In 2021, AIM was preparing its online exhibition Air, river, sea, soil: a history of an exploited land curated by member Roï Saade. The exhibition featured photography work by six artists who each collaborated with two AIM Steering Committee members to create image descriptions (IDs) for their photographs and videos. When each group met individually, the image descriptions, unsurprisingly, went in several different directions and took on creative lives of their own.
The process, which we started in Winter 2022, took about four months of collaboration, where each group eventually adapted methodologies of their own through this dialogical process. We found that we couldn’t finish the image descriptions without thinking about how they would be presented in the final form, because this changed how they would be written. As such, the development and design of the exhibition was completed alongside the image descriptions, which we present alongside the artwork as a core element of the exhibit.
Since any description – not just ID – is political, the task of writing descriptions requires transparency about how those descriptions were written, by whom, under what conditions, and through what strategies. To be transparent and accountable for the IDs, each group reflect on their methodologies of creating IDs. On the exhibition’s website, you will find six files, in which each group explains their own collective methodology of writing IDs.