This street photography series began as I was wandering through NYC and ran smack bang into Times Square. Unmissable. The people. The lights. The advertising. The excessive use of electricity screaming – buy Nike, buy Coke, buy buy buy buy.
I was incredibly overwhelmed and sat down to take it all in. What I noticed, was that most people passing through the square payed no attention to it at all. Mobile phones drew their attention in a far more absorbing way. This is in no way unique to NYC, it happens in my own city and I’m sure in most cities in the world. But it did make me think – with all this technology making us more accessible, more responsive and more available, how connected to the present moment are we?
The series progressed and I was particularly interested in people engaging with their mobile phones when there was a lot of other stuff going on around them, or when they were working or multi tasking. I’m not criticising it – I do it. It’s just interesting. The more you look for it, the more you notice every second person oblivious to their surroundings and connected to some other moment and place. Connected to technology, disconnected from everything else.
I totally get it – being connected. When we’re on our way from one place to the next, why not make the most of catching up or continuing to work. But when do we rest? When do we stop, look around us, reflect? My clearest thinking used to happen on long bus rides staring out the window watching worlds go by. I just wonder how or when do we get a chance stop and take things in when we are always ‘connected’. What do you think?
Check out the whole documentary here