I struggled to get started with this assignment and by the time of my scheduled call with my tutor I had taken no photographs and really had no idea of how to move forward. In the end I narrowed my choices down to two topics, electricity and faith and chose to go with electricity as I thought it would be easier to complete in the time available.
Obviously we can’t see electricity, flicking a switch on a socket is not like turning on a tap, nothing comes out. What I wanted to portray is the paradox between this force that can’t be seen, or smelled or heard, which is to all intents and purposes is invisible, but which in order for us to use it is anything but invisible.
I also wanted to the series to explore the complexity of modern life, how, particularly in developed economies, we come to rely on things of which we have a very limited understanding. In the case of electricity our engagement with it is probably limited to charging our phones, turning on appliances and paying the bill without thinking about what makes this possible and what would happen if something went wrong? However, it’s not just electricity, it could have been the internet, or mobile phones ; how do they work and does it matter that most people do not understand how so many parts of everday life function, so long as they do function?
Whilst thinking about this I realised that this set of images is not about really electricity but rather things we take for granted and what I have tried to show is the elements we engage with, the switch and the light, and all the other parts that we take for granted but without which we would have no light, no power, internet, phone signal etc.