are also equipped with sensors that retrieve location and position data thus giving rise to expanding the visual realm to location-aware, multisensory and embodied expression. It is still possible to just ‘take pictures’ but the means of visual expression go beyond what is commonly understood as photography.

The work of an artist takes place in close connection to the digital medium and algorithms that are usually not as well-controlled as conventional photographer’s tools, leaving plenty of room for playful and unexpected results. The partly artificial or manipulated nature of the resulting images is in many cases visible – a seemingly faithful representation of reality is abandoned and our aesthetic preconceptions are challenged. The Internet can be seen both as a giant repository of source images, and a platform for shared projects and shared code.

The Computational Photography programme is devised by guest curator Markku Nousiainen and in collaboration with Aalto University Media Factory. The advisory board for this programme section consists of Antti Huittinen, Jussi Ängeslevä and Miska Knapek.