The artist should not only paint what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If, however, he sees nothing within him, then he should also omit to paint that which he sees before him.

Caspar David Friedrich


Today, what we do when we are confronted with overwhelming beauty? Again and again, our first inclination is to raise a camera (or phone) to “capture” the moment, hopefully for ever.

But if we spend all of our time taking pictures—what will finally be remembered? Feelings from the moment; an amazing view; or just a technically recorded image? And if we choose to photograph the scene—how long will we remember the original experience? Does the act of photographing even cause us to forget?

The project “Live View” raises questions about how photography, as a medium, is being used to expand (replace? diminish?) our memory. The title refers to the function in digital cameras and phones which instantly displays reality on their screens. In this moment, we are confronted with a paradox—a “live” view as seen through a digital intermediary.

Visually, photographs—especially of the landscape—have always juxtaposed the romantic idea of the sublime with a more quotidian, touristic ”must see before you die” urge. But with the ubiquity of cameras nowadays, this contrast is only growing more striking. For example, show up at Angkor Wat at 5 AM on an unsuspecting morning and you’ll find over 300 photographers who were likewise advised by their guidebook to take “the sunrise picture of a lifetime.” The same at Macchu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, Santorini—anywhere that has found its way onto a top 10 (or top 1000) list…

“Live View” was photographed at sites around the world: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, France, India, Switzerland.

—LensCulture

Editor’s Note: Live View was exhibited at the 2015 FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby under the theme “EVIDENCE.” This year’s theme is HABITAT and is currently accepting proposals for projects and exhibitions. Learn more about this great opportunity to exhibit your work at a world-class festival—the deadline to submit is fast approaching!