Solar Recordings of Phone Calls with Family Members, Friends, and Scammers uses medium format film and the sun's trajectory to explore the complexities of interpersonal connection, longing, and the passage of time. Each photograph's exposure time has been dictated by the duration of a specific phone call, resulting in ethereally solarised images that serve as a tangible, visual record of a significant conversation.
Inspired by my experience as an immigrant attempting to stay connected with people I love who are scattered across the globe, the visual patterns that emerge from the varying lengths of each call, and thus the corresponding length of the sun's path through each frame, allows the viewer to make inferences about the relationship between myself and the callers. While most of the photographs in this series document conversations with loved ones, certain images also depict calls with scammers and salespeople. Presenting each call in the same way regardless of the level of sincerity or personal importance distills these shared emotional experiences into an extensive index of organizable data.
The resulting series of black and white images is an archive for me; a depository of intimate words, turbulent thoughts, political disputes, and a pervasive longing for loved ones throughout it all. While the aesthetic of the photographs may initially appear stark or post-apocalyptic, their crux lies in the intimate experience of co-creating an image with another person. The desolate attractiveness of the landscapes interrupted by the celestial streak of the sun as it moves across each composition invites viewers to reflect on the complexities of human relationships and longing for meaningful connections in an increasingly interconnected yet isolated world. Each photograph represents a significant moment, visually documenting a shared temporality of relationships that span immense physical distances.
The images included in this series were chosen not only for their aesthetic interest but also in accordance with their importance in my life. Though I keep meticulous notes of each conversation as it corresponds with its exposure, it is important to me to maintain this data and my associated memories privately, cherishing the intimate, personal significance behind each photograph. The only context I provide for each image is the time stamp of the call that it resulted from and the location where it was taken.
By reducing the photographic process into its most fundamental elements of light and time, these solar recordings encourage a deeper understanding of our connections with others by translating shared physiological moments into a documentable visual representation. This project is ongoing, and I am looking forward to experimenting with different ways that augmented or virtual reality can be incorporated into the presentation of the images to create a more immersive experience for viewers.