For this year’s Summer Open, Aperture’s annual open-call exhibition, we asked photographers to consider the ways in which our current reality might echo outlandish narratives of science fiction. The title Black Mirror is borrowed from the 2011 British television series of the same name, which imagines a dystopian near future—a Twilight Zone for the age of the smartphone.
Photographs have been described as mirrors throughout the medium’s history. The twenty-four projects here—culled from more than five hundred entries, and representing diverse subjects and photographic approaches—reflect aspects particular to our current moment. Their concerns run the gamut, from how technology increasingly permeates daily life, such as in series that reference big data, Bitcoin, and WikiLeaks; to projects on the opposite end of the spectrum, about off-the-grid communities that have rejected contemporary life. Other submissions engage the misused landscape, utopian architecture, real-estate development, capitalism and magic, cultural dislocation, and the vocabularies of science and science fiction. Some works invoke a more ambiguous feeling of unease.
As today becomes tomorrow and photography increasingly surrounds us, perhaps this medium provides our best gauge of where we are headed.
—Michael Famighetti, editor of Aperture magazine
Farah Al Qasimi / Fabrizio Albertini / Emmanuelle Andrianjafy / Tine Bek / Arnau Blanch / Anaïs Boileau / Philippe Braquenier / Antoine Bruy / Felix R. Cid / Benjamin Freedman / Yaeli Gabriely / Alexander Gehring / Aras Gökten / Jeremy Haik / Balarama Heller / Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt / Vivienne Luo Wang / Jim Mangan / Sarah Meyohas / Dylan Nelson / Brandon Nichols /
Eva O’Leary / Martine Stig / Monika Sziladi
Aperture’s exhibitions are funded in part by an award from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Charina Endowment Fund.