With such life changes, I’ve also been struggling with the motivation to even care about a world obsessed with social media and constant distractions as a photographer. The thought of ‘what’s the point” has creeped into my mind because really… what is the point of sharing images online? And likes? When 15 people from my 900 followers actually see my image what do those ‘views’ even equate to? It’s an utterly pointless currency that does not mean anything to me anymore. Do you ever stop and count the hours wasted on a screen and how utterly pointless your interactions are? From the thousands of people you follow how many do you actually interact with at all? How many do you even see in between the constant onslaught of adverts and bullshit? In an attempt to actually build a proper resource of indy photographers who inspire me, I’ve started to catalog them over here.
I quit social media aside from Instagram in about 2017 and lately I’m thinking of even ditching that platform too as it’s clearly not a tool to share images anymore- rather a distraction by design. Honestly I can’t stand it. On a positive note I have met many friends through Instagram that I meet in the real world, or chat with regularly so it does have a use.. for now. I can only imagine how much of a head fuck it must be to be spread across all social platforms in 2023. Yuck.
Exhibiting my work would be a great way to move away from the digital feed back loop – but it’s expensive- time consuming – and I’m disillusioned with the modern art scene in general if I was to be truthful. If modern art is not on the checklist of accepted narratives, policed by the institutions inspired by corporate mainstream media and pop culture you don’t stand a chance. The ‘chosen few’ perpetuate contemporary ‘noise’ to the masses, with mostly exhausting non stop woke propaganda. I just don’t have time for it these days. Yes I’m generalising- and ignorant -but you get my point.
So what is the point? Well, here I am wanting to tell you that I am still shooting, and more present than ever, and at the core of my work I want to continue documenting people and place through photography. The point of my photography is that it fuels my engagement with the world, and others. Maybe my work is not relevant right now, (and never will be) but in the future, it might be historic. But really at the end of the day, even if it is never seen, it’s fine as the point is that I enjoy my process and it gives me purpose. Is it art? What is Art? Who cares.
Anyway, this week I’ve been a little more motivated with plans for a project simply called “Ferry Road”. It’s a new body of work that explores the people and place of one of Christchurch’s first roads formed in 1851. It was actually my proposal for a Masters but i’ve decided I would rather spend the money on living right now rather than commit to another 2 years of study. This project will definitely take me out of my comfort zone, and while I have some solid tools developed through the beekeeping project, I’m quite nervous! I plan on taking it easy and guess it will take several years to complete. I tossed up working on digital for this project, but again want to use my 6 x 6 Yashica’s. I have a stash of colour film but once that is gone, I’m not going to buy anymore and shoot exclusively black and white due to the ridiculous cost of Kodak film. So I guess I will be forced to shoot digital for colour work in the future?
Friends, I can tell you one thing. I will not give up on photography or the community which I have spent the last 15 years involved with even if my work equates to nothing. I have built a strong resilient photography business, as well as a unique body of personal work as a photographer that I’m very proud of and is something to celebrate. While my obsession with image making is not as driven as the last 5 years, it still matters to me, so I’ll see you out there!