The 21st Century - Arnold Borgerth

The 21st Century

Life carries on as usual, but nothing is quite the same…

As the 21st century settles in, human society goes through major moral, cultural, and organizational changes.
As technology and economic interests push forward the digitalisation, virtualisation, and commodification of most human activities (including our interaction with the world and with one another), I’ve been drawn back into the slow pace and more reflective nature of analogue photography.
All images here have been produced through the old camera and black & white film routine.
They consider the intrinsic complexity of the process of vision, made even more complex by the virtualisation of the world.
What one looks at and what one sees are not necessary the same thing …
What are these images really about? What exactly has been photographed?
They are definitely not virtual, have not been digitally manipulated and are mostly quite straightforward.
Still, there is nothing definitive about them and they don’t quite make sense…

The economic and political landscape, the understanding of what is public or private, individuality and what it means to be an individual, as well as most of what is relevant regarding subjectivity in one’s life are all going through the process of being redefined.

Going against what is currently perceived as “the way to go”, I’ve instinctively gone back to the slow pace and more reflective nature of analogue photography. The old camera and black & white film routine slow you down creating a space in which intuition and rationality naturally merge.
The way analogue technology works requires a lot of thinking to be put into the process of generating an image. And the non-immediate nature of the process gives you time to reflect and think about what you are doing.
As our interactions with the world and with one another continue to be virtualised, the boundaries between fact and fiction may get diluted to a point of which they can no longer be differentiated. With the degree of truthfulness and relevance of something no longer being measured against facts, believing or not believing becomes the new criteria.
But regardless, the same three-dimensional physical world (also referred to as reality …) still stands in front of us and must still be deciphered and navigated through.
If we acknowledge that “reality” is a concept rather than an unquestionable and absolute truth, photography (traditionally associated to the idea of real and the factual) can also be used to question its own relationship with reality.
So, again:
What are these images really about? What exactly has been photographed?
They are definitely not virtual, have not been digitally manipulated and are mostly quite straightforward.

Still, there is nothing definitive about them and they don’t quite make sense…

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