Rage against the Technological Age

Anyone who knows me knows my distaste for technology when it comes to photography. I simply do not equate spending megabucks on a fancy lens with progression in contemporary photographical methods. Creation of good art should not be dependent on how large your wallet is.

And so when it comes to my methods today I get angry when asked why I don’t use Photoshop to build my collages. After all, we are in the digital age now aren’t we?

Well yes and no.

We are in the here and now where a large proportion of the world’s population (whether digitally inclined or not) still depend on paper in a large way. Paper is still a valid form for everyday dealings and for making artwork. Paper allows us to function, whether through till receipts, books, or printing out glossy pictures doctored in Photoshop.

And this is why I still print my images on shitty little bits of paper and collage them up. I use my little analogue plastic medium format pinhole camera to make the initial images, and I use my hands and some glue to rebuild them. If painters are still allowed to create work using paint and inks even though we’re in the 21st century then it should be expected, allowed, encouraged, for photographers to create their art in this way.

Collagist Lee Krasner described reappropriation of her own drawings through collage as ‘a form of clarification… I’m going back on myself.’ Her self expression was a form of self discovery. I like this. I like to rediscover my Self through my own images and through rebuilding them. It takes a while to decide what I’m thinking now, how I’m feeling, who I was, who I wish to be. It takes me time to discover my Self.

Lee Krasner  Imperative 1976
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that digitalized collage-effects are the spawn of the devil and shouldn’t be made. Work like this should be encouraged. It has the potential to be valid, powerful, and emotional. It is good art.
But please, pretty please, not to the detriment of artists who choose to rage against the technological age. Please allow me to create tangible tactile work based on the photograph. Please encourage me when I have glue on my fingers and little bits of paper all over the place. This is who I am. This is who I want to be. This is an extension of my Self.
This is myself.
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