29 January 2019

Colliding with our Shadows:

Phone Phlattery

More and more we see our screens. We collide with our environment, relying on our technology to interpret our experience for us.

Do we see or hear anything of our immediate surroundings? No. Oblivious, we allow passing cameras to catch our image as we lose ourselves in alternate realities. We appear to be here. But our minds are miles away.

Google Street View catches our obsession and renders a verdict on our distraction. We have become shadows of ourselves.
***
Life, Stilled The "still life" of the 21st century is a far cry from that illustrated by 19th century artists.

Since the advent of the cell phone, pedestrian traffic no longer flows predictably, but is a dance of random motions, the demented play of musical chairs.

Do we stop when the music starts, or is it the other way 'round? Makes things complicated when we are all dancing to different music!
shadows of Street View Cameras & pedestrian using phone
Shadowing Meriden CT original
shadow of street view camera foreground, shadow of pedestrian texting in background

shadow on gate of pedestrian with earphones using phone

Lost or found? Oblivious to the passage of Google Street View cameras in Boston MA, September 2014, a pedestrian is totally absorbed in his phone.

Do generations speak the same language any more? Sometimes. Information transfer is made more difficult as new modes of communication erect learning barriers between generations.

Our phones are smarter than we are. Not only do we find ourselves divided by various degrees of shared history, we are now also segregated by our communication skills and preferences. Help!

man in foreground, Google vehicle in background
Lost or Found original
 
Man in red shirt, shorts, dark socks & sneakers on phone
Lost or Found?

Young man in red shirt with backpack texts, oblivious to his shadow on the nearby window and the Google Street View vehicle passing by
Peek-a-boo! We found You! (Wretched Poet)
Shadows on Snow Hill, London. On Google Street View in July 2016 a passerby is distracted. Did she know she was about to walk by the former location of the Malt Bitters Company [ https://goo.gl/hWcCp1 ]?

texting woman in blue walks past Snow Hill police station
Shadows on Snow Hill, original
 
blond woman in blue suit views phone while balancing packages
Shadows on Snow Hill

image of trade card from page 30, Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection

 

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