Ways of Knowing

The incredible ‘Ways of Knowing’ by photographer Daniel Stier is the product of a curious outsider’s view into the world of science, which has resulted in a series, shot over several years, revealing a strangely fascinating yet highly aesthetic world. The self-initiated project by Stier shows research laboratories across Europe and the United States as well as still lifes of scientific tools taken in photographer’s studio. The combination draws parallels between the work of artists and scientists. Both often-times searching to find answers to what move us by examining life – with their own specific tools. The blank expressions of the doctors and students demonstrating the machinery are haunting, almost surrealistic, as they sit seemingly indifferent inside or surrounded by intricate wires and metal constructions. Stier’s sharp photographic eye – which reminds us of the work of another lover of heavy machinery; Alastair Philip Wiper – catches the details surrounding these enormous machines perfectly, creating frames which tell rich stories starting in the past and taking the spectator all the way into the future.

Daniel Stier in an interview with Paper Journal on his inspirations:

For me the camera is an excuse to go out and try and make some sense of what I see. I work on different projects, but overall you come back to certain fundamental questions: What is this world that we live in, and why do we live like we do? What are the things that surround us, and how do they shape our lives?

The super fascinating book, which the photographer published independently, was the presented to the world accompanying the exhibition of the series in the Hamburg-based kulturreich gallery. As an addition to the photographs the publication features essays by Professor Pedro Ferreira (Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a fellow and tutor in Physics at Oriel College) and Daniel Jewsbury (writer, artist and lecturer at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin).

Daniel Stier is a photographer living and working in London. In his photography he often employs a detached, illustrative gaze to approach a broad variety of subjects inspired by his unlimited curiosity. Stier works right at the intersection of commercial photography and self-initiated artistic projects, proving that aesthetically these two fields don’t necessarily require a specific visual language, as his style continues to transcend the motivation that lays behind a particular project. Over the years Daniel has worked for many parties from The New York Times, The Guardian and Wall Street Journal Magazine to Wallpaper, Wired, Another Magazine, Intersection, Volkswagen and Sony, amongst others.

Order ‘Ways of Knowing’ online here