mediante prep. [dal lat. mediev. mediante, ablativo del part. pres. di mediare "essere nel mezzo, essere interposto", usato in costruzioni assol.]. - [con l'aiuto di: il meccanismo si mette in moto m. una leva] ≈ attraverso, grazie a, (lett.) mercé, per mezzo di, tramite. ‖ con.
English: through, by, by means of.
Originally, the first image was my proposed entry for the WPO 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Student Focus Competition. That year's brief asked participants to create an image for the front page of a newspaper. It could be about anything and set anywhere, so long as it would draw attention to a current issue and tell a story.
My idea was to portray the slow decay of social relations and first-hand experiences of one's surroundings in favour of individual, media-driven activities. The image plays with the well-known symbolism of the three wise monkeys ("see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil") but overturns its concept to portray a more tongue-in-cheek critique of modern society. In fact, the persons are not denying the acts of seeing, speaking or hearing per se, but those very acts become mediated by interfaces instead. This results in people no longer being able to experience things directly, preferring to filter them through technological devices, which in turn leads to a progressive detachment from reality and isolation from one-another.
As a follow-up to my first confrontation with the subject of technology, but for a different project revolving around the concept of "Sacred", I produced a series of pictures of current connected devices in a quest to understand what they represent to us, the growing importance they occupy in our everyday lives and the kind of trust we put in them to store and save our most personal matters and memories.
The challenge was to portray not so much the objects per se, but their essence—in other words, this virtual, untouchable (as in immaterial, intangible) thing called "data". So, these images eventually become simulacra of this elusive, powerful world, which demands our blind faith and devotion in exchange for immediacy and ease of use.
The real question, of course, ultimately being: once the object's gone, taking its virtual essence and content with it, what is left of us?
I have since decided to present both series under the same roof, for they revolve around the same set of issues.