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Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

‘‘ 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.

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