Does software celebrate diversity?

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Photoshop’s latest interface, image by me, vernacular sculpture artist unknown

The author of this piece on the Photographers’ gallery website thinks not, from a section entitled ‘unthinking photography‘ say he thinks Photoshop by it’s nature encourages sexism and conformity.

I don’t disagree as I have had a long chequered history with this destructive software. But for a host of differnet mostly technical reasons. Now I can add some more fuel to that argument.

In truth, the relationship someone has to software is exactly as unpredictable and individualistic as the one they have with culture.  Software accedes, impedes, fractures and bends in different ways to different wills, assumptions and practices. Software performs culture, and we perform culture through software. It’s systematised culture, with all the inequities, paradoxes and biases of the people who create and use it. Photoshop is neither a cathedral nor bazaar for the user, but a living, breathing factory of artefacts.

I’m off to my darkroom

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