Photos: Concrete Communication
by Beauchamp Art
These photos of the light creeping from underneath a mobile telephone at night, juxtaposed to a transparent plastic block and a bedside table. The photos are intended to reflect upon the constant light of electronic communication devices and the intangibility of digital information.
The use of plain white light coming from the phone, rather than an image or range of colour, is meant to be non-representational of a specific form of data and insubstantial, only supported by the connotations of the phone a communication device; as a technological medium between two persons. Though as the object of the phone is obscured by darkness, it becomes just a vessel for light.
Marshall McLuhan described “the electric light [as] pure information. It is a medium without a message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name.” [McLuhan, 1964: 8]
The transparent plastic block seems like a non-object, and somehow insubstantial, much as the digital may be perceived as un-concrete, and subjective, compared to the objectivity of the physical world. However, this binary definition of worlds does not account for the cross-over, whether dream or false memory, the solidity of reality in the mind is never particularly stable. Moreover, as one goes between digital and physical, the idea of the ‘virtual’ seems a fool-hardy enterprise.
As David Bell puts it, “We are constantly clicking between the embodied sensations of staring at a screen and typing and the disembodied dream of surfing cyberspace as uploaded consciousness.” [Bell, 2007: 7]. Thus not only is one going between different environments as part of a constant and fluid interaction and integration of new technologies into the experience of the world, but also it is mediated through countless filters, and the phenomenological interpretation of events is informed by a unique personal history.
Bell, David. (2007) Cyberculture Theorists. Great Britain. Routledge.
McLuhan, Marshall (1964) Understanding Media. 1994 Edition. Routledge. Great Britain.