The Manhattan Project
“The Manhattan Project collects photographs of various experiments related to the use of nuclear explosives conducted in the 1940s. The negatives were found in an abandoned U.S. military base in Sicily. Due to time, the images have suffered considerable deterioration that produces an overabundance of grain and less sharpness.”
This could be a perfect incipit to deceive the viewer, a story that makes sense of photographs that make no sense. In fact, these are not even photographs; they are photo-realistic images produced by A.I.
Starting with descriptions and scans of photographs in the book Evidence (1977) by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel an A.I. generated new images that I later manipulated to make a series of fake pictures.
What are we standing in front of? To whom do these images belong? To the photographers who physically took the pictures in the 1940s? To Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel who selected them from hundreds of thousands by digging deep into U.S. federal archives in the 1970s? To those who took the 12 billion photographs through which this A.I. generated these images? To me who clicked the “generate button” with a computer mouse?
In a short circuit of belonging, these images ask many questions without providing answers. The vision of an explosion and images related to it is what we are left with.
Non-real images that speak about reality and the present, fake archival artifacts that connect perfectly to the present day, days when we are back to talking about world war and nuclear testing.
Andrea Camiolo (Leonforte, IT, 1998) is an Italian photographer. In 2020 he graduated in Photography at the European Institute of Design in Turin and in 2023 obtained an MA degree in Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania.
He has been selected as one of the finalists of the Paris Photo Carte Blanche (2022), he won the Comisso Award (2022) and the Best Portfolio Award at the Ragusa Photo Festival (2022). Andrea has exhibited his work in the group exhibitions of: Camera Work (2021, Ravenna), Verzasca Photo Festival (2021, Switzerland), Comisso Award (2022, Treviso), Photo Open Up (2022, Padua), RAK Fine Arts Festival (2023, UAE); Ragusa Photo Festival (2023, Ragusa).
He is co-founder of DORSOPRESS, an independent publishing house focused on contemporary photography.