Kai Wasikowski- The Subjunctive Mood. 24 July - 3 August, 2021.
The Subjunctive Mood is a new body of work that continues Kai Wasikowski’s interest in the role of photography in conservation movements and National Park systems. To create this photographic series, Wasikowski travelled to China in 2019, visiting sites across Beijing, Xiamen and Wuyishan—a state-level nature reserve and UNESCO world heritage site in the Northern Fujian Province.
Each work in this series subtly integrates text and phrases generated by the Google Translate camera function, disrupting traditions of landscape photography and highlighting Wasikowski’s dependence on the app whilst abroad. By integrating machine-translation technology into the photographic process, Wasikowski’s photographs foreground his own foreign gaze and think about the immediate urge to understand and translate, asking—what happens when we pause and lean into the discomfort of not knowing? Whilst the text in these photographs appeared fleetingly, by chance and appear nonsensical, the words and phrases simultaneously speak to a large and mostly unseen market for augmented reality and machine deep learning and pose the question of who stands to benefit most from the globalising agenda of such technologies?