‘Clouds and Streams’ - 2018
This series examines humans as both a creative and destructive forces, picturing the development of technology alongside nature. Addressing anxieties around the removal of nature from contemporary life, I set out to look directly at my surroundings and consider the future.
The past hundred years produced an extremity of technological discoveries. Some of which have undoubtedly improved our lives, others are questionable. Our visions of the future are no longer surrounded by landscape, or even machinery, but by virtual realities and extended, sustainable lifestyles.
This work shows lucid forms of nature, and technologies which have influenced it. There are sometimes grey areas between the two, where technology itself stems from nature and we discover that these aren’t necessarily two opposing forces. There is an underlying drive for conservation of our natural environments, but also a plea for us to greater understand the effects of delving into a virtual world.
Some of the technology displayed in the series are very apparent to the viewer, though they may be strange and unfamiliar. Others are older forms, which have become such common practice they are now a part of what we view as landscape. The photographs made for this project so far are black and white, and produced with in camera experimentation to disconnect the viewer.
They present portrayal of my immediate environment, an area which has been branded as a “dark sky reserve”. Darkness in its simplest form is a lack of ability to see, and I find it interesting that in a place where all attempts to illuminate the landscape have been denied, every inch of the land is now fenced off and devoted to agriculture.
I have chosen to avoid a linear narrative and captioning. I feel photojournalism is often guilty of over simplifying issues to meet consumer needs. It is important to understand that to provide any degree of accuracy you must address a subjects’ complexities. Our understanding of ideas is not always complete, linear, or even understood, but is rather a growing knowledge. Therefore, I have chosen to opt for something which acknowledges individual interpretations and invites them to look harder.
Though I am considering various outlets I am aware that this project will primarily be viewed online, and I would like to greater explore the impact of this. It will be seen in the realm of a wandering and somewhat disconnected state. Placed within the geography of the mind, a modern-day heterotopia which is simultaneously real and unreal at the same time. The venue in which most contemporary photography exists.
The project is less interested in objectivity, rather experience. Photography operates solely within the visual realm of the sensory and our knowledge of the world is experienced on much more than this. The work does not aim to reform life, rather to understand it.