Vote Ashton? What is this all?Read More
Did I scan 9 cards once and digitally composite them 6 times to represent a whole deck? Did I lay out and scan 6 sets of 9 cards to then composite them to show the backs of the entire deck?
If anyone is to ask me, I could bend the truth, exaggerate it, make it seem like I was chuckling to myself while making/writing this, or make it it seem as if the concept was created out of spite… (ouch!).
Nobody will ever know the whole truth except for me and even then, my perception of the “truth” would be clouded by my own biases... I find this concept both hilarious and something worthwhile to think about.
“A carbon copied dream.”
“This is where everybody comes to pretend their life is perfect.”
“Ugly things happen in the suburbs.”
I’ve heard it’s common for people dislike the area they grew up in... At least that’s what I tell myself when I reflect on the strong negative feelings I’ve had about the suburbs for as long as I can remember. Growing up I thought it was ugly, boring, and too far from everything I wanted to be a part of.
Last summer I started exploring these feelings through 35mm film for the series The Cats Don’t Eat The Plants Anymore. I’ve always liked that series more than I thought I would before shooting it. I found myself as an obsessed observer, only stopping when the sun went down or when I ran out of film. I was enjoying the pure aesthetics of the suburbs for what felt like the first time ever and this brought me peace.
Since starting that series, I’ve shifted from distaste to an intense curiosity. I'm trying to let myself feel this topic out since I'm noticing it as a reoccurring theme in my work. I'm curious to understand more and why it has such a strong influence on me. For now, I'm trying to let it form organically.
When I was 10 or 11 years old I got my first “real” camera - a Canon PowerShot SD1000. My mom matched every dollar I had saved up and we bought it from what I remember to be a really sketchy refurbished electronics + more store… my younger brother got one too.
We brought them everywhere and they had fallen victim to way too many pre-pubescent Tumblr-style mirror selfies, stop-motion videos of action figures wrestling, and photo scavenger hunts.
I found the camera in storage a couple months ago and couldn’t help but experiment with it. I’ve fallen in love with it again and use it now again all of the time. This has been the camera I’ve shot all of my experimental short films on, as well as my “VF” (viewfinder) series in my highlights on Instagram.
I love the nostalgic aesthetic of the mid 2000s digital grain and the simplicity of only being able to choose the ISO, JPG size, and white balance. In the age of photography where cameras come with manuals as big as textbooks and endless features and functions, it’s great being able to simplify the process, focus on the creative journey, and let go of the technical mumbo jumbo that we’re usually consumed with.