Social Identity.

How do you think the role of photography in our culture is changing, when you think about how it is being used on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr etc? I’m particularly interested to hear your opinions on how you think photography, particularly self portrait photography, is being used to define an individual’s identity. How is our ‘identity’ constructed through the choice of photographs we post online? 


My Response:

As humans from early Greeks to modern day we have demonstrated an interest in self-exploration. Our current ‘selfie’ craze is a revolution, which reinforces our social identity over the Internet. Sociological research shows that humans are only capable of intimately knowing 150 people, due to social networking we feel we ought to share with more, as man is a social creature and the thought of loneliness drives us mad.

The problem being is we’re rapidly collecting online friends and not distancing quantity vs. quality. In a world where time is money and we are pressured to achieve more, when it comes to socializing it takes place in real life, in real time where you cannot control how you look or what you say. We’re obsessed with building an online persona so we can present ourselves as we want to be seen, we can edit and therefore delete. We can share pictures of when we look our best; it’s endless personal promotion.

However, sacrificing mere connection for conversation is what makes us feel lonely, we claim to have all these online friends but how many of them can you spend a day with, how many can you have a personal conversation with? We share to feel connected, to define ourselves and to feel less alone but in fact it’s doing the exact opposite as you loose physical human interaction.

Technology is rapidly changing who we are as we feel more and more lonely and vulnerable we turn to social media for what we believe to be stability, a controlled network of friends. Sharing a ‘selfie’, getting likes and comments makes one feel good about themselves but what is the actual value of this? We’re slowly forgetting how to physically interact socially face to face with one another, as we feel more comfortable hiding and controlling who we are via technology.


Ship to Shore.

Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea. 

John Hansard Gallery/Sea City Museum, Southampton.

08/02/14 – 04/05/14 

Catherine Yass, Lighthouse (North), 2011.

Catherine Yass, Lighthouse (North), 2011.

Perhaps the most underrated show of the year, contemporary gallery John Hansard and the Sea City Museum present Ship to Shore an exhibition across two venues exploring the lure of the endless sea via various mediums of art. Expect to be astonished by artists who have vividly expressed their engagement with the sea and ocean within the most extraordinary and breath taking way possible using film, photography, sculpture, and more. Ship to Shore allows the contemporary artists such as Isaac Julien, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Tracey Emin and Catherine Yass to blow the classical preconceptions of art out of your mind. The work shown is to the most stunning quality and presented to such high standard every fine detail is to be appreciated within the exhibition. The thoughts provoked regards to the show are a valuable and thrilling experience. Your senses will be stimulated and enhanced as there is no room for disappointment, a show which reaches its maximum potential and finest quality.

Thomas Joshua Cooper

Thomas Joshua Cooper

Moonrise Over the End of the World, Furthest West, The Mid North Atlantic Ocean, 2002. 

What sparked most interest for me within the exhibition were the seascape photographs by Thomas Joshua Cooper. Cooper travelled as far north, south, east and west as he could to photograph the furthest points on the globe, these images took an incredible amount of time and effort to produce. However standing in a room viewing all four images on four different walls has an enclosed affect and as each image is aesthetically different due to the immense distance between where they were taken provokes a variety of feelings certain individuals relate to in various ways. During my second visit to the gallery with young people studying for their arts award  we spoke together about how the images made each of us feel. The variety of responses was not what I expected but it made me realise how aspects of these images have powerful emotional effects on an individual wether it be positive or negative is irrelevant as we still all appreciated how stunning the monochrome, philosophical images are. Personally I have a fear of open water out at sea, a fear of being abandoned and left in the open space terrifies me so a few of the images were quite comforting as I could see the edge of the land on them. Although the sea seemed rough it was reassuring that they were in fact taken on land. However one of the images does show open space so there is no comparable emotions about these images being shown together, the narrative is left wide open.

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.hansardgallery.org.uk/