To dwell in vast open spaces and interact with the materials these spaces provide allowed me to become physically engaged with the environment i encountered. The harshness of the changing weather created a real and palpable connection to the elements. Though drawing with stone and charcoal in windy and cold conditions was sometimes painful on my hands it highlighted the physicality of the materials. It generated a real and physical response a sense of consciousness of being alive, belonging, being in the right place at the right time.
These experiences are important, they justify the need for us as individuals to engage with the real as opposed to the hyper real we thirst for in today's society.
Although dwelling within these landscapes as a sole individual has a sense anticipation, by being and interacting with a place i become part of it; i belong there.
If we are to rely on the hyper world as a way of communication how are we able to respond to each other and the environment we inhabit if we constantly find ourselves glued to a flat digital screen and keyboard?
There will one day be a society that has never known life before the Internet and digital medium. Imagine a society that relies on a mouse and flat screen to draw or a blog or Facebook to communicate and express themselves, how will we be able to generate responses from each other and the environment then?
An extract from the essay 'Are Physicality and the Interaction of society lost through Technology?'
By Carol Sowden
take the networking site Facebook. This ‘social’ site exploits our need to
belong and entices us into believing that as individuals the site is the place
we should socialise and keep in touch. Socializing in what sense? Are the
people you class as your friends not the people you see on a regular basis? Networking
sites such as Facebook influence today’s society into believing that if you
want to belong then you’ve got to get with it. The Internet is a medium that
distorts the definition of socialising, generating a false sense of belonging. How
are we to discover who we are as individuals if we do not connect in a physical
way with society and the world around us? (Amin A, 2011) Henri Lefebvre’s
recollection of Paris in bygone days may seem a distant unrelated example, but
it demonstrates the importance of basic physical interaction between individuals;
‘There was unquestionably certain narrowness in this everyday life; distant
things, foreigners, the global horizon went unremarked. Gesture, social
customs, rituals of courtesy and urbanity, the way in which women were
addressed, the courteousness which concealed a slight disdain, the manner of
greeting people-raising one’s hat-all this remained traditional, and might seem
antiquated. But what a sense of security!’ (pg. 8) These small but significant
physical gestures of recognition allow individuals to feel a sense of worth;
they are acknowledgements that endorse a genuine presence within society.