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Documenting a disappearing way of life in the Outer Hebrides

  • Alexis Jossart
Documenting a disappearing way of life in the Outer Hebrides

J’ai comme l’impression d’avoir oublié quelque chose, affirme Hari tandis que la douche continue inlassablement de couler à ses côtés. La perpétuation des traditions vient mettre un baume réconfortant sur cette époque dictée par le rythme effréné des progrès technologiques.

Photographic exhibitions often use a language of political agency in their vocabulary. The photographic artists are posed as experts in the field of recent technological advances and media theory – Because after all, photography is fully entangled in some of the recent fundamental developments in human condition such as social media. Yet it seems that photography as artistic practice is blissfully behind on these questions. Post-Internet gets firstly and fore mostly addressed as an aesthetic, instead of a tectonic, foundational shift in the ontological standpoints through which photographs get produced and consumed. The artist as an anthropologist, carefully mining and categorizing the sea of dangerous images and forgotten memes. Exhibitions claim to be future-bound, positivist, yet rely largely on practices and ways of doing that were solidified decades ago. Photography as artistic practice is seen as intrinsically different than photography in any other sphere.

Image cultures emerge from a time before the Internet, but any active change to those cultures right now is most likely to be somehow in connection to the network. The most important political aspect of recent technology is the sharing – Internet is not a vault, the nature of the network is the exchange. One can co-operate with it or oppose it, but one can never not be in relation to it.

Image cultures emerge from a time before the Internet, but any active change to those cultures right now is most likely to be somehow in connection to the network. The most important political aspect of recent technology is the sharing – Internet is not a vault, the nature of the network is the exchange. One can co-operate with it or oppose it, but one can never not be in relation to it.

The rudder of innovation is desire. It is fascinating how fast the conversation about the network being a mirror image of the meat space, or a neutral platform for conversation has vaned and been replaced by think pieces about algorithms, congressional hearings from Facebooks executives, countless mindfulness apps and public or not so public paranoia. There was a great hope of social media as a democratizing, egalitarian force, a breeding ground for a leaderless revolution, the voice of the people and the like. In the past couple of years that rhetoric seems to have had another tone. The public is starting to realize, which has for long been the case, that there are liquid concrete ways in which these platforms are built that enhance the exchange being had. This stuff is designed by companies, and these companies’ values are reflected in the code, their technology, and their business models. The general public has increasingly started to understand that the users are not the customers of Facebook when they are using it on a day-to-day basis. Facebooks actions and strategies aim towards tending to their customers, which are the advertising companies, and this leads to a certain type of technology inside the program.

"Ayant d’abord fait office de baromètre indiquant la pauvreté, puis l’abondance, puis vice versa, la symbolique des vêtements déchirés et débraillés."

Dalphé Pirot, Editor

Il a utilisé les sous qu’il lui restait pour embaucher Nelli Formina, qui serait responsable de créer les costumes volontairement discrets – bien que spectaculairement pertinents – qui habilleraient ce chef-d’œuvre de science-fiction. La prudence esthétique de Tarkovsky aura porté fruit, contre-balançant parfaitement l’hystérie psychologique des personnages du film. 

Photographic exhibitions often use a language of political agency in their vocabulary. The photographic artists are posed as experts in the field of recent technological advances and media theory – Because after all, photography is fully entangled in some of the recent fundamental developments in human condition such as social media. Yet it seems that photography as artistic practice is blissfully behind on these questions. Post-Internet gets firstly and fore mostly addressed as an aesthetic, instead of a tectonic, foundational shift in the ontological standpoints through which photographs get produced and consumed. The artist as an anthropologist, carefully mining and categorizing the sea of dangerous images and forgotten memes. Exhibitions claim to be future-bound, positivist, yet rely largely on practices and ways of doing that were solidified decades ago. Photography as artistic practice is seen as intrinsically different than photography in any other sphere. 

The basic idea is that attention of a single user is a scarce commodity, so the advertising companies pay Facebook on the basis of the tracking data showing how long a single user spends on the site. Facebook does not sell the mined data per se, but rather it sells the time slot that a user has spent potentially viewing a certain ad. This is Facebooks strategy for 98% percent of its revenue. The variant to maximize is how long a user spends on a website, because that is the basis on which the company gets paid by its customers, the advertising companies. Facebook might be the purest ever example of a company whos business is the capture and sale of attention. Facebook never cared about your friends birthdays.

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