What is the concept behind the photographic series "Digital Waste"

Updated: Mar 24

The idea behind the series “Digital Waste: The Sweet Smell of Burning” highlights the behavioural issues of taking too many photographs and an excessive exchange of worthless information on various social media platforms. Furthermore, both these behaviours lead to much deeper concerns such as living in the virtual world, instant gratification, detachment from emotionally meaningful relationships and its hypnotic effect on a human mind. The works present these issues metaphorically through photographs, objects and interactive audio-video. The intention of these works is to raise awareness of the current social issues in a subtle yet humorous way.

The photographs and objects primarily use the rejected images. The video work, which at the moment is a work in progress (nearing completion) highlights the engagement with meaningless information, at times leading to vocalisation (arm-chair activism) or at other times demonstrating indifference towards various social issues.


Juxtaposing these works together initiates a dialogue, at the same time individual pieces are capable of independently stimulating a thought process.


Photographs


Initial explorations for the series started with the photographs. Statistical predictions confirm that in the year 2017, 3.93 trillion photos will be stored on various storage devices worldwide. Over the years this number has been steadily growing at the rate of 9%. This simply means perpetually everyone sits on thousands of unused images that they consider as not worthy enough for use.

Photographic works circles around the notion of the abundance of image recurrence, it’s curation process and classification as “rejects”. Curation process brings forward many images that are not aesthetically appealing or is a mere recurrence of the same scene. With the digital technology advancement, this number has significantly increased. While ruminating over such photographs, I feel these images can be used in more meaningful manner.


Three of the pioneer photographers like Man Ray, Gjon Mili and Edmund Kesting's double/multiple exposure series have influenced my works. Read my other thread to know more about my inspirations.


To see more images click here or in the photograph


Small Sculptures

To further explore the possibilities and to break the 2-dimensional aspect of the photographs, the rejected photo prints are used to create the objects. These objects are an extension of the photographs and they provide a scope for investigating another aspect of digital waste, while still maintaining the element of ambiguity.


The sculpture predominantly uses the paper that is an outcome of "Digital Waste: The Sweet Smell Of Burning" series explorations. Besides being a tool for extending the scope of 2-dimensional works, the small sculptures also provided an opportunity to revisit the childhood in a certain way. The shapes are inspired by memories associated with childhood and experiences during the various travels. The physicality of these objects pushes me as well as the viewers to make an association that is beyond what is within the frame.


The objects in themselves are capable of an individual comprehension, however, juxtaposing them with the photographs initiates an interesting dialogue.


To see more images of the objects click here or in the photograph



Video Installation


On an average an adult spends 3 hrs a day, translating into 1,095 hrs a year browsing through miscellaneous information on various social media. In one way or another, most if not all people spend a significant amount of time in a day on Social Media and the internet. Paying necessary attention to the tasks we are mandated to execute or even being conscious of our surroundings is becoming a significant concern because of the nature in which we are consumed by what happens in the gadgets we use. Our social interactions, mental and emotional compositions have been transformed due to inadequately or over-using of technological advancement platforms in our lives.


The video work, “The F-art of Social Media”, uses impersonal useless text available on group chats in the form of forwards. This work is a satirical attempt to capture the involuntary and to an extent hypnotic physical and mental involvement that makes people experience a state of trance. The concept is inspired by the abundance of frivolous pieces of information on various social media platforms that unintentionally acts as a breeding ground for instant gratification.




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