No one looks anymore….
The television is on as I lay on my bed looking through and beyond the screen to the crowds in the Olympic stadium.
The camera cuts from a wide to a medium shot as it frames a group of spectators. For a moment they are oblivious to their capture until they catch sight of themselves on the big screen, in the stadium. They nudge friends next to them and they smile, hug and wave flags before the director cuts away back to the action as an athlete readies them self for competition; and then the waving spectators are gone.
But as I remember them, and their smiles, I imagine them as an audience will do in a hundred years from now and I wonder if the future will look upon them with pity or with envy? Will they pity them for being trapped in the past and for not living to know the future; or envy them for having the time to look that they have lost?
Life is too quick now…or perhaps life is too quick for comprehension, understanding or indeed for photography. We no longer have the time to consume and digest what we see before us before we move on. We no longer have time to deconstruct and perceive. As we are all junkies for immediacy and for the new. For images to hit us straight away and to satisfy without us asking why. We have no time to stop and stare any more.
We simply want to feel, something; anything and then move on.
Life is too quick now.
Photography is boring… always has been, is now, and always will be. The enabling factor of digital imagery and the mass production and availability of images for our insatiable consumption has temporarily allowed us to believe that photography is exciting. Exciting like Television and Video. Sorry, It isn’t. Photography requires us to slow down and look for subtle nuance. The internet, like television, does not encourage or allow for nuance. Everything is built for speed and impulse. Instant satisfaction and rapid eye movement. The false reality of our times. When people spend the greatest part of their lives living on the internet, the internet becomes the greatest part of people’s lives.(1) We naturally want to include photography in our internet lives, however disappointing that relationship may be. We very quickly get the sickening and disheartening feeling that we have seen all there is to see.
Photo art Magazine
Every generation thinks that they have seen all that there is to see, even those in the film below who time has now taken and left behind. Because time will always overtake us, within it’s motion, and leave us all eventually in the past as JG Ballard has written, “all motion leads inevitably to death, and time is its servant”
So perhaps we should look more whilst we can.