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Tomasz Madajczak

Processes of Change

I have concentrated on observations of and reflections on change, both personal and global.

   I decided to pinpoint some of these changes in the functions of the environment which influenced me most. One of them, personally very important to me, was the change from analogue to digital photography. My fascination with photography started about 18 years ago, when it was still strictly dependent on darkroom processes. I used to spend hours in a darkroom, fascinated with the image which appeared on the surface of photosensitive material. For me work in the darkroom was the process which allowed  photography to happen. Each activity in the darkroom took a certain amount of time, fulfilling its part of the process in its own way.  A photograph, whether digital or analogue, must be recorded within a certain frame of time, it is essential to chose the time in the most exact possible way. This inseparable connection between photography and time finds, as I see it, its analogy in the darkroom process. When in the darkroom, the photographer spends a certain amount of time with the print acknowledging its ability to react to light, he uses his knowledge and takes certain actions both physical and mental. The picture takes shape in a way which somehow includes his emotions and states of the body.

 I have divided this exhibition into three sections, observing different aspects of human development and some of its consequences.

 The first room is focused on modern objects and their relation with the user. In one moment the objects are a fascinating source of support without which many people can’t imagine their everyday lives. In the next, their empty shell is discarded, adding to heaps of unwanted, dysfunctional artefacts of the past. The modern minimalistic designs hide complicated electric and electronic systems. Whenever I came across a printed circuit I was astonished by its complex structure and the fact that these little systems are responsible for the behaviour of modern tools.

   The second part of the exhibition is called “Transgressive Perception”. It originates in my deep fascination with vortex- like visual experiences. Passages, transitions in psychological and emotional space always appeared to me as transcendental situations leading to a new opening. Again, I have put this experience alongside a striking aspect of our modern world. The 21‘st century is a time of a constant flux of information. We have adjusted to being able to access almost any kind of information easily. Photographs taken in one part of the world can practically straight away be seen at the opposite side of the globe. The situation of being watched through surveillance cameras is a well known and accepted fact. The transmission of digital data serves all of us in many different ways, yet it goes on all around us, often unnoticed. We unwittingly take part in its gigantic wave every time we use our cell-phone or computer. I decided to visualize this process allowing  the observer to become a part of it. 

   The third part of the exhibition is called “Realms of Communication”. It opens the gallery space to the outer world through information which comes from the internet, the unknown, immeasurable virtual space. 

  The short movie is a visual experience which I created with the great variety of information stored and uploaded to the internet in mind- its constant change and movement  as well as a form of  inner life of the images in flux which arises out of the flow of human interaction with them. 

  In a way the internet is a symbol of freedom, of being able to communicate with anybody at any time, of the ability to purchase and sell goods without leaving one’s home or operating space. It is a luxury available to people who have constant internet access. 

  The development of technology, led on by science, is the underlying structure of our civilisation and has for many years shaped both our thinking and our language. With the appearance of the internet, we were encouraged to create new terms describing the various processes which happen within or in relation to the virtual space and  the use we make of it. On the other hand, there exist cultures and languages which develop in their own rhythm and time. I decided to contrast one of them with my visual interpretation of the internet. 

 Whenever I had a chance to see deaf people speaking between each other using sign language, I was astonished by the silent intimacy which accompanied their conversation. Even in the most sound disturbing situation, for them there was only their understanding and their exchange. This deep intimacy seems to be the polar opposite of internet communication. I decided to focus a bit deeper on sign language and its silent expression in relation to modern media and the 21’st century’s virtual freedom. To me sign language seems to be a natural, almost instinctive form of expression. It uses body language and  facial expressions, the deaf people who speak it do so as if with their whole being. I find that this also contrasts greatly with the virtual space of images where everything may seem very different to what it truly is.

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© Tomasz Madajczak