“Photography is endlessly linked to technology, it’s always moving forward with it. There are lots of ways you can reproduce a photograph, ways that are often forgotten about,” says Anthony Cairns, describing the technology behind his electronic ink images. Since realising he could freeze the display on his kindle book reader by disconnecting its power, Cairns has acquired over 500 second hand e-readers, mostly from eBay. By hacking into the e-readers he’s is able to upload his photographs, suspend them within the screen, and then remove the screen from the device’s casing. “I’m not a computer whizz kid hacker,” he says, “I just watched a lot of YouTube!” 45 of these screens are now on show at Tate Modern in Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, showing abstract images of global metropolises.
Tate Modern’s show Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art includes over 300 works by more than 100 artists, making it the first show of this scale to trace abstract art and photography’s parallel development. On show from 2 May to 15 October, the exhibition spans from early experiments of the 1900s to digital innovations of the present day, examining how photographers through the years have responded to the emerging field of abstract art. It places pioneering work such as Alvin Langdon Coburn’s Vortographs (1917) and Imogen Cunningham’s Triangles (1928) alongside iconic paintings and sculptures by the likes of George Braque and Jackson Pollock.
“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead an organisation I have admired for so many years,” says Shoair Mavlian of her new role, director of Photoworks. “I look forward to working with the team, developing partnerships and supporting artists at local, national and international levels to connect new audiences with photography.”