Pete Ashton

During 2016 I researched and developed a new body of work drawing on the ideas of media theorist Vilém Flusser who, in his 1983 book Towards a Philosophy of Photography, proposes that the systems that comprise the camera are more important than the intention of the user in the making of a photograph, regardless of their artistic skill. These systems go beyond the design of the box into the economic, industrial and political decisions that make our cameras the way they are. If, or indeed when, those systems change, then our photography changes. My work investigated the ideas of other artists including Swiss painter Alfons Schilling (who died in 2013), who explored augmented viewing devices, and conceptual artist Brian Duffy’s experiments with the “hidden potential” of devices through hacking them or in his case circuit bending.

The work evolved throughout the year, facilitated by a number of international workshops and a residency in Linz During November 2016, in collaboration with A3 Projects.