(n.) cyber + dysphoria


Cyphoria is the belief that the Internet is the real world. “The Age of Earthquakes, A Guide to the Extreme Present” by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

According to we upload a staggering 1.8 billion images a day to social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. This revolution in photography means most people in the western world can now indulge in amateur photography, attaching stylised filters to images that replicate many of the unwanted characteristics of analogue photography (over exposure, colour saturation, etc). However, despite more photographs being taken than ever before, the photographic object is all but obsolete. Photographs no longer exist on photographic paper. Instead they exist as written code, manifesting within ‘The Cloud’: an abstract, cybernetic, collective consciousness, storing the fleeting moments of daily humdrum. In a house-fire, people no longer grab their family photograph album. Instead, they grab their mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

One of the most common photographs taken in this digital age is the selfie. The selfie tells the world how the user wishes to be seen by the larger world. It demonstrates individuality, yet paradoxically enslaves us within technological conventions and social norms. The selfie is the ultimate disposable self-portrait, and because of photography’s lack of physical format, the user has chance after chance to re-take, re-edit, photoshop and filter, removing the ‘warts and all’ aspect to portraiture that was succinctly illustrated by the artist Peter Lely when he painted Oliver Cromwell.

The body of work created for this exhibition takes the idea of the selfie and it’s wider context within the photographic medium to depict slippage between analogue and digital media. Selfies are printed as photographic objects that are in turn destroyed and re-appropriated as digital images. As with all of my work I want to depict notions of auto-destruction, obsolescence, impermanence and life cycles.

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Ply Gallery, The Arts Centre, Hornsey Town Hall,

The Broadway, Crouch End, London N8 9BQ

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