Recently, I have also been investigating the concepts of social practice. I believe that as this society becomes more and more dependent on using social media and networks our connections become more transient. Our sense of belonging becomes destabilized and the strength of community weakens. The process of creating images and the impact on communities, and neighborhoods interests me. If I visited the same neighborhood daily or perhaps weekly, would I be able to tell if the inhabitants know each other? Do they regularly interact or do they merely see each other and pass by without any interaction? Is their sense of connection strong or weak? Would having a person return to a neighborhood on a regular basis to make images have an impact to their connectedness? Would an activity such as taking a group photograph of whoever is available have an impact on the inhabitants? Would the amount of people coming for the group photo increase? How would people interact during the group photo? Would their body language change over time? Would they become closer? Who might show up?
I look to combine my 4×5 view camera project with this concept in the coming year and will update this site as I do so.
If you are also interested in the same concept, let’s start a conversation.
Update July 2013: After working in one neighborhood over four years, I have definitely seen an impact of having a photographer become part of the neighborhood’s routine. I am working in Georgia on a project called Collier Heights (See projects page). Ultimately I have included gathering oral histories of the citizens of this neighborhood and now look to create a short documentary.
Additionally, I have been reading “Bowling Alone” by Robert D. Putnam to inform my photographic practice and social capital initiatives.