Photography is technology. Photographers were scientists before they were artists.
Photographic technology represents a physiological change in the way that humans in photographic societies see. It is altering one of our primary perceptive organs, our eyes, as well as our brains.
The photographer is a kind of cyborg. In societies where almost everyone takes pictures and it would be a challenge to avoid ever seeing them, we all become photographers and thus cyborgs as well. Our sense of sight is not the same as that of our biological forbears who did not use cameras, who were not constantly exposed to photographic images. People in this society are inundated with pictures. They appear side by side as advertising and content in television and magazines, on the web and in the physical world. They are included in messages, used to communicate alongside words or instead of them. They hold and thus produce memories.
Whether or not people in a photographic society consider themselves “photographers” or even take pictures at all, they still can be generally thought of as photographic citizens whose way of seeing is altered by photography’s omnipresence around them. The world looks different through lenses and within frames, and the rapid storage and dissemination of pictures and video which are possible today allow photographic citizens to see all over the world and across vast expanses of time, all at once.
I am interested in exploring the impact of lens-based recording technologies such as photography and video on broader changes in the nature of culture and politics in a globalized world. My curiosity has to do both with broad trends involving photography in society as well as the particular place of artists who use photographic tools or media in this unpredictable social environment.
What roles do these media play in the shifts in influence that are occurring all over the planet? What, if any, is the relevance of artistic practices that make use of these technologies to the world at large?