“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
-John Banville, ‘The Sea’
Last weekend I drove down to Sorrento with my mothers and brothers to both see my Grandma and sort of make something of mothers day. I packed in the car three different cameras to do some photography in the hopes of catching something of value for my final project brief.
The sea rusted town of Sorrento will always be a place etched into the way I understand myself. It transports me back to the salt drenched summers of my childhood. A time when the hours on the grandfather clock above the kitchen bench ticked over slowly and I thought maybe I would be six years old forever. I remember the plaguing mysteries and elated highs of my childhood self and how happiness was different back then. It didn’t need to be defined, or sought, or understood it just sort of came in these euphoric waves or settled in like the still tide.
Coming back here always really drills in to me who I am, who I was, and who I am becoming throughout all these lived years. I often think about how my generation timed our place on earth impecably well. We managed to sneak in to this world well after the chaos and turmoil of war and depression had eased and right before the rise of a technology saturated society.
We became introduced to high tech devices at a time when they would create opportunity and growth for us, after we had enjoyed a somewhat organic and detached childhood. Away from the addictions and pressures associated with social networking.
It’s so intriguing to see the ways in which people’s lives have changed in response to the increase of devices such as iPhones and iPads. Children as young as 10 now have iPhones and Instagram accounts and people as old as 90 have had to learn a whole new way of communicating and networking through technology and social media.
Every different generation coming through has grown up in such different circumstances and under such various conditions that there is generally such a stark separation of ideals, priorities, and motivations for each group. The differences in lifestyles, behavior and habits have become a reflection of this. These variations are also very apparent in the different patterns of media consumption. The way a six year old child uses her iPad differs drastically to the way an elderly Grandma uses hers and I’m not specifically referring to the programs they are watching on Netflix.
After photographing my Grandma and speaking to her about the intense and dramatic changes that have occurred in society and technology over the years I have become further intrigued and more determined to attempt to capture the various ways people continue to live their lives throughout the lifespan and how their use of Media old and new, is becoming such an elemental and influential force in this.
“Yes, this is what I thought adulthood would be, a kind of long indian summer, a state of tranquility, of calm incuriousness, with nothing left of the barely bearable raw immediacy of childhood, all the things solved that had puzzled me when I was small, all mysteries settled, all questions answered, and the moments dripping away, unnoticed almost, drip by golden drip, toward the final, almost unnoticed, quietus.”
― John Banville,