So after quite some time of thinking and working things out, there are a few images from my new series Years Later. Here is my artist statement about this new series.
“On average, there are 350 million photographs uploaded to Facebook, 42 million photos taken on Instagram and 1.42 million posted to Flickr per day. But how many of those photographs actually get printed? Half? A quarter? An eighth? Chances are most of the photographs will never get printed and shared with others in a tactile way.
Fast-forward five, ten, fifteen years and the chances of finding Uncle Joe’s birthday party photographs are near impossible. And at the rate technology increases, the chances of that hard drive those photos were on and that it still works is questionable. Vernacular photography has constantly changed; and finding vintage fiber prints is amazing, voyeuristic and tactile. While a photograph from 1901 may be slightly faded and a bit roughed it, I doubt we will be able to even view a file we take now, in a hundred years. Can digital images age with us like prints? Patinas, cracks, and fading will be replaced with lost and damaged files. Will we treat a glitch as fondly as a well-worn print corner or a faded image in a frame?
I fear that in just a few years, we won’t be able to stumble across an old family photo album. There will be no physical item to show off to others. With our short attention spans, we take the photo, post it to a social media outlet, wait for the “likes” to roll in, and then on to the next photo to post. Photos become lost in the monstrosity that is our digital archive. Though social media has ramped up how we see personal images and how many we have, will the technology, the platform if you will, stand the test of time like a 100 year old silver gelatin print?
The images I have manipulated have tell-tail signs of aging. Worn corners, creases and tears have become part of the visual language of old prints and found vernacular photography. As we move into the digital age, and the non-tactile personal image, I have pondered what these images will be to generations forward. Will they be lost forever, will they be kept to display to family members in generations to come?
Instead of the worn images of the 20th century fiber print, will we look at computer glitches and corrupted files with the same fondness? Will our digital images survive like these prints did from decades before?
There is plenty of commentary about the transition from film to digital. I bed the question how we will treat photography as an object of history, or otherwise in this new digital era.”