A photo of an empty street, digitally added text and graphics

American Artist, still from 2015, 2019

Mirror with a Memory Podcast

Watch the trailer to learn more about the podcast.

Debuting on February 1, 2021, the Mirror with a Memory podcast focuses on different facets of the conversation around artificial intelligence and photography—from biometrics and racial bias to the ways that we perceive the environment and international borders. Hosted by renowned American artist Martine Syms, the six-episode series features leading artists and thinkers in dialogue accompanied by excerpts from important artworks, unpacking the ways in which the collision of photography, surveillance, and artificial intelligence impacts everyone.

Episodes will be released each Monday through March 8, 2021. They are available below and on Amazon, Anchor, Apple, Google, and Spotify.


A naked woman stands on a scale surrounded by people in lab coats.

Episode One: Biometrics

February 1, 2021

Photography has been used as a tool to record our bodies from the creation of the first mugshots in the late 19th century to recent developments in facial recognition technology. In the first episode of Mirror with a Memory, artist Zach Blas and filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara will discuss what it means to leave it to machines to verify our identities.

A woman stands on a stage, surrounded by recording equipment, velvet curtains hang in the background

Episode Two: (In)Visibility

February 8, 2021

Episode Two explores the benefits and disadvantages of going unseen by surveillance technologies. We examine notions of visibility and invisibility in the context of AI imaging systems with author and professor Simone Browne, artist Sondra Perry, and artist and academic Mimi Onuoha.

Photograph portrait of female with an overlay of notes detailing suggested alterations to appearence

Episode Three: Evidence

February 15, 2021

If we know that it is impossible for a photograph to be objective, then why do we rely so heavily on photography as evidence? In Episode Three, we speak with artists Lynn Hershman Leeson and American Artist to consider how AI can complicate our relationship to pictures we would otherwise think of as visual “proof.”

An arial view of a parking lot and large building that resembles a hotel complex.

Episode Four: Storytelling

February 22, 2021

In Episode Four, we talk about the algorithmic potential of storytelling. Artists Stephanie Dinkins and Stan Douglas discuss how they use the language of photography, surveillance, and AI to narrate different pasts and imagine different futures. Dinkins draws upon her own life experience, while Douglas incorporates moments from British history.

A desert landscape with a large metal wall cutting across the land. Storm clouds darken the scene.

Episode Five: Land

March 1, 2021

What is the environmental impact of AI on our planet, and what colonial impulses does this technology enable? Episode Five zooms out and up with leading AI researcher Kate Crawford, technology writer Arthur Holland Michel, and photographer Richard Misrach to look at how cameras are used to divide, extract, survey, and surveil landscapes.

two metal canisters are held by human hands.the objects are framed by squares that imply artificial intelligence software.

Episode Six: Power

March 8, 2021

Do we have the power to refuse mass surveillance? In our final episode, we speak with Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman, who explains how artists, activists, and researchers can use the tools of photography, surveillance, and AI to hold corporations, governments, and other institutions accountable.

Written and produced by SandenWolff, with original music by Noah Therrien.


Generous support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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