Echoing work by Chantal Akerman, Patrick Keiller and Mark Leckey, I initially created a series of pieces that explored place, longing and technology through the collaging of single images, sound and text.
The images I chose represented the physical surroundings that I was in when I would receive Whatsapp messages from my mum while I was living and working in New York. A city like New York is so fascinating and yet daunting to capture because it is full of cliches. It is recognisable to people that have not been there due to its mythic status in popular culture, but it also exists as a “bubble” for the residents of New York that live there too. There is no shame felt by New Yorkers in wearing the American flag as a patch on a sleeve or wearing a hat that says BROOKLYN in large letters above the rim. The self-referential nature of American culture lends itself to a physical manifestation of pride - in stark contrast to European tendencies (of which I am more acquainted with) where nationalism (even of the harmless kind) is somewhat embarrassing.
This overt, cliched image of New York collides with my personal reality in the work. I use the technique of collage to portray my lived experience into a series of textual images which compress the physical, technological, cultural, familial and temporal elements of my experience.
I first produced a small book from these collages of text and image. However, the final project was in fact a new departure into stop-motion video, following a trip I took with my father, back to our family home in south London.