Do you know that famous and old “déjà vu”? Yes, déjà vu! That feeling you’ve seen it before. In the post-digital era, where we are images chasing images, where we post around 1.8 billion photos per day on social networks, it goes without saying that repeatability is inherent. But what will be the consequences of this repetitiveness in the visual language?
A shape when submitted to an endless repetition leads to “boredom”, this repetition goes from one moment to the following, leading to forgetfulness. The form dissolves in the repetition. The images appear on the screen one after the other at an avid rate and the actual images becomes more superfluous due to the programming of the machine that produces, reproduces and distributes those images, it is precisely this uninterrupted repetition that leads to oblivion.
A shape when submitted to an endless repetition leads to “boredom”
Photography that used to be a “real-world” representation becomes a “display-world” representation, where, imagination is the ability to separate yourself from the environment and create an image of it, while the representation refers to the ability to turn a swarm of possibilities into an image. The human being is the only animal that needs to create symbols to decrease the distance between himself and the world, he must assign to the “world” a meaning. “Selfies” are a clear example of this need for individual self-affirmation towards the social networks, as well as repeatability. The criticism level is reduced to a minimum, often that “screen-image” was produced without any political or aesthetic engagement; it is only an index of superficial meanings.
We still don’t know what would be the consequences of this excessive repeatability, meanwhile we hope for a (re)evolution of the photographic language. When would we stop copying the symbols or assemble them into our photographic indexes, with nothing more than a shallow content, following the aesthetics standards, looking only for social inclusion? When would we stop portraying people as if they were objects and start turning them into people capable of producing meanings? When would we stop consuming by osmosis without falling in the forgetfulness? It’s only up to us to know from where and when the revolution will come, as the opposite of life is not death, but repetition.
Text originally posted in Portuguese on http://revistaold.com/blog/fotografia-e-a-repetibilidade-na-era-pos-digital/