Mobile Self Portraits

selfportrait.jpg

The convenience of the mobile phone camera provides
the user with an opportunity to document moments in our
lives. No longer burdened by the language of traditional photography,
mobile phone images are arguably promoting new dialogues
around contemporary imaging, as well as authentic modes of seeing.

The mobile phone camera is not imbued with the same prestige
awarded to the conventional stills camera, so it could be said
that the user is therefore less influenced by the etiquette or
theoretical baggage associated with photographic language.

The importance awarded the stills camera is eroded by the
mobile camera with its cheap plastic lens and small screen
resolution. Images are often created just because they can be,
and for that reason, it is these images that are often not afforded the same
value as those images created with a conventional stills camera.

After a 2 month stay in hospital for heart surgery in 2005, I decided to
record my recovery process for the first year. I chose to use a
mobile phone camera as I found it less confronting than looking down
the barrel lens of a stills camera. The mobile phone captured images
and stored them deep within the heart of its data card. I was able to
snap away day after day without any need to review, print or share
the images.

Free of the constraints of photographic art, I set out upon a narcistic
journey which followed my ups and downs throughout that first
difficult year. Looking at the result, over 300 images in total, I
am the first to doubt the value of these self indulgent images.

As far as I am concerned, the images have served there purpose,
that of enabling myself to see a visual representation of my
recovery from illness. I am left wondering if my detachment
from these images is due to the subject matter, or just
a lack of artistic merit I place upon them due to the lack
of credibility afforded to the mobile phone camera?

One thing is certain. These images exist only as data, they are
like digital dust blowing across the network.

Cheers,

Dean.

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~ by Dean on September 11, 2007.

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