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Issue No. 16 - Chaos

The Photographic Alphabet: C is for Charlotte Colbert's "Ordinary Madness"

The Photographic Alphabet: C is for Charlotte Colbert's "Ordinary Madness"

by Liana DeMasi 

© Charlotte Colbert

© Charlotte Colbert

When did we stop telling each other our true feelings and start sending emojis instead? Feeling upset? Send an angry face emoji. Feeling frisky? Send the face with its tongue out. Want to avoid a conversation entirely? Send the monkey covering its mouth. We live in a time where every emotion we have is reproduced by a corresponding icon.

© Charlotte Colbert

© Charlotte Colbert

British photographer and filmmaker Charlotte Colbert explores how technology has become as innate to us as eating and sleeping in her series “Ordinary Madness.” Shot in a derelict, former lesbian commune in East London, the series demands us to contemplate our dependence, and even our addiction to technology. 

© Charlotte Colbert

© Charlotte Colbert

The nude models paired with the emoji heads show us our technological dependence in its rawest form. These images beg you to question whether or not the models’ true emotions are accurately represented by the emojis covering their faces; we are dependent on their masks, reminiscent of our exchanges with each other behind a screen. 

© Charlotte Colbert

© Charlotte Colbert

Colbert uses double exposure to layer some of her images with circuit boards and other technologies, infusing human life and electronics. Computers, smart phones, and emojis have become household, workplace, and day-to-day staples. “Ordinary Madness” shows us exactly that: how maddeningly ordinary technology has become in our lives.

© Charlotte Colbert

© Charlotte Colbert

© Images courtesy of Charlotte Colbert

© Article by Liana DeMasi

WE:AMericans at Station Independent Projects

WE:AMericans at Station Independent Projects

Bas Jan Ader at Metro Pictures

Bas Jan Ader at Metro Pictures