Dirty by Magdalena Wysocka is a collection of found photographs that were categorized as ‘schmutzig’ (eng. ‘dirty’) by an artificial intelligence software called ‚Clarifai'.
Photographs gathered in the book were found in one particular image library and date back to late XIXth century. Coming from the time of industrial revolution’s phase of rapid scientific discovery, mass production and industrialization, photographs depict nature in its pure form as well as human interventions into landscapes.
"Dirty" is an exploration of what in photography is usually considered unwanted or can be disregarded as imperfect.
Dirt, dust, blur, scratches and cracks on negatives leave an imprint of the passing of time and give the experience of browsing the book an uncanny sense of nostalgia. ‚dirty’ is a study of how photography is transformed with time, where image is, as considered by Susan Sontag—an interpretation of the real, trace, something directly stenciled off the real, a footprint or a death mask. Faded and bleached out colors are reproduced and enhanced by combination of two printing techniques used in the production of the book: traditional offset and risograph.