The Augmented Photography Research Project is part of the MA in Photography at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (www.ecal.ch) with the support of the HES-SO, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (www.hes-so.ch).


The popularity of smartphones and craze for social networks have brought photographic images to the forefront of turbulent globalised information flows. Ranging from advertising to our most personal communication, and going through artistic productions or video games, these images permeate every context and can be found in every format. When these images are converted into bits and pixels, they become clues to increasingly diverse messages and ever more fanciful and complex languages. Augmented Photography is a creative research project examining recent changes in photography that aims to explore creative approaches which have emerged with the digitisation of photographic procedures.

Over recent years, the standards required to become a professional photographer have become increasingly complex. It is no longer sufficient to master production and diffusion tools because, if photographers are to leave a trace, they need to be able discuss their use of this medium in an informed manner. This research should enable participants to explore this area in greater depth and give them the tools they need to position themselves in hyper-connected environments.


The bulk of the research programme, directed by Milo Keller with the participation of Joël Vacheron and Maxime Guyon, will be carried out during the 2016-2017 academic year. It will then be completed in a variety of different ways through the teaching delivered on the Master’s degree programme.

We shall pay particular attention to ways of producing, modifying, diffusing, and teaching the codes for this “malleable” environment. Generally speaking, the Augmented Photography research project explores the status of the photograph and its production in a post-photographic era (W. J. Mitchell) by examining questions such as:

  • How should the nature and status of digital photographic production be determined?
  • How should contemporary photographic practices and related discourses be demarcated?
  • How should one choose a career in photography between commercial commissions and artistic projects?
  • What media are used to disseminate and display photographic works?
  • Are we beginning to develop an "augmented vision” of reality?

A panel of around ten specialists (photographers, critics and curators) will be invited to contribute on these themes through discussions, essays, interviews and/lectures. The aim here is to offer a creative research format based on the students’ own visual works rather than predetermined frameworks for analysis. Ultimately, the aim of this research is to create a robust theoretical framework to be used in a postgraduate teaching programme.


Director of ECAL
Alexis Georgacopoulos

Head of Research & Development
Davide Fornari

Head of Photography
Milo Keller

Maxime Guyon
Joël Vacheron

Supported by

Design & programming
Frederik Mahler-Andersen

Sono AP by Simon Mager (Omnitype)

ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne
Avenue du Temple 5
1020 Renens