Photography has evolved dramatically in technology and image exposure capabilities. This has resulted in a generous democratization that has brought the craft and discipline closer to the people. But since we are constantly bombarded with visual content (photographs and video), and despite the fact that I'm not against the democratization of the medium, a question keeps popping into my head. The following words may sound like a rhetorical exercise, but I'm really worried about my question: Will humanity be able to be impressed by photographs in the same way classical, iconic images have changed the perception of real-life situations? Will we, as human beings, be able to save meaningful images in our brains even though we are progressively bombarded by visual content on the news, internet, social media, and traditional ads?
“The inventory started in 1839
and since then just about everything
has been photographed, or so it seems.”
Susan Sontag – On Photography
The bombardment metaphor is not an exaggeration at all. Erik Kessels made a point about this reality in 2011 with his “24 Hrs in Photos” installation. He picked one random day (24 hours straight) and printed every single image that was uploaded to Flickr on that day. Flickr … FLICKR, 2011… A lot has changed since then. He chose the only photography-sharing platform that was oriented to people that had at least a minimum interest in making photography an important part of their lives. Nowadays we have dozens of photography-sharing platforms, not to mention social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Even though he narrowed his source of images to a single platform, he ended up with this, an overwhelming avalanche of images reaching from FOAM's floor to the ceiling.