Batch Transfers is a testament to the burden of amassed image data and the visual residue left behind by documenting one’s lived experience via the smartphone camera. Being the artist that I am, I have an especially strong compulsion to respond to my surroundings by taking photographs. In agreement with Susan Sontag, it’s “a way of certifying experience, [but also] a way of refusing it - by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir.”
I created this body of photographic works by taking screenshots of my computer desktop while in the process of transferring photo files from my phone for back-up. My phone at the time (2015-2017) had a limited storage capacity. If I wasn’t diligent in deleting or storing my images elsewhere, my phone would prevent me from taking further photos.
I’m fascinated by the way that even the most banal imagery can be personally meaningful in the context of one’s image archive, yet the same images can remain quite opaque to anyone else. The photographs involved in this project track my movements through BC, Alberta, Toronto, and even through the sky on my flight to a residency in Berlin. They compress my experiences of these places at this rather unsettled time in my life as I found my way between grad school and what was next. I’m interested in how the personal image archive can make the past look like it happened all at once and with ease (as opposed to with the duration and difficulty that was felt). These works reflect how technology assists us in compressing, packaging and reflecting on our lives via photographs.
Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Picador, (1977/2010), p 9