| 2013 - Present |
Flannery O’Connor said of writing, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” I find this true of my relationship to photography. It is a self-exploratory process that reveals truths we aren’t able to see clearly in the moment.
I recently began looking through my archives and found an unexpected pattern repeating itself in my work. A large volume of portraits of my children quietly holding a device of some kind. I noticed the same composition again and again --- my boys resting, together or alone, in almost angelic repose, tethered to technology. They are lit by it, joined to it, snuggled together with it, or tied to it like an umbilical cord. How did it come to be that I had so many portraits of my children connected to technology?
For me, raising children during a time of tremendous media exposure feels like uncharted territory. It's an upbringing that is both unfamiliar and uncomfortable to me. In my family we talk openly about the intrusion of media and set limits on the amount of time our children can be on their devices, and yet it insidiously creeps in --- video games, television, audio books, podcasts, playdates, school work. There is a constant bombardment, and my children beg for more, more, more. I am guilty of using media to serve my own purposes too. Media occupies the children so I can get work done. It is currency for good behavior, reward for work well done. It bonds them to each other and quiets their brotherly squabbles. But seeing so many portraits of my children engaged with technology is uncomfortable for me. Why does it look perfectly normal to so many of us for our children to be illuminated by a device? With this series I hope to draw attention to a facet of modern childhood that many of us would rather not talk about, or worse, are completely desensitized to.