“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world.” These opening sentences in the manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, are infamously haunting. The essay written by Ted Kaczunski, otherwise known as the Unabomber, outlined a dismal and bleak future for the human race. He acted out extreme measures to collapse the United States technological structures. Although his methods were violent, unjust, and reprehensible, were his ideas of the future that far off? In a post Snowden world, can we ignore the glaring fact that privacy dead, and technology becoming an ever increasing problem?
In this project I am attempting to tackle these questions and more. By using different visual languages I am trying to challenge social norms and spark curiosity within the viewer. In the image of the camera on the tree, a security camera is a common occurrence in a cities environment. The way in which the camera is composed is treating the viewer like a suspect, as if they have something to hide or have done something wrong. The camera itself is like a gun, trained on you, ready to fire. Modern ways of technology integrating its way into contemporary living is with the ghost portrait. The image is made up of 12 photographs taken from my Facebook. These images are overlaid and the opacity brought down, in order to make a portrait that is the “essence” of Adam. Similar methods are used with various social media’s facial tracking features. Traditionally a portrait attempts to capture the essence of a human's personality in just one image. The way in which the images are compiled bring into question just how much can you truly understand about a person through not just one image, but multiple.
In Michel Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” he talks about this theory of “Normalization”. Compliance is met with reward, whereas insolence is met with punishment. Normalization is a key tactic in exerting total social control. A question the photographer attempts to probe the viewer with is: will you be compliant, or will you be uncompromising?