Trigger AI 2

Cover illustration (part two) by Léa Djeziri.

A modern painting showing two men and two women in a park near a pond, having lunch on the grass. The men are lying down and chatting. One woman is sitting naked on top of her clothes and the other is leaning forward in a light dress. There is also a pile of clothes and an overturned basket of food.

Artificial Photography

AI and the history of photography, Part II

Wilco Versteeg

13 dec. 2023 • 24 min

Photography has always been artificial. If there is magic to the medium, it lies in its talent for dissimulating its artificiality through its striking resemblance to reality. Developments in generative AI force us to rethink our conception of photography. By going back to photography’s earliest history, we can get a clearer view of the conceits of AI, as well as the ambivalent reception to it that, 180 years later, shows striking resemblance to that of photography. This second instalment of a series of articles on AI and the history of photography will look at the earliest discourses on photography within the context of a complex modernity, to unearth structural similarities to the current reception to and definitions of AI. Whether we see AI as a threat to or a source of possibilities for photography depends first and foremost on what we understand photography to be.

A quick survey of the history of photography might reveal a linear development of the technology, in which early experimentation by some heroic individuals soon became the chemical and camera-based practices that define photography even today, albeit in its digital forms. This survey might also pretend that our forebears lived in the certainty of unalienable truths regarding photography’s power to depict reality verbatim. However, a plethora of important studies have unearthed discourses and practices even predating the invention of photography that show the heterogenous nature of the medium and the complex understandings of it.Most notably in Geoffrey Batchen, Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography (MIT Press, 1999); Peter Galassi, Before Photography. Painting and the Invention of Photography (Museum of Modern Art, 1981); Francois Brunet, La Naissance de l’idée de photographie (PUF, 2000); Kaja Silverman, The Miracle of Analogy or The History of Photography, Part 1 (Stanford University Press, 2015); Mary Warner Marien, Photography and Its Critics: A Cultural History, 1839-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and Jan von Brevern’s outstanding articles ‘The Eternal Child: On Expectations in the History of Photography’ (Getty Research Journal 7, 2015) and ‘Resemblance After Photography’ (Representations 123, 2013). These discourses eventually resulted in the narrowing of photography to lens-based picture-making, to the exclusion of photograms and other experimental practices.

The same complex discussions continue to inform photographic practices today, including in AI, because they have set the parameters of our discussion and framing of the medium. By marginalising forms of photography that work through direct impression, camera-obscura practices, and other experiments, and by pushing forward Louis Daguerre, Nicéphore Niépce, and Henry Fox Talbot as the definers of photography, important practices and lessons of other masters have been lost. The idea that early photography can shed light on AI should not be confused with an ambition to find the identity of photography. As Foucault stated, ‘what is found at the historical beginning of things is not the inviolable identity of their origin: it is the dissension of other things. It is disparity.’Geoffrey Batchen. Burning with Desire. The Conception of Photography. (Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1999), 55.

These early stages of the popular, democratised use of and access to AI show a similar disparity: many in the photographic community see AI as a threat to certain forms of photography because its images are not made with a camera by a human, thereby reinforcing a narrow definition of photography that is grounded in its depiction of reality. Furthermore, AI finds its roots in various forms of image-making, of which photography is just one. To understand how the earliest history of photography can provide language and tools to understand and frame AI practices today, we need to discuss the complex and paradoxical relationship of photography with the modernity that spawned it.

The lost ground: The crisis of modernity

The crisis of photography is the crisis of modernity itself. Modernity is here seen as the epoch in which humankind continuously and self-consciously grapples with its subjectivity in a world no longer grounded in God. It is a time of nascent and developing individualism, secularism, and capitalism and its ensuing estrangements. Schmuel Eisenstadt considers human agency a central element in the cultural program of modernity: ‘The premises on which the social, ontological, and political order were based, and the legitimation of that order, were no longer taken for granted. An intensive reflexivity developed around the basic ontological premises of structures of social and political authority – a reflexivity shared even by modernity’s most radical critics, who in principledenied its validity.’Shmuel Eisenstadt, ‘Multiple Modernities,’ Deadalus 129, no. 1 (2000): 3. Modernity thus conceived is an emancipatory movement and consists of a breakdown ‘of all traditional legitimations of the political order’.Eisenstadt, 5.

Photography holds a complex position within modernity. It is both a result of modernity and, eventually, its biggest critic. It has been often stated that the invention of photography came inexplicably late. It seems a chronologic anomaly that it was not invented in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Photography would have been truly modern in those earlier periods, but it runs counter to the development of modernity in the nineteenth century, in which art became truly modern with the development of impressionism. Subjectivity rather than objectivity became the pivot of human thought.

Jonathan Crary draws attention to the place of vision and the spectator in a developing modernity. To him, ‘modernity coincides with the collapse of classical models of vision and their stable space of representation’.Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer. On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1992), 24. In this collapse, photography can be said to hold a paradoxical position. It engages with this collapse by countering it, i.e., by trying to find a new ground in physical reality to warrant the truthfulness of representations.See Marc De Kesel, ‘Heilige Crisis: Over moderne kunst en haar fascinatie voor het spirituele’, in Waar Kunst Religie Kust, ed. Wessel Stoker (Tilburg: Open TIU Press, 2023), 26-58. Furthermore, Crary sees modernity as the ‘final dissolution of a transcendent foundation for vision’, out of which ‘emerges a plurality of means to recode the activity of the eye, to regiment it, to heighten its productivity and to prevent its distraction’.Crary, 24. The camera, the stereoscope, the Keizerpanorama are amongst such inventions, just as later 3D, VR, and AI are part of a similar development.

It should be noted that such epoch shifts in image production and viewing are also always a reaction to rising scepticism about then-current ways of depicting the world. This is not unlike AI, which can be seen as one reaction to the scepticism with which photography has been viewed in the last two decades. If classical photography has been deconstructed to such an extent that it can no longer play a role as societal informant, other practices will take over this function: satellite photography, infographics, and AI. These are practices that, like photography, do not depict reality as it is, but at least they have never pretended to do so. In this context, AI does provide images grounded in a defined and growing database, and even with aleatory outcomes, it promises the temporary stability of objectified computer visions.

If modernity can be observed in art, it is in nineteenth-century impressionism, realism, and romanticism. They centre and give value to a subjective viewpoint of the world, decentring the rational, Renaissance perspective that posits the viewer outside of the image and creates illusion. These genres, in different ways, turn the gaze in all directions and show the multivarious experiences of contemporary life in the age of instrumental reason. This is unlike photography, which, contemporary with these genres, does the opposite. The objectivity, exactitude, and factuality that could no longer be found in painting is now recovered by photography. To Crary, it seems as if the development of photography and its limitation to the camera are part of ‘the continuous unfolding of a Renaissance-based mode of vision’, with its ‘ongoing deployment of perspectival space and perception’.Crary, 4. Photography’s modernity is therefore complex. It is a medium that at once seems to provide a ground of objectivity but to do so through subjective means, even if this subjectivity has been downplayed by early critics and practitioners.

Finding a new God: The modern eye

The paradoxes of modernity are abysmal, and they haunt photography. It is striking that much theory on modernity is centred around vision and the eye, the so-called ‘ocular self-consciousness’. This consciousness leads, around 1800, to radical epistemological reflections in which vision is no longer an unproblematic given.Batchen, 83. In Techniques of the Observer, Crary states that the figurations of an observer in the early nineteenth century ‘depended on the priority of models of subjective vision, in contrast to the pervasive suppression of subjectivity in vision in 17th and 18th century thought’.Crary, 9. René Descartes serves as a figurehead and strawman of this suppression. He spends much of his time ‘worrying whether he is deceiving himself’ through what he sees. Famously, Descartes’ locus of certainty and stability is mental images, because he ‘is both their producer and their viewer’.Kaja Silverman, The Miracle of Analogy or The History of Photography, Part 1 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015), 19. The actual world is deceiving and cannot be trusted. These shifts within modernity, from a Cartesian scepticism of vision to a more positive valuation of this subjectivity in the nineteenth century, are important to understanding photography as an anomaly: the mono-eye of the camera enables the perspectival, objective, and fixed vision of reality that elsewhere was being undermined through increased knowledge on the actual workings of the eye.

As Kaja Silverman writes in The Miracle of Analogy, Cartesian ideas of the self were discredited once the eye and the retinal image were better understood:

It showed that the images thar our eyes receive do not correlate in a one-on-one way with the objects from which they derive. There is also a disconnect between the retinal image and what we ‘see’, which means there must be an agency within us that reverses its reversal and inverts its inversion before we perceive it. Shutting one’s eyes and closing one’s ears might block out the external world, but it offers no protection against this internal ‘other’.Silverman, 19.

The camera obscura is an externalisation of this world in flux: streams of images are projected but cannot be fixed – they fail to obey our command.Silverman, 25. It is a ‘continuous stream of evanescent images’ that enters the darkened space of the camera, obscure from outside,

dynamically analogizing its equally labile source. . . . This liquidity washed away all of the distinctions on which modern subjectivity depends and rendered certain knowledge impossible, so seventeenth-century man attempted to ‘ocularize’ the camera obscura by substituting mental representations for the perceptual world and transforming the camera obscura into a device for arresting its image stream.Silverman, 69.

The practice of vision and vision machines ‘cannot be reconciled with the Cartesian dream’:Silverman, 80. our field of vision contains blind spots,Silverman, 123. and our binocularity makes vision an unstable source of knowledge.Martin Jay provides an in-depth analysis of the problem of vision from the Greeks onwards in Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision Twentieth-Century French Thought (University of California Press: 1993). But the Cartesian dream of modernity is tenacious and finds an expression in photography: the locus of agency, however, is not with the photograph as a representation of the world but with the instrument that captured and the chemicals that fixed the image.

From its earliest times, photography was framed and presented as a nonhuman way to capture the world. Talbot famously stated that photography works ‘through optical and chemical means alone’, and that ‘it is not the artist who makes the picture, but the picture which makes itself.’ Daguerre said that the medium is ‘a chemical and physical process which gives [nature] the power to produce herself.’ Edgar Allen Poe claimed that ‘all language must fall short of conveying any just idea of the truth’, connecting the photograph to the notion of truth in which language is relegated to human expression. Jules Janin saw the photograph as a ‘mirroir qui se souvient’, showing the world ‘avec une verité sans égale’,Quotations gleaned from an earlier article by my hand, ‘Against Visual Storytelling’, Trigger #2: Uncertainty (Fw:books, 2020). and even went so far as to call Daguerre ‘God’Silverman, 26. in a world that had bid farewell to God as foundation of society. ‘Artificiality’ as a term was used by the proto and early photographers, not to describe photographic images but to describe camera technology. In a letter to his brother Claude on 12 March 1816, Niépce wrote that he ‘used some of the time while here in making a kind of artificial eye’,Batchen, 81. just as Biot ‘praised Daguerre for providing science with an “artificial retina’’’.Batchen, 82.

The positivism of the nineteenth century is also an important development in the history of photography. Auguste Comte stated that ‘all we can know of reality is what we can observe or can legitimately deduce from what we observe’,Batchen, 137. which precludes any kaleidoscopic or impressionistic vision – a sentiment echoed by positivist Hippolyte Taine, who in the 1860s stated, ‘I wish to reproduce things as they are or as they would be even if I myself did not exist’.Batchen, 137. This discourse and the role photography plays within it was fiercely criticised by Friedrich Engels, when he showed that nineteenth-century spiritists claiming to communicate with the world of spirts, ghosts, and dead people needed machines, including cameras, to capture what escapes rational understanding.Friedrich Engels, ‘La science de la nature dans le monde des esprits’, from Dialectique de la nature Éd. Sociales, 1968. The magic was framed in rational terms. Modernity shows its double face: the widespread interest in spirits goes hand in glove with rationalism. Spiritism does so through the means of modernity, in the language of science and with use of its inventions. According to Engels, both spiritism and science lack theory and hypothesis and instead pretend to pure observation through the lens of the camera. The idea that photographs are images made without human intervention fits directly in this positivist discourse, just as AI can be said to be an image made without human hands.

Photography and antimodernity

This discussion leads to the statement that photography is antimodern rather than modern. However, nothing is more modern than antimodernity. As Jacques Maritain stated, ‘the antimodern could also be called ultramodern’.Jacques Maritain, Antimoderne (Paris: Editions de la Revue des Jeunes, 1922), 14. In the original, ‘Ce que j’appele ici antimoderne, aurait pu tout aussi bien être appelé ultramoderne’. Antimodernity is a position within modernity that criticises its main tenets, usually its overemphasis on instrumental rationality and teleology and its strict definition of knowledge, to the exclusion of alternative forms of knowledge production, including the emotional and the mystical. This can most clearly be seen in the literature and arts we have come to call modern or modernist. In All That Is Solid Melts into Air, Marshall Berman observes a similar dynamic between modernists and modernity: ‘The great modernists of the nineteenth century all attack this environment [of rational modernity] passionately, and strive to tear it down or explode it from within’, yet they are also ‘alive to its possibilities, affirmative even in their radical negations’.Marshall Berman. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity (London: Verso Books, 2010), 19.

Antimodernity has been theorised by Jacques Maritain and, more recently, Antoine Compagnon. In Les Antimodernes, Compagnon discusses writers such as Charles Baudelaire, Georges Duhamel, Roland Barthes, and Joseph de Maistre, who, he notes, all criticised modernity from within. Take, for example, Barthes. In his book on photography, Barthes romanticises the connection of photography to revolution while disregarding his own late 1970s context of early digitisation, musealisation, and image devaluation. Both a modern and antimodern view of photography are combined in Barthes: the stadium is a classic example of photography as unproblematic, objective communication, while the punctum makes an objective fact of a deeply subjective experience of a particular photograph. Baudelaire, the ‘writer of modern life’, is another case in point. If we consider photography as distinctly antimodern, it is unsurprising that Baudelaire was acerbic about it. In famous remarks, he comments on ‘our squalid society’ that rushes to ‘gaze at its trivial image on a scrap of metal’ as narcissists and sunworshippers.Charles Baudelaire’s article is reproduced in On the Verge (Athens: Void, 2023). Baudelaire saw in the photographic industry a refuge of ‘would-be painters, every painter too ill-endowed or too lazy to complete his studies’. The photographic industry ‘bore not only the mark of a blindness, an imbecility, but also had the air of a vengeance’. He thought that the exclusive taste for the truth ‘oppresses the taste for beauty’. This a critique of the retrograde, even rear-guard quality and application of photography, which is said to have dealt the first in a series of heavy blows against painting, setting it on a course towards self-referentiality and away from mimesis. Baudelaire continues, critiquing the superficial understanding of what art is: ‘Since photography gives us every guarantee of exactitude that we could desire (they really believe that, the mad fools!), then photography and Art are the same thing’. Baudelaire’s modernity was that of personal expression that he saw as endangered by a retrograde invention that threatened to take the development of the time decades backwards. This critique of Baudelaire is still relevant today. A recent book published by Void asks photographers and theorists to write back to Baudelaire. On the Verge makes clear that Baudelaire’s review of the Salon of 1859 continues to scandalise, amaze, and confront the photographic community by its angry but also almost unsurmountable critique.

Photography would have fit with sixteenth-century modernity but was distinctly antimodern in 1839. Photography surpasses subjective language and is made without human intervention and invention: it is nature expressing itself through its own means. Photography can be seen as satisfying a ‘yearning in Western culture for a means of representation free from omission, distortion, style, murky subjectivity, or outside interference’Warner, 5. . While spawned by modernity, it is presented as its Other. Photography is antimodernity made flesh.First Exposures: Writing from the Beginnings of Photography (ed. Steffen Siegel, Getty Publications, 2017) – an outstanding sourcebook for early reactions to a medium that has often been hailed as a crown on progressive modernity – shows that photography at its inception was seen as providing anchors in a world that was drifting from its former grounding and had deconstructed its former fundaments in favour of nascent individualism, secularism, and capitalism. Photography, as an art and a science, was received as a victory of the rational, of the objective over the subjective, of nature over artifice, and thereby takes a position within modernity that is marginal: it is antimodern because it harkens back to an earlier modernity. The photograph tries to reground reality, to be a medium that could guarantee the fundaments of truth outside of human subjectivity. Here resides its antimodernity. The antimodern helps modernity understand what her blind spots and preconceptions are. Photography helps us understand these blind spots because it mechanises visions but still reproduces the optical problems of vision. Photography externalises our conceptions of truth.

Thinkers like Eisenstadt and John Gray have pointed to the paradox that anti-Western and antimodern stances are all ‘distinctly modern’Eisenstadt, 2. because they are grounded in self-reflective practices. To Eisenstadt, there is the ‘continual contradiction between the basic premises of its cultural and political dimensions and major institutional developments: crystallization of vision and the flattening of these visions (disenchantment) in institutions’.Eisenstadt, 8. Once radical ideas become incarnated in institutions, they tend to flatten, just as the institution of photography came with a limiting to camera-pictures and reduced creative expression to fit within a refounding of antimodern visions, and just as we are living now in an age of abundant AI experimentation, before practices settle into rules.

The instability at the core: Fixity and control

In The Miracle of Analogy, Silverman discusses the connection between photography and modernity in an original and intelligent way, by looking at practices that were important in early photography but forgotten or marginalised when mechanical and chemical (non-analogic) means took over photographic industries. This diminishing and limiting of photography to lens-based and chemical practices emerged early in its history, with ‘the idea that photography means “camera” and that the camera is an instrument of mastering the world’.Silverman, 15. Silverman identifies structural contrasts in photographic discourse, especially between receptivity and productivity and reproductionSilverman, 15. and between immobility and permanence.Silverman, 15. It is, according to her, important to keep in mind that ‘the photographic image was . . . neither immobile nor permanent in the first decades of its history. It emerged slowly, through the gradual accretion of traces inscribed on a “recipient plate” by the light emitted by the external world, and it often disappeared shortly after it arrived. And even when this image did not blacken or fade, there was an instability at its core’.Silverman, 39.

Silverman’s book is a treasure trove of important quotations on photography’s paradoxical modernity. She quotes an early comment on photography by an anonymous writer who pinpointed the paradox early on:

Ye artists of all denominations that have so vilified nature as her journeymen, see how she rises up against you, and takes the staff into her own hands. . . . Your mistress now, with a vengeance, she will show you what she really is. . . . Every church will show itself to the world without your help. It will make its wants visible and known on paper.Silverman, 29.

According to Silverman, the same reviewer suggests that ‘photography is the world’s way of revealing itself to us, and of showing us how it wants to be seen, i.e., as awaking us from our Cartesian dream and reasserting its primacy’Silverman, 29. .

Another commentary on photography enforces the Cartesian dream by mentioning photography’s fantasy of ‘immediate action’ and ‘absolute fixation’: ‘but the dream had a new narrative. . . . Yes, there is indeed a world, this narrative goes, and it has an “eye” called the sun, that is the “all-powerful agent of a new art”. However, this seemingly omnipotent force is our “willing and obedient slave”: it performs all of the physical labor, while deferring to our aesthetic judgment’Silverman, 44 .

There is the rub and the paradox in full view: as an instrument of the industrial revolution, the camera is modern and promises to reduce and eliminate human labour, while the photograph satisfies a deeply felt human need for permanence, stability, and control in a world that had lost all its grounding. The modern subject is nothing but a Baron Munchausen who tries to pull himself from the swamp by his own hair.Metaphor derived from Marc de Kesel, Het münchhausenparadigma. Waarom Freud en Lacan ertoe doen (Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2019). Photography is not the crown of modernity but its repressed Other.

Constructed objectivity

However, as Silverman, Batchen, and others have shown, photography was progressively framed in a limited way, to coincide with the camera and chemicals. At the exclusion of cameraless photography, non-chemical processes, and other forms of the practice, a photographic objectivity was constructed. The medium became a tool in the hands of science and art, way before it became possible again for it to develop itself as art, but by then on the picturalist model of painting. According to Eugène Delacroix, photographs were ‘the palpable demonstration of the true design of nature, of which otherwise we have only very imperfect ideas’.Jan von Brevern, ‘The Eternal Child: On Expectations in the History of Photography”, Getty Research Journal, no. 7 (January 2015): 74. Théophile Gautier, on the other hand, would emphasise that photography’s impartiality, exactness, and objectivity were ‘bourgeois prejudices’, continuing that ‘the sun is a more capricious worker than one thinks; often, he refuses to do what one demands of him, and his rays refuse to deal with this or that color. But he enjoys such a reputation of impartiality, that nobody suspects him. This divine sun is not always right, though, and sometimes lies like a human!’von Brevern, 74.

It is important to realise, as Marcy Dinius wrote in the extraordinary The Camera and the Press, that early comments on photography and its apparent objectivity were not often grounded in any intimate knowledge of or experimentation with photography.

What is most remarkable about America’s, and much of the world’s, first encounter with this supposedly unmediated form of representation is just how mediated it was. Before anyone in the United States saw any actual daguerreotypes, they read about them in newspapers and magazine articles.Marcy J. Dinius, The Camera and the Press: American Visual and Print Culture in the Age of the Daguerreotype (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), 13.

This reveals that the idea of photography’s objectivity is a linguistic construct rather than a visual reality, which in turn reinforces the structural similarity between the reception of AI and the reception of photography. If photographic objectivity is a linguistic construct rather than an actual or scientific reality, this implies that we are primed, through text and through expectation and hope, to believe in this objectivity: believing is seeing and not, to reference to Errol Morris’s book, the other way around. Photography’s claim to objectivity as its unique quality has always been built on linguistic quicksand.

Despite the tenacious link between photography and reality, reality in many genres is not a category that plays any role in the making or appreciation of images. In fashion and commercial photography, reality is of no importance, while art photography itself is mostly developed along the lines of fashionable aesthetics. Documentary and journalistic photography seem to hold their ties to reality, but decades of work deconstructing these images and investigating their meaning-making potential in various contexts show that we cannot be naive about the tenuous link between a photograph and reality. As I have argued elsewhere in more depth,See my dissertation, The Reliable Image: Documentary Contemporary War with Photography, written under the supervision of Francois Brunet at Université Paris Diderot, 2013–2018. the most state-of-the-art forms of documentary practices (e.g., the use of satellites by Amnesty International, the research of Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture) make use of photography as one element in larger constructs of evidence to make a certain case. Their practices revolve around reliability, a juridic and interpersonal term, and not around truth or reality, which are, in the end, metaphysical terms. AI is at once a continuation of photography through other means, a practice that can be understood by nineteenth-century critiques of photography, and a practice that brings forward our (mis)conceptions about photography. These practices foreground photography’s artificiality to undermine the scepticism with which photographic images are justifiably met.

AI and the history of photography

Photography has always been artificial, and new practices have increasingly foregrounded this. New iterations of photography, including digital photography, Photoshopping, before-and-after photographs, integrated infographics, digital models, VR, 3D, and AI, are sprawling, mostly outside the official institutions of photography, which, at most, are late at adopting these and similar practices. This is not unlike the fate of photography after its invention: conceived as a threat by artists and critics alike, the medium developed through individual experimentation before being accepted into the art world. The discussions laid bare in this article show the depth and width of early discourse on the medium, and might help us understand that the reception of AI often evokes similar terms and tensions.

Photography today, in various forms and guises, has entered a new avant-garde phase that, like the historical avant-gardes, radicalises the concept of the image. Because AI is a scandalous and radical way to depict the world photographically, it also calls attention to the history of photography and our conceptions of the medium. Like photography, AI is an invention that goes straight against current paradigms of personal autonomy, creativity, and truthful representation.

This radicalisation takes place in the institutions and individual practices of the photography-world as much as it does in the worlds of science and art. In the next instalment in this series, we will look at applications of AI in these domains and see what wisdom they can bring to discussions pertaining to the history of photography and AI, with specific attention to the place of the human producer and viewer. Crary states that the observer needed for photography predated its invention. The observer was made ready for photography through apparatuses such as the camera obscura and others that acted on the body in a viewing regime. Today, we might ask if photographs and images need viewers at all, and which role, if any, humans can play in various forms of knowledge production through photography. The next instalment will make clear that AI is casting a long shadow over past practices and forces us to look with fresh eyes to a past we thought we knew.

Editor's note. Trigger has commissioned Wilco Versteeg to write, over the course of the next year, a four part 'blog' series on the challenge of artificial intelligence for photography. Léa Djeziri develops a cover image in four steps. This is part two.

Wilco Versteeg is a writer and researcher. He teaches visual culture and the history and theory of photography at Radboud University Nijmegen and St. Joost School of Art and Design, Breda.

Léa Djeziri is an artist, illustrator and author, who produces paintings, murals, micro-publishing project and illustrations for press and cultural events. In 2019, she publishes her first graphic novel within the Tunisian feminist collective Shift, before publishing two other comics with Matière Grasse editions in 2022 and 2023.