Photographers and/or lens-based artists working together with a philosopher on a specific topic to create a project

Working with a philosopher Roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work! In this section of the Lab, we are aiming at having lens-based artists set on board with a philosopher and working together on a specific topic. The purpose is for artists to empower their thinking tools and the way they structure their ideas and on the other hand, for a philosopher to have a hands-on experience of the artistic practice, in order to potentially use that for their research. Make note that although the project is mainly designed for artists to learn and expand their thinking methodology, it is also focused on the enrichment of the creative process with the aim of producing a body of work inspired from their encounter with a philosopher.

How it works

It works upon commission by a cultural or educational organization but may also be organized  by the PHLSPH Lab. When initiated by the Lab, the group of participating artists is small (6-8) and they are either invited or selected following an open call. The goal is to have a close collaboration between the philosopher and the artists to ensure a personalized experience and an effective method of exchanging views and discussing images.

This year the topic is
On the Scales of the Photographic [Commissioned workshop by the MA of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK)]

Diverse operations of scale shape the contemporary visual milieu and significantly impact our visual and intellectual practices. What this means and why it is important can be understood by looking at the contemporary situation of photography. To make, look at or use a photographic image today is to be confronted by unavoidable operations of scale that span geo-political, phenomenological, machinic and aesthetic realms.

Think, for instance, of the sheer scale of photography today and the tension it creates between, on the one hand, billions of banal images destined to remain effectively invisible and, on the other hand, the commercial and political interests governing the circulation of images and their openness to novel forms of surveillance.

As material objects, photographs have always taken on variously scaled phenomenological values (whether hand-held polaroids, large-scale art prints or building sized projections) and have done so while simultaneously de- and re-scaling the things they depict. Photographic images are made and reproduced using the calibrated processes of scaling embedded in different formats of camera and forms of software (controlling manipulation of aperture, focus, depth of field and tonal intensity for example). At a fundamental level, such scaling operations combine to afford photographs their representational effects (establishing tonal and colour relations on a flat surface to give the sense of a rounded and substantial world).

Even on the basis of this short list, it is obvious that different and interrelated operations of scale are integral to the photographic image, to its circulation in wider contexts and to what these processes tell us about the worlds we live in.

If the contemporary visual milieu is suffused with such scalar processes, we ask, might exploring this fact discursively, critically and theoretically help us in developing our engagements with the problems and possibilities of the visual image today?

Andrew Fisher

The Philosopher

PHLSPH has invited
Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher


Dr. Andrew Fisher is Research Fellow in the Department of Photography at FAMU (the Photography Department of the Academy of Arts, Prague) and founding editor of the journal Philosophy of Photography (2010-present). Andrew’s recent research has centered on the significance of various discourses and phenomenon of scale for our understanding of photography. This has resulted in a series of publications including: “Living With the Excessive Scale of Contemporary Photography” (in Photography Off the Scale, (2021) Tomáš Dvořák & Jussi Parikka (eds.), Edinburgh University Press; “Der fotografische Maßstab”, (in Ästhetik der Skalierung, Sonderheft 18, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (2020), Carlos Spoerhase, Steffen Siegel & Nikolaus Wegmann (eds.), Hamburg, Felix Meiner Verlag); and “Three Scale Models for a Photographic World: Benjamin, constellation, image and scale”, in Philosophy of Photography, Vol. 11, No. 1&2, 2021.


To visit Philosophy of Photography press here.

And here is Andrew Fisher on YouTube.


This is a video created in less than a day by the participating artists of the MA of KABK. It presents the ‘creative reaction’ of every participant to the theory, discussions, open questions and various visual strategies which were offered during the seminar. The goal of the thematic seminar was to instigate critical thinking on the theme and then for the participating artists to contribute in any form they wanted – from notes to printed works to just a quote that might have inspired them. What was at stake was being engaged in the process and not the production of a final work; to make this more clear to the viewer the artists were asked to compliment their work/work-in-progress with a question, a quote or a title to show the link which inspired them.



Documentary Photographer, Visual Storyteller






Visual Storyteller




Visual Artist


Visual Artist


Visual Journalist


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Connections made by me

Respectively it is targeted to philosophers and researchers, who are interested in conversing with artists, sharing knowledge and also learning from their artistic practice.It is a lab where visual artists mostly work with philosophers and not exclusively on philosophy. In that respect philosophical texts and wider topics may be in our areas of interest more as a means to explore seeing and thinking rather than the end on which we focus to extract information. It is lab which also aims at creating through experimentation and transfigurations of artefacts material which may raise philosophical questions and discussion.