Max Pinckers & Thomas Sauvin – The Future Without You

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The Future Without You
by Max Pinckers & Thomas Sauvin
Graphic design: Ying Lei
Texts generated by ChatGPT-3 and ChatGPT-3.5, MiniGPT-4 and img2poem
None of the images in this book were created using artificial intelligence
Printed by L.capitan (Graphius), Ghent, Belgium
First edition of 800 copies
Published by Beijing Silvermine & Lyre Press in November 2023

For this collaboration, Max Pinckers and Thomas Sauvin rummaged through 50.000 transparencies rescued from a recycling center in Beijing. This analog archive from the 1990s consists of stock photos that were produced in the US and ended up in China when a company subsidiary was opened to market them in a new territory.

The images in this archive cover a wide array of subjects, themes, and photographic styles. They were made with the sole intention of being purchased or licensed for nonspecific context. They represent an era of advertising when high-quality, generic visuals would be adopted by companies to avoid the expense and effort of arranging custom photoshoots.

With stock photography embodying the most capitalist form of imagery, Pinckers and Sauvin focused their selection on the world of corporate business, represented by actors of limited talent during a time of anxiety triggered by the arrival of the personal computer and the rise of the Internet.

Reconsidered 30 years later, there is something amusing—but also disturbing, even prophetic—about these images, which seem to have lost none of their relevance with the dawn of artificial intelligence.

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