The web we weave.
‘‘ THE unexamined life is not worth living,’’ Socrates once said.
In today’s world, with smartphone cameras at the ready at all times to document everything we witness, that roughly translates to ‘‘ the undocumented life didn’t happen’’.
Online publishing platforms are online all the time in our hands. We are hyperconnected on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr and we feel a creeping social obligation to show it all off to our friends.
We have a global obsession with documentation, and it’s yet to be seen how this will affect our future generations.
The daily photo trend is one way that people are taking stock of how quickly the world is changing.
Taking a daily photo at the same time is today’s version of the zoetrope – a 19thcentury optical toy consisting of a cylinder with a series of pictures on the inner surface that, when viewed through slits with the cylinder rotating, give an impression of continuous motion.
Change happens quickly and slowly, simultaneously. It’s hard to see our friends, our families, our cities, and ourselves change when we are so close to it, unless it’s documented.
The daily photo, when viewed months, years, or decades at a time, reveals the process of change in all its visual glory.
‘‘ This project aims to capture the ageing of my body,’’ writes daily self- portrait maker Jason Fletcher.
Since January 2000, Fletcher has taken a daily self- portrait and posted them all on his wallpaper- style photo blog online.
He’s not unique in this. It’s a growing trend of self- reflection and a mesmerising process to view in animated form.
Daily photos are not all narcissistic, either. They are an examination of the daily life – spaces, time, rituals, people, emotion, clothes, home, possessions, haircuts, books, memory. Livingly photo projects are a technological Zeitgeist; capturing the spirit or mood of a particular period of history every day, fleetingly.
In time, these photo projects represent how gradual but unrelenting change is, and how the ideas and beliefs of the time change along with us.
‘‘ I believe our generation is beginning to approach life differently,’’ Fletcher continues. ‘‘ Technology has enabled a singular type of hindsight that can refresh perspective in real- time.
‘‘ This is a reminder that my life is not binary. I am a constant mutating hybrid, a grey zone, a living meta- modern Venn diagram.’’
VENN DIAGRAM: Daily Jason Fletcher is a self- portrait photo blog by Jason Fletcher.