Two men visit the Photography and the Performative exhibition at the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

Photography Falls Apart

Panel discussions on photography
Thursday 18 April, 2024: The next panel in a series that explores photography and discusses how it challenges questions of truth and representation.

Panel #3: The Machine Eye
6pm Thursday 18 April 2023

Julie Cairney
Peter Tuthill
Eleanor Zeichner

Moderated by Mark Ledbury

Since its inception in the mid-1800s, photography has been a disruptor technology, challenging, and reconfiguring our understanding of how we represent ourselves and our communities. Viewed through a performative lens, this series will explore photography in its vernacular and art forms and discuss how it challenges questions of truth and representation, while moving rapidly into the shadow of Artificial Intelligence, with its deep fakes and machine learning.

More information

Professor Julie Cairney is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Enterprise) at the University of Sydney, where she supports strategies to enhance industry collaboration, improve research commercialisation and increase the impact of the University’s research through partnership with industry, government and the community. A Professor of Materials Engineering, she is also a leading researcher specialising in using advanced microscopy to study the three-dimensional structure of materials at the atomic scale.

From 2016-2022 she was the CEO of Microscopy Australia, a national infrastructure facility that provides open-access microscopy platforms and expertise across Australia. During that time she oversaw the creation of “Stories and Structures” an art exhibition that celebrates the rich visual parallels between the representations seen in many Indigenous artworks and the microscopic structures hidden in the natural world, revealing unexpected and intriguing similarities.

Professor Peter Tuthill is an expert in astrophysical imaging; studying stars and their immediate environments with unprecedented resolution. After obtaining undergraduate degrees in physics at University of Queensland and the Australian National University, Peter moved to Cambridge University graduating with a PhD in 1995. For the next 5 years, he worked as a Research Astronomer at the University of California in Berkeley in a research group led by Nobel Laureate, Professor Charles Townes. Peter returned to Australia with the millenium, holding a number of Australian Research Council fellowships up to his present appointment as a Future Fellow. Peter works at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy - one of the largest astrophysics groups in the country - serving as director from 2010-2015.

Eleanor Zeichner (she/her) is the Assistant Curator at UTS Gallery, and curator of the Gallery’s current exhibition Image, Interrupted, on view until April 12. Recent curatorial projects include 'Forensic Architecture: Cloud Studies' (2020) and 'After Technology' (2019), both with Stella Rosa McDonald. She has written for 'un magazine', 'Artlink', 'Art & Australia' and 'Vault', and is a former editor of 'Runway Australian Experimental Art'.

This series has been organised in association with Photography Cultures at the University of Sydney and The Power Institute.

Header Image: 'Photography and the Performative', installation view, Chau Chak Wing Museum. Image by Stefanie Zingsheim.