“The whole overarching theme of my three pieces, is surveillance culture, interconnectivity and how we relate to each other in the digital age specifically. How things have changed since the introduction of smartphones, the rise of narcissism, the way that everyone is personally autonomous in this age. One of the places I found the most prevalent is on the tube train. On the London underground everyone’s either on their phone or reading a book or maybe they’re starring at people. Either way, they’re doing something that is completely personal to them. As it’s a heterotopia, there’s nothing specifically designed to do whilst you’re on the tube.
I started sitting on the tube, I got my smartphone to pretend to take pictures of myself and actually took pictures of the person opposite me, and so that’s where it started. In the book and the newspaper there’s all these images of people on the tube, which I took the fake selfie of.
Then I started thinking more about where narcissism came from, its roots, where it evolved, how we came from feudal times to where we’re at now. I was looking at historical paintings and art around it. One of the more formative pieces is the Echo and Narcissus myth, about the sprite and the guy that falls in love with himself, and that’s the framed image of him. Instead of being obsessed with his own reflection, he’s obsessed with his selfie. He’s got a selfie stick. That’s kind of where it’s at, narcissism and how we relate to each other when we’re so self-affected. I don’t want to say absorbed because that implies a negative thing, but self interested perhaps.
Where we’re at now in culture, especially in western culture, we’re so much more interested in how our voice is heard. I think that’s fantastic, there’s nothing negative about what I’m trying to say. I want people to realise where we’re at in comparison to where we have been. Even in the forties, women were at the stage where they were like ‘Does my husband want this?’ Does my family want this?’ In the 1800’s women wouldn’t walk in the street alone and now everyone is saying what they want to say, with the power of the Internet and the digital world. It’s so much more effective. I was just trying to transform what you take for granted and make a point of it.”