Installation shots of my screenshot project in a group exhibition entitled Virtual Intimacy; a show at the Clayton Arms in Peckham, London. 9th March 2016. – “A one night only exhibition of interactive installations showcasing works from young female photographers and visual artists questioning the possibility of intimacy in the digital age”. We came together with this shared theme of digital intimacy. What first comes to mind with the subject of intimacy is usually romantic relationships, intimacy in the bedroom and so on. My work is more concerned with the intimacy between our technology, our phones, and ourselves and how it allows us a new sort of intimacy with our loved ones, despite what people like to say about how technology I like how all of our work fits together, a varying, collective interpretation of what it is to be intimate in the 21st century.
A collection of almost 300 of my friends’ and my own screenshots, gathered over the past few months as they materialised naturally in the day-to-day use of our smartphones.
It’s a very straightforward snapshot of life ‘post-internet’, a visual representation, and documentation, of what it means to be constantly online and accessing constantly ongoing conversations (via facebook messenger etc) any second of the day.
The act of screenshotting is a very new way of image making and communicating, and could even be considered a new form of photography and I certainly consider it so. Utilising screenshots in my work is primarily inspired by the so called New Aesthetic, a term coined by James Bridle and seen with artists such as Ann Hirsch and Evan Roth; it’s the blending of the virtual and physical, exploring themes around communication, how social media and having to be constantly ‘switched on’ affects us, and friendship dynamics in the digital age. The project also raises questions around age old issues of ethics and privacy.
The physical printing out of the images was important for the presentation; I wanted a complete subversion from their original purpose. I didn’t want them on a screen, in their natural habitat. I wanted them on the wall and accessible to everyone. I used the printing company Photobox to print my images partly because it was affordable, and because of the connotations with the family photo album, stacks of snaps from the days when your photographs had to be physical and were perhaps of more value. I wanted to communicate my feelings of the project as a legitimate photography piece, perhaps appealing to the institution/gallery system as post-internet art often does, coaxing the bourgeois art world into a broader understanding of how art is ever presently evolving outside of traditional institutional spheres and how that is a good thing.