Venice Grand Canal is an algorithmic photograph by Alex May, created in February 2018 during his visit to Venice, Italy. This five minute exposure captures the lights from the buildings and other boats along the Grand Canal at dusk as experienced from a vaporetto.
Alex May's Algorithmic Photographs form an urgent exploration of the ways in which our perceptions of the world are increasingly affected by the algorithms that attempt to control our consumption of the photographic image. His time-based single frame still images fuse light, code and time in a complex creative system that brings together historic pinhole camera techniques with cutting edge algorithmic software.
May uses digital cameras and computer code to create composite images from thousands of frames of video, capturing the world in motion in a single frame. Taking inspiration from traditional chemical photography, May replaces the pinhole camera with a viewfinder-less GoPro and photographic film with an algorithm, watching the image develop in his ‘dark room’ software.
He travels around the world to exhibit his work, give lectures, and run workshops, so the genesis of the idea was to create an art form that could be done on the road with a minimum of equipment in tow.