Arts Thread

Will Boase
Ma Photography And Society

Royal Academy Of Art The Hague KABK

Specialisms: Photography / Photography / Visual Communication

Location: Den Haag, Netherlands

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Will Boase

Will Boase ArtsThread Profile

First Name: Will

Last Name: Boase

Specialisms: Photography / Photography / Visual Communication

Sectors: Digital/Visual Communication/Film / Digital/Visual Communication/Film

My Location: Den Haag, Netherlands

University / College: Royal Academy Of Art The Hague KABK

Course / Program Title: Ma Photography And Society


I am a photographer and artist based in The Hague, Netherlands. A reformed photojournalist, I spent a decade living in Uganda and working for the international press before becoming disillusioned and deciding to follow my passion, which is the role of photographs in the world. My practice focuses on issues of labour and technology, reflecting my interest in the changing nature of the social contract. I explore complex structural topics through documentary imagery and descriptive writing, creating immersive narratives which centralise the reader within the story. This also informs my interest in access and circulation, and is reflected in my teaching practice. As digital photography has expanded and leapt off the page and into our pockets, it now presents new opportunities for image makers. Boundaries are erased, images are accessible to anybody with a cellphone, and this offers exciting new frontiers to explore while raising new concerns about legibility and portability. Through my work’s circulation and in my educational practice I examine what constitutes publication and what an audience can be, reflecting my conviction that for photography to make a difference in the world, we must take it to the places where the audiences are.

The Networked Image centres around images of Uganda and The Netherlands, and explores the uncomfortable visual homogeneity of digital labour management systems through two industries - horticulture and last-mile logistics - which link the two nations together in ways that might not seem immediately obvious but which have deep social and economic significance. These images were then arranged into a PDF designed for circulation on smartphones, to situate the images back within the context of the same machine that makes these industries possible and profitable. Many of the images visible in the backgrounds (and sometimes foregrounds) of the PDF's pages are screenshots from apps used while occupied with my own work as a courier, adverts for employment encountered on social media, or pieces of digital ephemera which form part of capitalist realism's tapestry of reinforcement.