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Cybernetic Forests

How is technology changing the way we see? The artist James Bridle reimagines John Berger’s Ways of Seeing for the digital age, focusing on machines and the environment.

How is technology changing the way we see? The artist James Bridle reimagines John Berger’s Ways of Seeing for the digital age, focusing on machines and the environment.

“We can only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice” – John Berger.

In 1972, Berger’s seminal TV series and book changed perceptions of art and set out to reveal the language of images.

Of course, that was before the internet, smartphones, and social media took hold.

How do we see the world around us now? And, who are the artists urging us to look more closely?

James Bridle writes about the development of technology on our lives. His work has been exhibited at the V&A, the Barbican, in galleries worldwide, and online. In this series of four programmes, he updates Berger’s Ways of Seeing, inviting contemporary artists to explore how the technology we use every day has transformed the ways in which we see and are seen.

In the final episode, Cybernetic Forests, James asks what it would it mean for a forest to own itself, for a glacier to take photographs, or for wind turbines to generate funding for scientific research. Artists taking radical steps to address issues like climate change and corporate control explain how they’re rethinking and rebuilding some of the digital tools we use every day.

Contributors include Susan Schuppli, Taeyoon Choi, Kei Kreutler, Julian Oliver, Paul Seidler and Max Hampshire.

Producer: Steve Urquhart
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4

Photo: Taeyoon Choi

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Wed 8 May 2019 21:30