Dr Paula Gortazar

Dr Paula Gortazar

Dr. Paula Gortázar is a photography researcher and visual artist. After completing a double degree in Law and Economics, followed by an MA in Photographic Studies, she obtained a fully-funded Doctoral Scholarship to study a PhD in Photography at the University of Westminster, which she completed in 2018. Her research practice investigates recent developments in AI systems and extended reality technologies and how these are exponentially changing the possibilities in which photographic images might be created and used within, and beyond, virtual space. 

Paula is a founding member of the Expanded Photography Research Group at the University of Westminster. Her work has been published in several academic journals, including Photography and Culture, Third Text and Photographies, and presented at multiple international conferences across the world. Her artistic practice has been widely exhibited in Canada, the USA, Germany, the UK and Spain, including venues like The Photographers’ Gallery, and published in different international media, such as EXIT magazine and The British Journal of Photography. She also contributes as an independent writer for Source Photographic Review and C4 Journal.


Peer-reviewed Journals

Gortazar, P. 2024. Plastic Borders: On the Photographic Frame and its Virtual Experience. Photographies. 17 (1-2), pp. 115-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2023.2269401

Gortazar, P. 2023. Cosmos, Fiction and Transcendence. Third Text. 37 (1), pp. 1-117. https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2023.2214048

Gortázar, P. 2019. ‘Subjective Documentary Photography in ‘‘Normalised’’ Czechoslovakia (1968-89). Decoding Vladimír Birgus’ Work’. Fotocinema 19: 101-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.24310/Fotocinema.2019.v2i19.6647

Gortázar, P. 2019. ‘Toward an Emancipation of Photographic Vision: “Visualism” Under Czechoslovakian “Normalization” (1968–89)’. Photography and Culture 12 (2): 151-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/17514517.2019.1596598


Gortázar, P. and Esparza, R. (eds.). ‘Seeing Right: Amblyopia and The Optical Image’. In Fotocinema n.19, 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.24310/Fotocinema.2019.v2i19

Book Chapters

Gortázar, P. 2021. ‘Memorias de Papel: El Archivo Fotográfico y sus Lecturas’, in Parejo, N. and Blanco Pérez, M.  (eds.), Historias de la Fotografía en el Siglo XXI, Madrid: Comunicación Social. 


‘Generative Photographic Spaces: A Pixel-perfect Thrill’, How Humans and Machines See the World, King’s College, London, 6th December, 2023

'Look me in the Eye!: Towards Full Ownership of Every AI Generated Photograph', Photography and Artificial Intelligence Conference, Royal photographic Society, Bristol, 9th-10th October, 2023

‘Plastic Borders: On the Photographic Frame and its Virtual Experience’, International Conference for Photography and Theory, Nicosia, Cyprus, 17th-19th November, 2022

‘The Infinite Frame: A Discussion on the Forms and Uses of Photography within Virtual Spaces’, Confoco International Congress, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, 17th-19th October, 2022

‘Remember Photography: Bidimensional Stillness and Desire in the Virtual Infinity’, Photographies International Conference, Texas State University, San Antonio, USA 23th-24th September, 2022

‘Virtual photography Explained’, Virtual photography Symposium, University of Westminster, London 20th June 2021

‘Exposed Intimacies: Power and Fragility of the Family Album’, Fotocinema International Congress, Universidad de Málaga, 29th September - 3rd October, 2021

‘Cosmos, Fiction and Transcendence: Conceptual Art and Photography in Communist Bratislava (1968-89)’, The Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies, Washington DC,  5th-8th November 2020.

‘Towards an Emancipation of Photographic Vision: ‘Visualism’, ‘Opsognomie’ and ‘Elementary  Photography’’, at the conference Practices, Circulation and Legacies: Photographic Histories in Central and  Eastern Europe’, City Museum, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8th – 10th May 2018

‘Political Frames’, at the conference Talking Pictures: Photography Today and Tomorrow, University of South Wales, 30th November – 1st December 2012

In brief

Research areas

Photography History and Theory, Post-digital Cultures, Art Activism, Virtual Photography and Expanded Photography Practices

Supervision interests

Supervising projects on Virtual Photography, Photography and Expanded Media, Photography, Art and Politics, Art Activism, History of Photography and Photographic Theory