This series of images was designed to reflect on the contemporary experience of “mobile media making” (1), while questioning the notion of image ownership.In the age of smartphones, image-based social media platforms not only allow us the opportunity to view images shared by others in real time, or to be inspired by a limitless number of visual styles and trends, but also to be image-makers “on the go”.
To question this new state and style of image-making, the artist invited six colleagues to share a photograph representative of their daily commute to a building in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. The only guideline was to use their smartphones. The six shared photographs became the foundation for the six final images. They were initially edited, by the artist, using Instagram and its sister application Layout; the photographs were mirrored and tiled in reflection to popular image-making trends on social media. They were later processed through professional software to create more sophisticated patterns.
While the artist invested their time and creative expertise in creating each image, the process was highly dependent on the work of others. So who owns the original image now that it has been transformed? We could say that the artist here was a tool for generating visual movements that intrigue the viewers. Or we could see the process as a collaborative experience between the photographer and the image-maker. The intention of this series was to examine cultural and visual patterns seen in contemporary image-making practices by generating through a practice-based approach.
(1) a term that has emerged in 2014 in the book titled Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones by Berry & Schleser.