NOW

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This project was part of a book and online self-publishing project at the University of Wales Newport in 2012

Now.
What is now? The moment this is written, the moment it is read or is it even the moment the next one will be reading this? Now is all of it and nothing: past, present, future – because everything is fluent.

A photograph is not a snapshot of the past, the present or the future. It is just a glimpse of it, a tiny bit of a subjective truth. Just like the lens and the camera’s sensor are manipulating and segmenting the reality, our senses are doing so as well.

So where is the real now, where is the truth? The only gateways to reality are our senses, which add up to a whole idea of reality. Since everything is a quote of something, this series of pictures is a quote of our senses, with which we are experiencing this illusion we call reality.

If we remove one sense, we get a different picture. By removing all senses except sight, as a photograph does it, we should get a distorted picture of reality.

But we can’t. Our senses are interconnected – look around us. Isn’t it strange that we can tell how almost every single object in our surrounding tastes even if it is unfit for human consumption? When you look at a picture of wax crayons, can you smell them? When you think about fingernails on a chalkboard, aren’t you getting goose bumps? Or why is there extra weight applied to gadgets that suggests us a higher value? Why are vacuum cleaners loud like a starting airplane if they could be built almost silent? Why do we need a vibrating, clicking feedback if we use a virtual button on our smartphone?

Our senses manipulate each other, and so do we. Commercials manipulate their audience to buy, buy again or recommend the product advertised. Is it real strawberry that we taste in a milkshake? Why is the bag of potato chips twice as big as it should be? Why are we more likely to buy a box of cereal marked with “30% EXTRA”? Advertisements are also quotations. But they bring us even further away from the natural quotations. Glycerin is used to create water drops on fruits in order to make them look fresher in the photograph. CGI liquids, unrealistically beautiful models and Photoshop compositions create a fake reality but this sets new standards and leads us to believe that it actually is reality.

Advertisements try to create associations in the viewer’s head and stimulate their senses, influencing them subconsciously. The same approach is intended with the following series of photographs. The impressions trigger our reactions. Or to be more specific: the sitter’s reactions trigger our impressions.

Now that you know that the following pictures can’t be real, you will see the quote. They are shot in a studio situation with artificial light sources and processed on a computer. The sitters’ reactions might be genuine but they are anything but “now” – since there is no such things. And of course the moment the pictures are taken are ephemeral. The photograph on the other hand and is not. It is distorted capture of time.

Experience them yourself when you look at the reactions shown. Maybe you can hear the balloon explode, taste the onion, smell the sock, feel the cake and see the horror movie.