Sentient Photography: Image-Production and the Smartphone Camera

Doron Altaratz, Paul Frosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thanks to the smartphone, photography has become pervasive in contemporary digital culture. Yet the smartphone’s very ‘smartness’ profoundly alters the relations of control between humans and technologies in image-production practices. Unlike dedicated cameras, smartphones use built-in sensors for small-scale positioning to ‘sense’ user’s bodily orientations and states of motion. Combined with photographic applications, this ‘sentience’ enables devices to direct user actions and to require user compliance in order to create an image. In this paper, we analyze image-production in three smartphone applications to chart a continuum between two techno-cultural poles. At one pole smartphone photography accommodates a range of human-technological interactions, including the development of new forms of play and experimentation. At the opposite pole, it executes algorithmically-choreographed sentient photography in which ultimate decisions are made by context-aware learning software, radically reconfiguring the distribution of agency between humans and technologies. The development of sentient photography, we conclude, represents the integration of the photographer’s body itself into platform control of image-production.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)243-264
Number of pages22
JournalPhotographies
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sentient Photography: Image-Production and the Smartphone Camera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this