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Call for Papers: Issue 37: Automated Images

Published onOct 02, 2023
Call for Papers: Issue 37: Automated Images

Three images generated with Midjourney using similar prompts.

Issue 37 - Automated Images

*Submissions due November 30, to [email protected]

The discourse around large, generative models (“AI”)—both their threat and promise—has reached an urgent salience in recent years, as images and texts increasingly populate and confuse our online spaces, classrooms, and public squares. When discussing the visual, there is often a  focus on the ethical and political implications of a flood of believably photo-real images on already-shaky regimes of truth. Images made through automatic processes, however, were part of our visual landscape long before the introduction of AI models. For example, pattern recognition algorithms and computer vision create and capture images that power ubiquitous corporate and state surveillance.

Models like Dall-E and Midjourney translate textual input into new images using a model trained on gigantic image datasets derived from that surveillance and from the visual artifacts of popular culture. These new tools raise concerns familiar to the earlier mediated representation they so effectively mimic. AI models, created by humans and embedded with their choices (O’Neil, 2016), reflect the data on which they’re trained. This gives way to permutations of stereotype and caricature, racist depictions, and violence (Buolumwini, 2020; Noble, 2018). Against such forces, artists and activists have appropriated these tools to create new works that aggregate large image sets to oppositional or playful ends.

For our 37th issue, Invisible Culture seeks articles and artworks that address the broad category of “automated images”in their many valences. We seek work engaged with the social and political effects of automated images and welcome submissions that approach automated images with the enduring questions and methods of visual studies (ex: authorship, indexicality, and reproduction).

We understand “automated images” to fall into these three broad categories:

  1. computer generated images: includes special effects in live-action moving images; full CG imagery (video games, Pixar films); camera and photography software - both in capture and in post; as well as the latest “AI” images in Midjourney, etc.

  2. Operational Images: images used by algorithms for functional purposes, unintended for human consumption. See Farocki, Paglen, and Steyerl

  3. The visual translations of big data for human consumption. Ex: Lev Manovich’s Cultural Analytics.

This issue of IVC seeks scholars and artists across many disciplines including Art History, Media Studies, Software Studies, Film Studies, Surveillance Studies, Digital Art, and Photography whose work engages with automated images including these themes: 

  • Algorithmic bias, including racism, gender bias, and stereotypes

  • Counter/activist uses of automated images, including evading surveillance

  • AI image generation as more-than-human creativity

  • AI and visual anachronism: Imagined pasts and futures 

  • DeepFakes

  • Indexicality of digital photography (especially smartphones)

  • The reality effect of the photograph, then and now

  • Text-to-Image AI and Art Reproductions

  • Automated surveillance and visual training data

  • Machine Vision/Learning

  • AI and film production (“cinematic AI”; ontology of cinema)

  • Location of the artist or author when AI tools are used to create

  • AI as a labor issue in creative industries

  • Technique and style in the age of AI mimicry

  • The future of visual culture “on demand”


Please send completed papers (with references following the guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style) of between 4,000 and 10,000 words to [email protected]​ by November 30, 2023. Inquiries should be sent to the same address.

Creative/Artistic Works

In addition to written materials, InVisible Culture acceps works in other media (video, photography, drawing, code) that reflect upon the theme as it is outlined above. Please submit creative or artistic works along with an artist statement of no more than two pages to [email protected]. For questions or more details concerning acceptable formats, go to or contact the same address.


InVisible Culture is also currently seeking submissions for book, exhibition, and film reviews (600-1,000 words). For this issue we particularly encourage authors to submit reviews of games or other forms of interactive media. To submit a review proposal, go to or contact [email protected].

About the Journal

InVisible Culture: A Journal for Visual Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through double-blind peer-reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialogue across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.

Each issue includes peer-reviewed articles, as well as artworks, reviews, and special contributions. The Dialogues section offers timely commentary from an academic visual culture perspective and announcements from the editorial board.

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