Assignment 2 – Initial idea 7: Time

There are many subjects around the idea of time. The passage of time, realising one is no longer young, is an interesting topic in itself. It is manifested in many ways. We tend to focus on the physical ones: grey hair, loss of muscle flexibility, tiredness, wrinkles; but usually the non-physical signs are the more interesting. Knowing first hand a historical moment that others have just learned by reference is one example of this. The generational gap in customs and culture. Looking at people dressing in a certain way for the second time around when most of them are dressing like that for the first time.

Another topic that I have been thinking a lot about in recent days is the usage of time. We tend to leave busy lives and many of us are working and studying at the same time. We also need to dedicate time to our families and friends, to a myriad of social activities outside work, and to manage all this is quite complex. But we are also spending a lot of time on things that may not necessarily bring us any joy. Where I work we have television screens blasting news continuously, albeit without sound (only images). Although I tend to ignore them most of the time, there is always something that captures our attention. And then, without thinking we end up checking the news in our phones or tablets. When we travel home, or when we get there, we are always looking at the Internet for news or entertainment. I guess this topic is somewhat related to the previous one, because I do remember the time when the internet was not as widespread and there were no tablets or smartphones and we used our spare time for other things, such as meeting each other or reading a book. I sometimes long these times and wish I could go back, but it is difficult, because there have been many benefits that have been brought by the new technologies (such as access to vast amounts of information in real-time: mails, the weather, train times, bus times, most of which help us save time or prepare for what was previously unexpected), but these benefits have come at the cost of great distractions (mindless video games, social media, invasive advertisement). The convenience of everything being now connected and readily available everywhere in real time also comes at the cost of relinquishing our privacy. But the worst aspect of this, the one I dislike the most, is that I think most of the time I spend in the Internet is just a waste or my time, that I could be using it to learn something new or to do something that I enjoy more. Or spend more time with real family and friends.

How do we connect these two topics photographically? I guess one way of looking at this would be to imagine doing all the new things we do today with the Internet, and that were not customarily done in the past, and try to recreate them with old technology. Likewise, it may be interesting to see what it would be like to do things that we used to do differently in the past with the aid of new technology.

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