This is a project exploring the similarities between the western world’s dependence on electricity and drug abusers dependence on drugs. Ten different appliances were explored and compared to different types of drugs. Photography & video was used as a medium to portray the explored ideas.
Throughout this project I have realized that the Western world is dependent on electricity just to get through day-to-day life. Electricity is the core of existence in the Western world. When power outages are experienced people become angry, agitated, depressed and bored. I experienced this myself one night and realized that without electricity I could not cook my food, do my work or even read a book as I was left in total darkness. I was totally unprepared to cope without my electricity. I then started to compare my reactions to the loss of power to that of a drug addict going through withdrawal symptoms. Through this comparison I was able to make more specific comparisons between popular electrical appliances and commonly used drugs. I compared electrical light to cocaine, computers to ecstasy, air-conditioning to vicodin, television to Xanax, digital music to marijuana, heaters to heroin and kitchen appliances to cocaine. Through each photograph I explained the comparisons.
I used surrealistic fashion as inspiration for the application of the different appliances in the photographs. The way in witch the appliances were incorporated as well as the styling of the photograph carry across the idea of addiction to the appliance as well as the drug it was compared to. Art direction, good photographic skills and a working knowledge of studio lighting was critical throughout this project.
What I want to communicate with this project is that humans are dependent on electricity. We are incapable of living without it. When the power is off people are anxious, restless, irritable, depressed and frustrated. People in the Western world have become addicted to electricity. Electricity is the drug we can’t get off. People get addicted to drugs in a physical and emotional way. We are addicted to electricity in the same way we need it physically and emotionally. We need electricity for heaters, fans, cooking, transport, work, light, entertainment and communication. Your ad-diction becomes a part of who you are. Electricity has become intertwined with who we are and how we function every day.
The theory that was explored was the use and effects of different electrical appliances as well as the use and effects of drugs. Comparing the uses and effects supplied me with concepts as well as visual representations for each photograph and video. The medium I chose to portray this concept is photography, videography and a digital interface. This medium complements my concept, as the execution of this project is also dependent on electricity. The generation of the images, videos, interface and the printing of the photos could not have been done without electricity.