In today’s relentless world that is increasingly relying on speed and mass consumption, taking a step back and reclaiming a bit of “slow motion life” has become almost an imperative for me. Although I full-heartedly embraced the digital, I can’t deny that I grew up and formed my personal and professional persona in the analogue age. Very few technological advancements have revolutionised our understanding of the world as the digital and more specifically the World Wide Web, did and still does.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just to name the most known, were a game changer. Nothing would ever be same; our understanding of photography changed from a very personal and almost intimate expression to that of a mass medium. Everyone with a Smartphone could nurture its artistic eye and share it instantly with virtually the whole world. The everyday elevated to art form, a collaborative and instant museum of approximately two billion Smartphone users. Despite this vast basin to draw from I find it almost limiting. I personally like to commit my personal aesthetics’ into coherent bodies of work sometimes even reinforced by text or extracts from poem, novels or song lyrics. Also the physical aspect is very important and central to my photographic practice. Paper, glue, prints and ink have a three dimensionality and a feel to it that is completely lost online. That is where the ‘Travelling Notebook’ comes into existence. The brainchild of Paola Codeluppi, it reconnects the photographer(s) with an easily neglected concept of space and time. There is definitely something cathartic in elaborating a project with a distinct narrative: printing it, designing it and finalizing it. Then you take everything down to your local post office send it away and wait for feedback, which can be at times agonizingly slow to come. But that is an integral part of the whole experience, no instant gratification triggered by “likes” and thumbs up but one on one thorough and articulated response. Noticeably is also a strong “feeding effect” where each other’s work seems to spur new energy and creativity in ones own work.
At the end of the day it’s not about whether the digital is better or not than analogue or if online presence is detrimental to photography, but to recognize each one's own aesthetic specificity and still remain grounded with meaningful work in our time and age.