Friday 9 November 2012

Sky Street

Next February (I know, right? plans for next February) I'm giving a talk at City Gallery Wellington on (or around) Ben Cauchi's exhibition The Sophist's Mirror.

At the moment, the talk is titled 'Has the Internet Killed Photography?' - which is patently silly, and which will likely change. I'm going to use the talk as a chance to lasso together a whole bunch of diverse thoughts about photography, nostalgia, the creation and curation of online identity, serendipity, emotion, historical photographic collections, a whole bunch of online photography projects, and what this all might mean for the way we look at and respond to Ben's work.

So far, my prep has mostly consisted of reading things people smarter than me have written and gathering links and quotes into a rapidly expanding Google doc. It's increasingly fun to skate my eye over the document and see what leaps out: phrases like 'Kodachrome-tinted insta-past', 'Sehnsucht (a German word that translates as addictive yearning)', 'sharing is a form of memory', 'Young Me Now Me', 'multi-touch finger paintings'.

Having the talk quietly simmering on a back element of my mind has lent a certain sense of purpose to internet ramblings; a ticketing and collecting of points of interest. A recent example came by way of James Bridle's 2011 Web Directions talk Waving at the machines. 'Trap streets' are the Mountweazels of the mapping world - fake locations inserted into maps to protect intellectual property. There's something very China Mieville/Neil Gaiman/inverted world about this idea for me. The Sky on Trap Street is a tumblr drawing together shots of the sky from Google Earth's trap streets. I love it.

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