Digital Waste': Exploration of human dependence, focus on the virtual world
Article by Opalyn Mok
It is common for any person taking a selfie to take several images before using only one.
But what happens to the unused images?
Many of these images are either kept and forgotten or deleted to free up space in the device.
But photographer Madhvee Deb has managed to take these so-called rejected images and turn them into art.
The Indian artist used a series of multiple images of the same scene or place that were unused and turned it into art pieces in her solo exhibition titled “Digital Waste: The Sweet Smell of Burning.”
“Over the past three years, I have been closely observing the 'selfie culture' and the trend of requiring a gadget to make memories,” she said.
She noted the side effects of smartphones and social media when one loses control and unknowingly spends more time than intended.
“Instant gratification, detachment from reality, emotional disconnection, and relying on virtual affirmations are becoming the norms of society,” she said.
This is why she started exploring ways to use unused images and messages forwarded on several social media platforms to create something aesthetically beautiful.
“Photographs are an integral part of the stories that will be passed to the next generations, but to narrate we must first make memories.
“This isn't possible if we are always hiding behind the memory making tools and seeking approval from the virtual world,” she said.
She stressed that she is not condemning human nature and the misuse of digital means.
“The concern isn't about technology and social media, it’s about the lack of discipline in controlling our dependencies... resulting in us getting enslaved by these modern inventions, which is not necessarily enriching our lives at all times,” she said.
She said her work serves to illustrate how everyone is missing out by being “disconnected” due to the focus on the virtual world.
“I am probing this issue by picking up the bits and pieces of details that others dismiss, and letting the viewers make the decision based on their individual interpretations,” she said.
“Digital Waste,” which is held in conjunction with George Town Festival, will feature 10 photographs, one large installation, six sculptures and a video.