The first 15 years of my career as a photographer besides doing photo projects I made conceptual photography. Sequences. A visual research of perception and phenomenology.
It was fascinating to make sequences because I could discover that nothing is what we think it is. Reality is not something outside us at which we are looking: reality is created by ourselves. It is the personal perception that decides what we think we see.
This is a knowledge many people do not want to know. Because it means we live in a context that is not stable and secure and that is too hard to handle. Hence, many people create a pseudo-reality that is strongly constructed outside themselves. A reality that is fixed and final.
Fortunately too many things happen in the life of every person that is unexplainable. “A miracle has happened”, they say. Or “What a coincidence”. But what actually happened is that they moved from a pseudo reality into the real one.
A good example how we create our own reality is the phenomenon that if we for some reason focus on one particular thing, we start to see this thing frequently.
A man dies and his wife is very sad and misses him badly. Walking in town she gets the shock of her life: she sees in the crowd walking her own deceased man.
Obviously this is projection coming from strong emotions but it decides how reality is for this woman.
Or we believe that these days pink sweaters are in fashion. This is then confirmed by seeing suddenly many people wearing pink sweaters.
Obviously we see pink sweaters because we unconsciously focus on pink sweaters and only register those in our awareness: the many red sweaters are not entering the awareness.
This whole issue of the subjectivity of reality is now related to my project “What the world has never seen”. This project is about intimacy and privacy and obviously in our societies these subjects repeatedly get the attention.
The question is whether “What the world has never seen” really is a pioneering project that anticipated on the growing importance of the endangerment of our intimacy and privacy.
Or do we see issues with intimacy and privacy because of “What the world has never seen” ?
The answer is clear. Never before in the history of mankind did we have social media on a scale as we see today. And never before did we see interferences in our private lives on a scale as we see today.
These new aspects of our lives is of concern to everybody. Everybody using social media, making a phone call and sending an e-mail is confronted with possible secret interference. Every one of us has to deal with degrading social values.
The book “1984” published in 1949 by George Orwell has long been seen as a weird fantasy impossible ever to become reality. But today what he described has become true. It has become a part of reality that exists in everybody’s life: no matter how you perceive it.
“What the world has never seen” is not a tunnel vision. Seeing what wants to be seen. In the 30’s of the last century certain people in Germany felt things would go wrong and they left. Emigrated. They were reading the signs of the time and were able to make a prediction that was correct. Seeing a reality coming that later became so fatal.
This is also the case with “What the world has never seen”. It saw two years ago what was coming. When “Prism”, the American system to monitor phone and e-mail traffic of each of us, still was unimaginable.
“What the world has never seen” is now embedded in a reality it has been and is warning for.
And it says that the only solution of not becoming victim of threatened intimacy and endangered privacy is to be highly conscious of the current reality. To make form this higher awareness choices that results in becoming invulnerable for the current dangers.
This is our only hope and the more people make these choices, the more chance we have for a better world.