Technology and Failure

Emma Ongman

Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan once argued that it is not the content of a message that holds importance; but instead, the characteristics of the medium itself. In other words, “the medium is the message”. Today, this is no different. In his essay, Neo-Materialism, Part I: The Commodity and the Exhibition, Joshua Simon points out that the world is full of commodities that influence how we interact with the world. There is no better example to use here than the technology that is currently allowing me to write this statement and currently allowing us to communicate with one another from our homes and through our screens as we survive a global pandemic.

If you are reading this, I am assuming that electronic signals and pixels impact your life every single day. We use our technological devices as our tools, but they are much more than just what we use them for. In this exhibition, I am interested in exploring the potential of photographic technology beyond its intended use and its capability to imitate real life. More specifically, I am interested in creating photographs that speak to their own creation. Technology and Failure is an installation that consists of scans of corrupted images that were misprinted, scratched, and covered in dust and fingerprints.