500 Word Write Up

The 21st Century Obsession

‘The 21st Century Obsession’, a pivotal societal element, and our go to Doctor, Therapist and Best Friend: our ‘mobile phone’. Captured through multiple images Ingrid Walker creates an exploration into societies dependence, obsession and reliance on technology, demonstrating its disconnecting presence on almost all individuals. Walker’s images evoke a sense of self-questioning as we are ultimately confronted with our own realization of our individual obsession and reliance on technology.

Intrigued by our individual perception of the obsession of technology, Walkers concept is highly influenced by the work of John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’ (Berger, 1972). Berger comments upon the individuality of perceiving images and the messages that we identify from them. He states, “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak” (Berger, 1972). Walker’s work is very much influenced by this statement as her concept of ‘The 21st Century Obsession’ is demonstrated visually, through individuals using their technology in iconic areas in Brighton. The clear presence of technology in Walkers images allows persons to take their own individual message from the photographs and question how technology is present and disconnecting in their own lives.

Best exemplified by street photographer Martin Parr, who’s photographic projects take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life; Walker captures moments in time to present a snapshot into the reality of an individual’s life. Much like Parr, as a photographer, she becomes a fly on the wall as they both capture societies reliance on technology through the art of street photography. With no definite starting era, Street Photography has developed throughout time exploring and representing societal changes from soldiers at battle in World War II to Walker’s interpretation of society now.

Despite the influence of Parr on Walker’s images, her work holds a clear air of originality through her antiquated styled images, an artistic choice that reinforces her concept of ‘The 21st century obsession’. Her images allow spectators to view them as if they were vintage, captured in the past, reinforcing her notion of our obsession with our technology, and allowing us to question whether we want our society to be presented as such. Walkers concept is further reinforced through the locational aspect of her images, captured in the hustle and bustle of Brighton Lanes, the images become quizzical and highlighting as we ourselves question whether we are guilty of neglecting our surroundings and disconnecting ourselves from reality.

To answer what an individual may personally take from Walkers collection of images based upon ‘The 21st Century Obsession’ would be impossible as “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe” (Berger, 1972) However, Walkers intentions are not to force a message upon individuals, but allow them to individually think, question and consider their reliance on technology and its disconnection between themselves and their reality.

Bibliography

Berger, J., 1972. Ways Of Seeing. 1st ed. U.K, U.K: Penguin.

500 Word Write Up

Photography Ideas

At the moment I am trying to consider what photography ideas I feel would be appropriate and that I am passionate about. I feel that I want my photography project to explore a number of elements that capture the task of ‘a series of 6 to 8 digital photographs that investigate ideas of representation and identity of a cultural, social or political place’.

I am undecided whether I want my photography to literally represent a place of whether psychologically would be more interesting. I am possibly thinking of exploring individuals differing emotions or feeling in famous areas in Brighton. I feel this idea could be quite interesting as it plays upon the idea of Vernacular photography yet also on the theme of Bergers ‘Way Of Seeing’ as my photography could express how individuals all see things differently and while one may react happy/sad/joyful due to one place, this could be contradicting towards others emotions.

I think this concept, or a similar one could be very interesting to explore through photography.

Photography Ideas

Editing- My Images

For my photographs, I have edited exposure, contrast, saturation & effects (such as black & white) on photoshop. For my photographs, I have decided to stay away from overly edited or explicitly manipulated editing as I want my pictures to remain very raw and honest. I want them to explicitly demonstrate to viewers how we are obsessively engaged with our technology and cannot stay from it without any distractions.

My editing is not explicit, its not in your face, much like my images, they were created this way to allow us to realise how much our ’21st century obsession’ with technology has become a normality. Its not bizarre to look at these images individually however, as a whole, the 8 images should allow viewers to step back and realise how overly-indluged with our technology- my images will allow you to question- are you on the phone constantly? do you ignore the beauty around you to focus upon your technology? do you spend time on your phone rather than with your father? do you remember what that coffee tasted like that you spent 5 minutes photographing?

My images carry a somewhat ‘retro/vintage’ colouring through them with mixtures of faded, black & white and sepia effects. I feel that this also adds to my theme of ‘The 21st Century Obsession’ as it displays to viewers a contrast. It allows them to see that in the future, this is what images of our society will look like. If we are to look at an image from 50 years ago, the presence of technology would be a rarity however, in 50 years from now, these images will become ‘retro/vintage’ and others will look upon these. My editing decisions represent how our society will be portrayed in time to come.

Editing- My Images