I use the iPhone to turn everyday moments into existential questions about the human condition and human’s search for meaning. Through the mobile device – a technology that was created with the aim of increasing human connection – I wish to expose the darker aspects of human existence: isolation, disconnection, loneliness, longing, and not shy away from the hidden corners of life. Light creates shadow, and the depths of the shadows are what I explore in this series.
I invite the viewer to feel what our contemporary society often encourages us to brush aside; that is, the profound anxiety of our lone existence. Some photos evoke the sense of having just missed someone. Others depict a figure in the distance – but are they lonely or seeking solitude? Certain photos show multiple figures, yet there is a profound lack of connection among the individuals. My images of objects and animals also exude an aura of emotional detachment. Through my photographs of everyday moments, I encourage the viewer to feel the discomfort of increasing dehumanization.
Ultimately, I aim to draw our attention to our need for human connection. Indeed, we have the opportunity to change our relationship with one another, creating the community we unconsciously, yet deeply miss in our busy, technology-filled lives. I believe that the survival of humans requires us to understand how others’ feel and collaboratively work to construct a better society. Do we maintain our direction of being alone together, or do we work to expect more from each other?
- Special thanks to Emily Roh and Susan Lambe Sarñana
San Jose, once the largest agricultural and cannery city in California, is now the Capital of Silicon Valley. Since the late '50s the switch from farming to high-tech has changed the face of the city. The most recent influx of techies has increased the demand for luxury apartments and centers from the newly minted millionaires. The stress on blue collar workers has resulted in many not being able to afford the ever rising housing costs. Some of the highest in the nation.
Technological advancements have looming consequences for San Jose’s inhabitants and natural resources. High-tech leaches natural resources, and new technologies replace prior generations at faster rates than raw materials and the current labor force can keep up with. My aim is to document San Jose’s history as a means to memorialize my own history. These images capture in demand luxury developments from an ever-growing high-tech workforce.
There are few generally accepted axioms in biology. One is that structure represents function and another is that living organisms are greater than the sum of its parts. For example, the structure of a protein represents the function of that protein. Also, parts of a cell alone are not the cell, it’s the activity between proteins (and the like) that creates a system greater than the some of its parts. In this regard, I find similarity between natural structures and structures created by humans. The structure and activity of the city represents the structure and activity of architecture, which represents the structure and activity of our brain, which represents the structure and activity of our cells, which represents the structure and activity of our DNA. It’s easy to see that there’s a multidimensional threat thread that connects the very small (DNA) to the very large (society).
I want to show how architectural structures represent emotional activity of the brain. Like the cell, architecture alone is not alive, human interaction within architecture makes it alive. All emotions occur in a context and all architectural structures offer a context to associate emotions to, which is autobiographical memory. Humans create architecture in their own image and my goal is to distill architecture and memory away from direct human imagery. I want to see the shadows of human activity and emotion. I seek to highlight sadness, isolation, depression, death, beauty, and hope in the absence of direct humans imagery.
Our ability to think about the future and remember the past is based on our capacity to imagine. These images are of the relatively new San José City Hall, designed by Richard Meier, which enshrines the abstracted nature of technological progress. San José City Hall offers no historical context or memory of the delicate farmland it’s built upon. Abstraction without the context of history degrades our very ability to think about the future.