Re-count Photo Awards is an international photography contest focused on the role of numbers, quantification and accounting in life.
It is based on a collaboration between a group of leading academics and artists from across the world. The project aims to bring artists and academics together in artistic project and reflection aiming at intensifying role that numbers are playing in our life and its unintended effects. Short-listed work will feature in an online and three physical exhibitions in Barcelona, Toulouse and Edinburgh. Some of the submissions will also feature in a collective publication by the project’s academic/artistic committee. Re-c0unt will cover all exhibition and travel costs for three outstanding submissions.
This project is inspired by the urgency related to onslaught of numbers and measurement in all aspects of our lives. We rely every day on a host of numbers to organise our lives and, in turn, our lives are quantified by markets, organisations and governments to shape our behaviors.
Numbers are organised in the forms of scores, rankings, ratings, indicators, our personal and professional “performance” and grades – all of which are central to how we value things and, in turn, how we are valued. Our relation to our bodies is also increasingly mediated by numbers through the counting of our steps, heartbeats, burned calories and even (degree of) happiness.
Digital technology development has further intensified the quantitative turn in human societies. Seamless conversion of qualities to binary codes and back is the defining feature of datafication and its contemporary offsprings, the internet and big data.
Besides its frequently cold, contemporary aura, the history of numbers is intertwined with all cultures in intriguing and mysterious ways. For example, numbers feature in Persian Talismans in the form of ciphers that aim to possess and haunt. In Arabic, the Abjad system enables conversion between letters and numbers – enabling new possibilities for intertwining textuality and calculations – in poetry, calligraphy and painting.
In this competition, we invite photographic work that captures the ways contemporary humans and Nature are entangled with quantification and numbers. We are open to any submissions that broadly engage in a questioning of the role of numbers in organising human lives and their impact on humans and nature.
Applies online until April 30th: https://www.recountphotoaward.org
Recount Photography Award
TBS Barcelona Calle Trafalgar 10, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
January 25, 2022 to April 30, 2022