We travel, for various reasons: work, pleasure, exploration, escape. The photographing of these adventures seems necessary, but at times pointless. When images of the places we go are abundantly available, why take another photograph? Why rehash a subject that, no doubt, has been repeatedly documented, at times brilliantly? We know all this, and yet we still photograph. Can the photograph somehow memorialize a moment, or seem to determine it?
Photo-based artists, we are versed in many types of cameras, and yet here we use a simple plastic camera. Easier to use than an iPhone camera and yet less reliable, the plastic camera presents us with a simplicity that is not often found in the complex medium of photography. The simplicity of this tool and the evocative images we produce with it evoke an exploration of the world outside physical and mental interiors. These images, created using traditional photographic film processes, are only seen weeks, sometimes months after we finally develop them. Thus, photographs taken with our plastic cameras become inextricably linked with geographical and emotional circumstance.
The photograph becomes a shorthand for experience and memory. We remind ourselves that we were there, using this “device that makes real what one is experiencing.” And yet the photograph is faulty in its depiction of reality, transforming experience into a subject frozen in time. With our plastic cameras, we play with time, dragging shutters or manufacturing realities by duplicating spaces on film. Here, we evolve the photograph into an image that represents more than just a single moment, instead presenting a complex representation of reality, much like it is in our memories.