smart as photography

be an artist today – International and interdisciplinary conference and exhibition on smartphone photography

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It is hard to imagine life without smartphones. We use them everywhere, on plazas and in public buildings, in museums, cinemas and even our bedrooms. Every minute, smartphones are used to create billions of new photos – images that not only depict the world around us, but also ourselves. The digital world mirrors reality and reality mirrors the digital world. Not only are smartphones fundamentally changing our social interaction with each other, but also the visual aesthetics of the digital age.
The project “Smart as Photography” has examined the still unresolved relationship between the digital and the physical realm. The project began with a public conference which has addressed modern smartphone photography and its impact on our image of the world in relation to the history of photography. The conference has been accompanied by an exhibition featuring participating scholars and artists. The exhibition was both a stand-alone event and a preparatory frame for the conference.
“Smart as Photography” has been organised by the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum and the Contemporary Photography Biennale in Mannheim. The accompanying participative project, developed in cooperation with Rosa Roth, aimed to encourage young people to use smartphones for artistic purposes. The conference had been broadcast live via Internet and made accessible on the Biennale website.

Artistic director: Thomas Schirmböck

Artists / researchers: Douglas Busch, David Campany (GB), Forensic Architecture (GB), Dieter M. Gräf, Katrin Koenning (AU), Simon Menner, Rosa Roth, Anastasia Samoylova (RU), Joachim Schmid und Alistair Taylor-Young (GB).


  • 28 February, 2019 to 2 March, 2019: Conference

    Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim

  • 3 February, 2019 to 3 March, 2019: Exhibition

    Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Zephyr, Mannheim



Museum Weltkulturen D5
68159 Mannheim (external link, opens in a new window)

ZEPHYR | Raum für Fotografie

C 4.9
68159 Mannheim (external link, opens in a new window)