Indian Road Trip

This 2010 16 minute 12 second digital still/video sequence with soundtrack was exhibited in September 2010 at the Windows space at the Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse, NY. It was rear projected on a 4x8 foot scrim, visible from inside the gallery. The video was was accompanied by a three panel digital backlit transparency window installation visible from the street, consisting of several thousand of the same frames used in the video, arranged in a tight grid..just a bit smaller than comfortable to read the images.

This work attempts to capture my cumulative visual impressions over several extended journeys through India. It’s a travel story, but also a meditation on the nature of tourism, and time as re-experienced through the still image, as well as an attempt to question street photography’s definition of the significant moment. Here I present the sequence of still images taken during during my journeys in chronological order, just fast enough to leave a intelligible impression but too fast to fully grasp. How much do we really see or understand on our hurried expeditions in a foreign country? Photography allows us to linger lovingly on the textures and details of our experience, even in places where we should not have gone. But the digital world and convergence of digital still capture with video has accelerated our image ingestion and processing rate to the point where the image world begins to overwhelm our mental throughput capacity and experience of Now.

Rather than retreat from this hyper-mediated existence, where every moment seems to have a digital shadow life, I decided to plunge into the excess. My encounters with India, where BMW’s compete for road space with Ox carts, as village meets global village, in the steamy shadows of ancient temples and shopping malls, under the gaze of tourist cameras and local cellphone snappers alike, provided the perfect environment to revel in the sensory overload.

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