Deadly Addictions

Our addiction to electricity was inherited from our forefathers

“Our addiction to electricity was inherited from our forefathers”

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. 

Our addiction to electricity was inherited from our forefathers

Our addiction to electricity was inherited from our forefathers

The light bulb was one of the fundamental electricalappliances.

The light bulb was one of the fundamental electricalappliances.

In Hong Kong people have become physically dependent on airconditioners

In Hong Kong people have become physically dependent on airconditioners

Cell phones help people to communicate faster and more efficient.

Cell phones help people to communicate faster and more efficient.

Cell phones help people to communicate faster and more efficient.

Cell phones help people to communicate faster and more efficient.

Owning a blender or electric mixer was more a status symbol in the 1950’s & 1960’s than it was a useful appliance.

Owning a blender or electric mixer was more a status symbol in the 1950’s & 1960’s than it was a useful appliance.

People get addicted to social networking, surfing the internet and entertainment. We crave interaction with other people through social networking, but social networks can only give us a limited amount of affection. Through social networks like facebook, twitter, second life and numerous dating websites people are able to be who ever they want to be. Profile pictures, information even the sex of the person can be false. Through the internet you can become someone that you aren’t in reality. Ecstasy is a drug that makes you happy, loving, sensitive and energetic. It also makes you very affectionate and causes you to hallucinate. This connects with the addiction to computers because we crave affection through a virtual world, that is at the end of the day just an illusion as everything on a computer screen is made up of pixels. The identity you have in the virtual world is an hallucination or an ideal version of yourself and can be lost as soon as you have to exit the virtual world. People on ecstasy do things they wouldn’t normally do while not on drugs, because the drug makes everything around you look brighter, more colourful and beautiful. Many women get pregnant while on this drug as it heightens their sexual drive. People on these drugs also make emotional decisions based on how they feel and what they see at that moment, just like people who date online make emotional decisions based on what they see on a computer screen. In this photograph I have incorporated bright neon colours that represent the hightend visual effects of ecstasy as well as the manipulated beauty of virtual world. The model wearing eye glasses covered with computer chips represents the way in witch people make emotional decisions based on what they see on a computer screen. The duplicate of the model represents the virtual self versus the actual self.

People get addicted to social networking, surfing the internet and entertainment. 

People tend to spend lots of time in front of the televisionto escape reality and relax.

People tend to spend lots of time in front of the televisionto escape reality and relax.

People become addicted to hearing music all the time throughradio, iPod’s and cd’s.

People become addicted to hearing music all the time throughradio, iPod’s and cd’s.