Sight/Seeing explores our relationship with notions of wilderness in a globalised era. Part dystopic travelogue and part wildlife documentary, the piece explores our relationship the natural environment, based on received notions handed down by the mass media. Tourism has created a process of commoditization of the natural world, typified by the modern safari, based upon experience as spectacle, consumed through the lens of the domestic camcorder. The video explores a phenomenon where spectacle undermines experience, and seeing becomes secondary to recording. Increasingly absurd photographic defects and the behind-the-lens presence of the tourist move us towards a position where the romantic tourist gaze is made concrete in the recorded image; a world seen through an experiential filter that cannot be removed.
Chris Oakley, DE 2005, 10:45 min