Networks

2014 - 2016

Networks is comprised of two main sections. The first, Connection shows the traditional ways we stay in touch with one another. It has three parts: Doorbells, Mailboxes, and Phone Booths. These photographs are pure documentary. The second section, Connext plays with the presence of mobile phones in daily life. It has six parts: Fullscreen, Handheld, Mobile Friendly, Search, Smartphone and WhatApp.
Connext has different post-photographic manipulations. The images in Fullscreen are layered with their ASCII versions. The photo files in Handheld are subjected to rule governed operations that create pixel spread. For Mobile Friendly, images of apps are collaged into photographs shot in Toronto’s streets. There are text movies taken from Internet searches in Search. One is Google Search: Why Don’t We. Another is Craig’sList: Missed Connections. Smartphone is an animated gif built on a cell phone icon. WhatApp presents images of a hand holding a cell phone. The phone and screen remain unaltered but everything outside the phone is pixilated.

The images in Connext represent behavior once restricted to the personal sphere now conducted in public. Pervasive uptake has made owning a mobile device a requisite of contemporary life. Connext considers some of its roles. While a mobile phone is a component of identity, adoption automatically transforms its user into an order of cyborg. No one signs up for this sci-fi condition. Instead, from its ability to facilitate interpersonal contact, to personal memory storage, to use as a navigational tool and all-purpose guide, and from its relentless pull on attention, the status of cyborg naturally follows engagement.

On the darker side of the equation, government and industry have adapted handheld devices as tracking apparatus. They divulge a user’s preoccupations, predilections, finances, movement, politics and more. Nevertheless the lure, enablement and convenience of the mobile device persuade a person to either ignore or accept these disclosures. But that’s not the half of it. The handheld device houses the Internet with its onslaught of pervasive advertising, celebrity culture, social media and Youtube circulation, both benign and terrorist. However, whatever the drawbacks may be, no one can really afford to opt out.