Over the last decade, the Gallery’s Media Wall has hosted over ten thousand Geocities pages, a cascade of lolcats, multi-layered insta-food porn, synthetic portraiture, Lady Gaga’s little monsters, machine vision datasets and specially commissioned PowerPoint presentations. It has polluted the Gallery with the image exhaust of the contemporary web and supported a new generation of artists responding to photography’s new life on-line and on-screen.
Against all odds, the Media Wall has outlived other technological innovations during this period, from Google Glass to Vine. Installed as part of the expansion and re-furnishment of the Gallery in 2012, the Media Wall was conceived as a dedicated platform for the Digital Programme. However, all good things must come to an end, and in 2022 the Gallery will bid the Media Wall farewell, while the Digital Programme will continue expanding its physical and online presence beyond the screen.
As the Media Wall gasps its last pixelated breaths, selected works from its 10 years of life will flash across its screen over 6 weeks from 11th January – 23rd February 2022. Collectively these projects explore themes of identity, representation and commodification from the aftermath of Web 2.0 to an AI spring. Organised around three volumes, the programme bears witness to photography’s shifting role in an increasingly automated and algorithmic visual culture.