Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

September 13, 2011

Chris Floyd: 140 Characters @ Host Gallery

Chris Floyd at Host Gallery by Foto8 140 characters project

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January 11, 2011

The Social Photographer

Last December saw the end of the road for the Kodachrome film processor in Dwayne’s Photo Lab, Kansas, the only one of its kind that remained in commercial operation. The demise of Kodak’s signature film marks the grand shift to the digital medium, but it is not only our ability to develop film that is dying.

In conversation with British portrait photographer, Chris Floyd, he commented on the dissipation of the photographic community. At the height of film production, turning up to a photo lab was a sociable affair. You attended to drop off film, compile contact sheets and make prints; all the while you were surrounded by other photographers taking part in the ritual. It was a chance to have tea and a catch up as much as it was to get your work done, without which Floyd’s level of photographic social intercourse depleted. “It’s not the film I’m bothered about, but the people who I met and spent time with because of the film.” Floyd remarked, explaining that the photo lab had become more about the nuances of sitting around and meeting like minded people.

 

Alexa Brown[Chris Floyd, @alexabrown from the series: The Great Twitter Project ]

 

It was only two years ago that Floyd discovered his new portal to the community staring at him from the screen of his iPhone; Twitter. In 140-character gobbets of information, Twitter presents an apparently narcissistic platform for self-promotion, though behind this veil of social media marketing, it also gives its users access to talk to each other via tagging (placing an ‘@’ in front of a user-name) or a private message. “It’s like a classroom full of the people you wish you’d gone to school with” says Floyd, ‘tweeting’ regularly with the spectrum of people he follows, or who follow him.

A dating service of sorts, the relationships formed online through Twitter inevitably led Floyd to a comparison with his friends he had gained in the physical world – finding that he was communicating with the virtual presences more than anyone else in his orbit. When asked if he felt any nervousness toward conversing openly with these people, Floyd commented that when you watch the 5000 +/- tweets of someone, they cannot hide a sense of their personality and it is this which attracts us to keep following, to continue nurturing our connections.

 

Graffiti 6[Chris Floyd, @graffiti6 from the series: The Great Twitter Project]

 

This self-proclaimed ‘hollow addiction’ to Twitter led Chris to his ongoing personal corpus of work, The Great Twitter Project in which he aims to photograph every user he follows. Unlike a large proportion of Twitter users, Floyd does not hide himself behind a myriad of flagellant promotion tweets (though, no doubt, he has a large proportion of people following him for his photographic work), instead choosing to provide a more honest online voice. By embracing this sense of transparency and utilising the camera as a key, Floyd has unlocked a way to bring together and document his virtual-classmates.

So perhaps tea-time at the labs has got one step better? On Twitter, you choose who you want to listen to and they choose if they want to listen to you. The photographic presence on this social media platform is extensive and ranges dramatically in its use. Though a word of warning, as much as there are photographers, there are the people employing them!

 

Are you in the conversation?

@chrisfloyduk / Chris Floyd

@natalie_l_lloyd / Natalie Lloyd