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"Pics or it didn't happen"

Completed during BA studies - Linfield College


During my time abroad, I was consistently struck by the manner in which digital media has shaped tourism. In today’s image-dominated society, there exists a pressure to authenticate touristic encounters with tangible proof.  One must personally record an event, particularly those that are foreign or exotic, in order to validate the occurrence.  The photograph thus serves as a symbolic trophy that provides one with ownership over their experiences.  Yet what happens to the quality of such experiences if their potential value as souvenirs supersedes experiencing the actual moment? 


Individuals will flock to museums and famous architectural sites – drawn by the grandeur and ardor of human craftsmanship – only to spend more time looking through a camera lens than at the work itself.  With the instantaneity of digital photography one simply has to click a button in order to “capture” an experience.  This method of appropriating experiences into one’s personal photo album distorts how the present moment is encountered however.  Through my work I seek to explore this distortion and its effect on how one processes novel incidents.     

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