Look at where we are today: in a digital world where what’s truly real doesn’t matter. We live in a hyper-reality, where debt is incomprehensible to us, yet is completely real despite it being nothing more than lines of code in a computer. In an age where everything has been done, and everyone seems to be an artist, future prosperity as a photographer has never seemed more scarce.

I don’t know really who

I am or what I want

I don’t know where

I am, physically, mentally, spiritually.

I know things are moving too fast

I know we need to slow down.

I know my photography to be something

I do instinctively. A reflex, a tool for understanding or not understanding. My way of communicating, interacting, responding.

I photograph because it feels like the only thing to do.

I want to show how much there is to appreciate and be thankful for. A lot of shit happens in this world and I love the escapism achievable with the help of a camera.

My photography is a therapeutic action. It’s as constant as thought – it’s purpose is to record and show that. Surrounded by confusion, disillusionment, loss of confidence, trust and respect to the powers that be, life for my generation is delicately balanced. If we don’t rethink the whole structure, understand what’s important and what the world can actually provide, we’re fucked.

   Greed is the downfall of humanity.

Slow down, look around, find fulfilment within your environment and within the interactions with those around you. I’m searching for some kind of harmony.

The purpose of my work is to produce images full of emotion and excitement I feel towards my surroundings. To appreciate aesthetic quality. To show my view. To pay attention to the process. To notice the present moment. To enjoy it. To appreciate it. Even mourn it.

The point is to do it.

The point is the find meaning, at times retrospectively.

The point is to look around.

The point is to make the most of where you are.

As I said, an understanding isn’t always there when producing the images – there’s an instinct, a need, an impulse, an excitement, an enjoyment. It’s through the process that an understanding is gained of why I shot, what I shot and how I shot. Then through that process I refine what I do and choose more consciously.

The process.

The process of making photography.

The very act of reaching for a pure form of photography.

There are great considerations with regards to how I shoot, but the consideration inclusive to the subject and its relation to the concept/theory is less significant. The choice of subject is an impulsive reaction to the feelings existing within me and my interaction to the environment at the time. The reason for each subject is uncertain in terms of when/where/why etc – it’s abstracted from it’s surroundings, evocative but not explanatory; an empty narrative the viewer must fill according to their perceptions of the images, based on who they are and where they’re from. Barthes’ Death of the Author illustrated the idea that the author has no control of how work is read, that it will always mould to the audiences perceptions of the world, in a context that’s in accordance to their stigmas and understanding that.

I’ve tried to pay attention to the history of photography, through each movement and style, borrowing and stealing aspects to achieve the aesthetic quality I want. Spontaneous stream of consciousness photography, photography of the moment, only not reduced to ‘snapshot aesthetic’ but a more considered, emotional approach.  Art always reflects the social, economical and political climate it’s surrounded by – or to phrase better – interacting within. Currently we have a generation struggling against political unrest, economic collapse, time/space/reality shifting technology and the increasing threat of an angry and destructive mother nature dealing out retribution.

  We can’t afford housing. We get our degrees and fight for a spot in front of the fryer at McDonalds. Funding for education is falling, while the price is rising. Our loans have just been sold to private companies, so now there’s the added fear of exponential repayment plans on that. Are we about to get a real buggering by those sleazy bastards? We don’t know what will happen next.

We don’t know where we are or what we fit into. We seem to lack the faith from society that we even give a shit. Then when we stand up and protest together – we’re a bunch of angry and violent ‘youths’ who shouldn’t be trusted or given the respect of an open ear. Nothing fits for us. Our world is on the edge of something.

We’re re-appropriators, re-inventors, re-interpreters. Everything’s been done, now it’s all done too fast, without pause for thought. We have instant-yet-hollow stimulation, we react explosively, create spontaneously.

Amidst all this, I’m trying to learn who I am – an adolescent man still grappling with the child existing within me. I find naïve wonderment towards the world around me despite everything. Beauty is a loaded word, but it’s what I see in things. And when I see them, I photograph. Because the camera is an extension of me. It’s my attempt at reasoning.

But with all that remember, the emotion that goes into something is always confused with the emotion that comes out.

TiENphotography™ 2013

The Process.

Mistakes and discarded objects from the photographic process salvaged and appropriated; a homage to the importance of all aspects of the practise. It’s all about the journey, fuck the destination.

TiENphotography™ 2013

Cheers Rob
14.09.13/14:22/ 2

Jonathan Van Stratum

TiENphotography™ 2013

Canvas  by  andbamnan