“Somewhere Else” is a contemporary project documenting the state we are in. It is a look at one particular activity we all do – fuelled by a belief that observing this ordinary, everyday action, can reveal a profoundly disturbing image of our social condition.
Photographing people in public on mobile devices captures a phenomenon that is taking over - while we move about in one world, we are all, in fact, Somewhere Else.
The line between our public and private lives is increasingly blurred by the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Intimate conversations now happen in public within the hearing of total strangers. Some people seem to be completely unconscious of others when using their phones, while others huddle in street corners blocking out surrounding physical distractions, in order to concentrate on ‘phone world’. This is a two-way dysfunction – you are oblivious to your immediate surroundings, while having a conversation in a busy street hardly helps the quality and focus of that communication.
Our private space can always be infringed as, via the mobile phone, we can always be contacted - being “out of the office” does not mean we are out of reach. When does work stop and personal life begin? Where does our private world and public life divide? As phones get “smarter” do we get dumber? Are we losing our ability to navigate unaided by Satnav? Deferring our ability to memorise, given the “memory” in our-ever present phones - the diaries, photo galleries , social network sites , games , music and, of course, cameras?