1. Representing: whether our usage of social media is leading people to feel more isolated / depressed / disconnected
In this image, I use a variety of composited layers to produce a slightly abstract, kaleidoscopic scene. The figures in here are scattered and segmented by the intersecting lines of metallic light that criss-cross the image, creating a disconcerting and isolating effect. Computer monitors, the outlines of phones, and desktop screens emerge from these lines while the people using the technology are obscured, thus conveying the dominance of technology in everyday life, even surmounting individual identity. Furthermore, the blue and silver tones, set in harsh and straight lines, evoke a dispassionate, cold mood, which alludes to the inhuman nature of technology. There is an irony in these lines: while they seem to symbolically connect the figures in the picture in a kind of web, they carry no semblance of friendliness or warmth, and thus reflect the fact that social media are insufficient for our complex social needs.
2. Representing: the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones and our increasing dependence on them
This image, like the one above, has many layers. However, while image 1’s compositing was edited in, image 2 employs the natural reflections of the glass balcony where I took the photo. There is a distinct ‘mise-en-abîme’ effect here as the reflections bounce off each other over and over; and this conveys a sense of losing oneself within the frame; in this case, within the frame of the phone camera. The colours are muted and set in a vignette to further emphasise this symbolism. Also, the rectangular shapes that pervade the image, from the balcony edges to the frame itself all mimic the boundaries of a phone. These layers of meaning accumulate to illustrate the point that phones are taking a dominant position in daily life; our dependence on them has increased exponentially. Lastly, my hand, which is splayed out against the glass, and is reflected multiple times, imbues the image with a feeling of claustrophobia; it is as if a person can be trapped in the confines of their technology, so absorbed in it are they.