Memes and GIFs, selfies and Instagram filters, algorithms and neural networks, screenshots and drone images, networked feminism and online activism, content moderators, influencers and attention economies: In recent decades, the networked digital image has spawned new visual forms and cultural practices at a phenomenal speed – with unprecedented social and political ramifications. The SITUATIONS format has tracked and analysed these photographic developments over a period of five years. The projects Photographic Flux and From Print to Pixel have continued the discussion of the subject through educational programmes offered at the museum and in schools.
Even after the conclusion of SITUATIONS in 2021, the rigorous examination of contemporary digital image practices will remain an important institutional focus: not only will it be more clearly integrated into the overall programme, but further intensified through the launch of [permanent beta] in 2022 – an experimental laboratory at the crossroad of theory, practice, research and experimentation. This laboratory will keep abreast of all recent developments and trends, while maintaining an interdisciplinary focus and linking and experimenting with artistic, curatorial and educational formats in the post-digital environment.
Numbered consecutively, a SITUATION maybe lasted a few hours, or two months, and might be photographic imagery, a film, a text, an online interview, a screenshot, a photo-book presentation, a projection, a Skype lecture, a performance etc. It maybe took place in Winterthur or perhaps in São Paulo or Berlin and was streamed on our website. The idea was to construct a constantly growing archive of SITUATIONS, reframing the idea of exhibition in relation to new technologies and both our local and global audiences.