Last year, I went to Stone Henge for the summer solstice. It wasn’t exactly as I was expecting. I was hoping for loads and loads of druids running around doing all sorts of entertaining things. Sadly, there weren’t many druids. It was basically just an all-night rave outside by a load of old stones. Some people who had run out of drugs and needed to sleep stole one of our blankets when we went on a two-hour trek to the toilets.
Anyway, one thing that did strike me during the summer solstice was the sunrise. The sunrise itself was, of course, very nice to look at. It was a perfect summer morning. What interested me, however, was how the people there had to experience it all through their mobile phones. Take a look.
I’ve picked up a load of similar pictures from other events since that time, but this one defines it best for me. I’m not trying to complain about mobile phones or people taking pictures. I’m just interested in how our own experience of something is not enough – instead we need a picture of it. I’m a hypocrite anyway, having immediately felt the need to take a picture. I can’t help but think if J.G. Ballard were still knocking around, he’d be writing books about the symbiosis of this kind of stuff and people’s minds, moving on from his days of writing about cars and tower blocks invading the human psyche.
Anyway, on to what inspired me to post this. There’s a link here which is a massive, high resolution image from the royal wedding. Now I don’t care about the wedding. At all. I’d be not even slightly bothered if all royalty everywhere suddenly fell off the planet. But it’s a great shot of hundreds and hundreds of people all experiencing an event through a camera.
Update: I found two more photos of this. In fact, it’s even better. Here’s the first:
Here, I have taken a photo of people watching a TV screen. You” notice on the TV screen is some footage of two men. One of them is looking through a TV camera. And one more:
Here I am, being photographed taking a picture of these people watching the TV screen. One day I’d like to create a massive chain of photographs of people taking photographs of others photographing something else. It’ll probably create a black hole and consume the planet.