Small File Photo Festival


6:00pm, Sat 28 Jan 2023

A mini festival encouraging and celebrating small size photography!! 

After three inspiring years of celebrating the Small File Media Festival, The Photographers’ Gallery digital programme brings the Small File Photo Festival! 

The first image on the web appeared 30 years ago. It was approximately 12 kilobytes. Today, the average size of an image on the internet is 2100 kilobytes (2.1 MB), while 80% of web traffic consists of visual material. Networks, data centres, and all the devices connecting to them add up to a whopping 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A recent research study conducted with UK adults shows that unwanted pictures alone, lingering in the cloud, release about 355,000 tonnes of CO2 every year — the equivalent to 112,500 flights from London to Perth, Australia and back.

Camera manufacturers, IT companies and streaming platforms endlessly push for higher resolutions to market their latest products. Meanwhile smaller images offer wider accessibility and circulation, as well as an exciting and diverse range of aesthetic possibilities to explore.

We are demanding—unleash creative r/evolution! We are demanding—destroy the large-file clichés of thinking that prevent us from imaging a world otherwise!- Small File Media Festival 

The Small File Photo Festival advocates for alternatives to high tech photorealistic aesthetics traditionally linked to notions of truth and objectivity. It aims to encourage experimentation with more efficient digital image formats and their specific visual qualities. This is in connection to the research of Marloes de Valk, PhD researcher in a collaborative programme by The Photographers’ Gallery and the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, on the environmental impact of the networked image. 

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