Our world is shaped by images. The photographic is everywhere: pictures help us to make sense of the world and better understand social developments, economic processes and political events. They tell stories – both true and invented – and store our memories, while also catering to our practices of (self-)presentation and (self-)marketing. But what traces does the process of producing, sharing and viewing images leave behind and what influence do these pictures have, not only on people’s perception and self-image but also on their system of values and consumer behaviour?
Fotomuseum Winterthur’s From Print to Pixel is a new format in the realm of image and media competence. In its online modality, the project not only provides a lively digital platform, complete with teaching materials packaged as information for teachers, interactive worksheets and videos for school classes, but also publishes articles on current issues. Its offline component is hosted at the museum and consists of public events and workshops – the latter can also be taken directly into the classroom.
My Networked Images
The unit My Networked Images tackles the production, distribution and consumption of images that circulate online on a daily basis, and is dedicated to questions of (self-)presentation, amongst others. A thematic discussion takes place based on articles, events and workshops as well as teaching materials for school classes, with the goal to promote the participants’ image and media competence.
I. My Networked Images
Beauty Filters – When Beauty Is Standardised
It just takes a few clicks and you can fundamentally change your appearance on social media and elsewhere – using beauty filters. While, in the past, you had to hire a professional to improve the way you look in a photograph using complicated photo-editing software, today all you need is an app on your smartphone or a program on the internet. The filters that are used are geared to very strict patterns – bigger eyes, smaller nose, smooth complexion. Does this produce standardised ideals of beauty? And what does it have to do with privacy?
I. My Networked Images
Facial Recognition – Technology between Support and Suppression
Why is a picture of a face scanned by a machine and what is this then used for? How safe is this technology in terms of data transfer and identity theft? Facial recognition is a procedure that can help in the solving and prevention of crime. It can verify the identity of people in order to give them access to sensitive data and secured areas. Yet it can also be used in forms of surveillance that restrict human freedom of movement and action. An overview of the opportunities presented by digital facial recognition and the dangers that go with it.