Skip to main content

Ways Of Seeing Algorithmically: John Berger Reloaded
Lewis Bush

Ways of Seeing Algorithmically

Ways of Seeing AlgorithmicallyWays Of Seeing Algorithmically: John Berger Reloaded
Lewis Bush
Éditions Trocadéro


80 Pages
210 x 260 mm
ISBN 9791094965177


In 1972 a small book changed the way the public thought about visual culture. Ways of Seeing made ideas from fields like structuralism, feminism and Marxism widely accessible, and in the process changed popular discourse about art.

However, since it’s publication a paradigmatic shift in seeing has occurred, and this is that humans no longer hold a monopoly on interpreting, understanding and acting on what they see. When Berger wrote his book the field of computer vision was in its infancy, but today this technology is increasingly advanced and is rapidly advancing into ever more areas of our lives. Ways of Seeing Algorithmically uses Berger’s book as he intended, as a starting point for a process of questioning what those changes mean.

At the core of the project is an augmented reality application. When combined with a copy of the original Ways of Seeing book, this app uses computer vision to bring into being a new virtual text, which exists digitally between the pages of Berger’s original book. The aim of this new text is to draw into focus a new narrative about the relationship between technology, culture, vision and power, which builds on some of Berger’s original thinking, while also at times diverging from it.

From this central element, other sub-projects radiate off like spokes from the hub of a wheel. These include video pieces, long form writing, generative visual systems, expert interviews and other approaches, each designed to examine different facets of this enormous and complex subject. Begun in 2009 under the auspices of the BMW residency at Gobelins, Ecole de l’image, Paris, Ways of Seeing Algorithmically now runs in parallel with my ESRC funded PhD research into the implications of computer vision and artificial systems for visual journalism and democracy

About the Artist
Lewis Bush studied at the University of Warwick, worked as a consultant researcher for the United Nations HIV/AIDS taskforce, and then started to develop his own projects from 2012 onwards. His work looks for ways to  visualise powerful agents, practices and technologies, and the links that connect them. He does this via a variety of media and platforms – using photography, text, video, data visualisation, exhibitions, books, films, and apps. Bush’s body of work is prolific he has exhibited, published, and taught internationally.

About the Publisher
Published as an outcome of the BMW Residency 2020 by éditions Trocadéro.

Leave a Reply