Recently, being completely immersed in technology has a lot of us feeling like we’re living in a simulation. Amidst social distancing, we’re connected solely by the internet, viewing each other through screens and social media. Inspired by other photographers, I planned a photo shoot conducted over FaceTime. My model, Ashley, and I planned the makeup, styling, and location beforehand; I took screenshots during our call while directing her verbally and visually.
Online and personal identities are interwoven in this digital age; the line becomes blurred between what others see of your persona online, and what you truly want to see of yourself. Another trend of the times is becoming more and more reliant on social media for validation, distraction, and entertainment. I wanted to create the feeling of going down a rabbit hole of scrolling. Being so immersed in an endless stream of content is toxic. For me and many other people on the internet, it can feel like there’s an overload of information—and subsequently, that the idea of self is questioned and distorted.
By scanning an iPhone, I depict the idea of being trapped within cyberspace. Double exposure and grainy, contrasted editing allude to the multilayered and complex digital space we inhabit. My series invites the viewer to question their consumption of media. How much are you consuming? Is it necessary? Is it helping or harming your mental health? In creating these photographs, I hope for people to cut through the digital noise and raise their voices for what they believe in.
Photos by Anova Hou
Modelled by Ashley Jim