A new installation at the Amsterdam Foam gallery by Erik Kessels takes a literal look at the digital deluge of photos online by printing out 24 hours worth of uploads to Flickr. The result is rooms filled with over 1,000,000 printed photos, piled up against the walls.
There’s a sense of waste and a maddening disorganization to it all, both of which are apparently intentional. According to Creative Review, Kessels said of his own project:
“We’re exposed to an overload of images nowadays,” says Kessels. “This glut is in large part the result of image-sharing sites like Flickr, networking sites like Facebook, and picture-based search engines. Their content mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and un-selfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other peoples’ experiences.”
Humbling, and certainly thought provoking, Kessel’s work challenges the notion that everything can and should be shared, which has become fundamental to the modern web. Then again, perhaps it’s only wasteful and overwhelming when you print all the pictures and divorce them from their original context.
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