Joshua Sariñana
Photographer. Neuroscientist. Writer.

Alone Together


The opposing forces of isolation and connectedness create an uncomfortable space that I often occupy. The images shown here represent that aforementioned space. In this series I aim to invoke feelings of familiarity and detachment through the use of seemingly universal images of spaces that could be just about anywhere or no place at all. My goal is to create an empathic connection between the audience and myself, drawing in the viewer while keeping them at an outside distance. 

Photographing contexts functions to reveal an unconscious conversation between public spaces and myself. I wonder streets with the vague intent of finding contexts that exhibit strong colors, shadows, and negative space. I observe the environment from a distance, collecting data with minimal intrusion, to create a narrative about where I have been. Upon reflecting about my experiences of making these photographs (while curating) I work to make sense of common themes, such as anxiety, relationships, and loneliness. Photography is the language I use to expose emotions that I hope represents a collective unconscious of viewers.

The images shown here are all created on an iPhone, which is a wonder of the 21st century that is often used to represent an analogue aesthetic. As technology advances nostalgia come more to the forefront, which is exemplified by use of retro filter apps that pays homage to stylistically influential artists such as Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, and Edward Hopper, but repeating to excess the social sharing and instability of images a la the Polaroid camera. However, prints are tangible in a way that mobile images are not; the same way that connection with another person differs when mediated by a screen. Mobile devices are used to cope with our ever-increasing detachment from those physically near us as we attempt to feel connected in an authentic and meaningful way. Although the visual feeds of our phones are loud there is an increasing quietness brought about our peering into glowing rectangles. We seem to be enduring a quiet anxiety that fuels our avoidance of being alone together.

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