John Berger’s four-part BBC documentary Ways of Seeing (1972) is a seminal work of popular art history. As the camera lingers on iconic European paintings, Berger examines our “learned assumptions” about fine art in a world saturated by cameras, screens, and easily reproducible images.
For her contemporary remake, Ways of Something (2014-2015), Lorna Mills invited more than a hundred digital artists to each recreate a one-minute section of the documentary, retaining Berger’s narration but replacing the image. The result is a chaotic compilation of 3-D animations, video remixes, animated GIFs, webcam performances, and more, by artists who update, challenge, or elaborate on Berger’s ideas. Ways of Something is, in effect, art about art about television about the internet, employing aesthetically diverse practices to re-examine Berger’s theories about looking at art in the digital age.