I love Hoda Afshar's portraits and videos from Manus Island (it's Australia's Refugee Devil's Island - you go in but you n...
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
I'm all augmented reality in the supermarket
Photographs have a power. They can freeze and isolate a person into a particular state of being simply by the visual structures withing which they're made.
Photography mattes in other words. This article looks at how the innocent should be removed from UK databases of custody images is a case in point as is the wider question of the UK's extreme surveillance laws.
This snippet exemplifies this idea of how the construction and cataloguing of an image turning a person guilty.
'In the current issue of Photographies, Lourdes Delgado writes about this in her piece on the bias of mugshots, and the way in which the functionality of the mugshot imposes a pre-supposed guilt onto the person photographed; the very act of photographing somebody in a mugshot makes them guilty in other words. As a result photography is responsible for a huge number of innocent people imprisoned in the USA each year (a very conservative 2.3% - 5% according to the Innocence Project organisation).'
But photography can also work the other way and be used to romanticise and reinvent people.
That's the idea behind the 19 crimes wine. The 19 crimes were the crimes that would get you deported to Australia back in the day. Here's the blurb.
Flip the bottle round and you get a mugshot, an image of one of those deported. Load a phone onto your app, point the phone at the picture and it will come to a stuttering half-life on your screen and tell you the story of the man depicted. It's almost interesting.
The idea is men don't buy much wine, so butch it up a little and then they'll lap it up. So the men shown are real men, the tasting notes tend towards the macho, and we're deep into the mythology of the Australian Origin story, 18th century style - 'my great-great grandad was on the first fleet'. That kind of thing.
It's a bit shit really; the wine, the branding, the origin story, the augmented reality. Especially the augmented reality But you get the feeling it's the future. A bit shit.