I feel like in times of these kind of seismic shifts, we tend to over-estimate the future and romanticize the past.
I never thought so much of this “bearing witness “-stuff: war and conflict-photography has been fucked up for quite a while now, the systems of control are pretty much everywhere in place and we did not need AI to do that, thank you very much: proof for the weapons of mass destruction were doctored and the actual truthy pictures of Abu Ghraib did not cause much of a ripple in the miltary-industrial complex, except for Lynndie England… war will still be beautiful, as David Shields pointed out, https://www.davidshields.com/books/war-is-beautiful
and that a non-white Napalm girl could have moved the heart of America enough to end a war is an ongoing myth we tell ourselves in order not to lose faith in our cameras:
And has the heart of photography not been hollow for a long time before the advent of AI?! Does it really make such a big difference when the third hand of a model on a magazine is an actual woman’s hand photoshopped in or if this model does not even exist in the first place? What’s staring at me from the newsstand never felt real: the commodity is an imaginary thing and the photo is only a complicit part in its construction. If a photo in a catalog is from an actual sneaker or just a stitched together Frankenstein-shoe does not rob me of my sleep. Like with all kinds of automations: this was mindless, boring, repetitive work for a soulless landlord\corporation- yes, it brought food on the table but it never exactly was the kind of work that advances mankind- it only sells more shoes.
We derive our self esteem as photographers from the two percent images worth looking at and often tend to forget that the other 98% are used for manufacturing consent and selling stuff. I can’t find tears in me if AI is rampaging through these 98%…