Blog Arts

Online for the people

Sergio Burns-The 3Nines Arts​

The 24 hour party people technology of the early 21st century must be the Twitter tribe? Round and round the social media goes like an out of control carousel, live feed in real time churning out tiny symbolic and - new - 280 character messages and visuals. People, from all over the world tweeting as if their sanity depended on connecting with the cyber-world beyond.

Embedded within all these mini-bites of humanity are visual signifiers of the humans of the everywhere flickering past like a high speed image train.

The social media link with photography is huge and global. Take a shot in the middle of Manhattan,New York, USA, download to Twitter and someone on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia, for example, is looking at your photograph in seconds.

So here I am scanning Twitter and a whole array of beautiful and well composed photographs Tweet past. I could curate?

Work by Sam A Malek from Pensylvannia, Rich Docherty from New York City and the intriguing Australian Julee Resuggan. There are more, of course, and many I could mention but not enough space to rifle through them all here. These were three that took my immediate attention.

They filter through in wonderful, captivating streams of photographic consciousness.

A visual sociological parade of one photograph after the next stream of consciousness, with geographical, political, economic and philosophical resonance. 

"Solo" by Sam A Malek

I am staring at Sam A Malik's 'Solo' as it flickers onward in real time. I notice it mimics a certain cinematic style drawing us beyond the central figure of the shot, and into a world that has the feel and look of a movie set. A grinning 'ham actor' who isn't really an actor at all, is taking a selfie with his co-star, who isn't really his co-star at all but, probably, his girlfriend. These are not the mythical creatures of Hollywood but, in fact, the humans of the everywhere. To the right of 'selfie' couple is a guy dressed in white looking at his smartphone, but the real star of this shot is the young 'Marilyn Monroeesque' girl in the forefront. She is caught between disinterest and a curious glance which is in the throes of taking shape as the realisation of the photographer's presence becomes apparent.

'Askance malocchio' (evil eye) as Sam suggests and who am I to argue?

"Graffiti Lane" by Julee Resuggan

Julee Resuggan's shot of a couple heading up a lane saturated in graffiti - including the rubbish bins on the right - could be a colourful representation of our lives? A graffiti spattered lane as a metaphor for our journey through life, a colourful and chaotic journey of always moving into the unknown. A trip full of highs and lows? Like Malek's photograph Resuggan's has a cinematic feel, a poster, maybe, for a movie about two youngsters planning to run away only to find themselves trapped by their age, their lack of experience, and of the financial means for escape, lost in a chaotic world of largely-ignored graffiti. The graffiti being the world constantly rushing in on us with information.

"The Cover-Up" by Rich Docherty

This visual narrative is all about image. The man in front of the yellow taxi has his life, history and psychological being written all over his face. He is slightly hunched and physically looks a little unsteady on his feet, but his dial oozes character. His hand is slightly covering another face on his T-shirt, while yet another face on top of the taxi has deep and state written at either side of it : 'Deep State'. The face on top of the taxi cab is, of course, an actor in a television series, while the man in front of the taxi is an 'actor' in real time in a real time series of real life episodes. Life events, if you will, created from all the decisions he has made conflicting with all the decisions other people have made to arrive at this precise point in time when he was snapped by Rich Docherty.

But that is the excitement of a social media device like Twitter. I often find myself wondering of those who are shot going about their everyday business. Innocent individuals who sign in to their Twitter account only to find themselves one of the humans of the everywhere marching happy, or sad, but mostly, oblivious, through the social media world. The iconic centrepiece of a piece of photographic art.

Twitter as social media in turn mimics photography. As quick as the world rushes incessantly in on the photographer, then they (the photographer) is trying desperately to capture that one significant moment. Social media is equally incessant, continually and rapidly changing and moving and evolving. An image pops up only to be replaced micro-seconds later by another visual.

Ordinary people, I have discovered, often have extraordinary stories to tell, verbally and visually. I wanted to curate from this experience and the above were the first results. How will this evolve with time? Who knows?

Lisetta Carmi– La bellezza della verità

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Monday, 26 October 2020
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