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Simone Massera | I Am Not What You See and Hear

Posted on Oktober 29, 2011 by Julia Schiller

I Am Not What You See and Hear (2011)

Loneliness is not a function of solitude. It’s not about being alone; it’s about feeling alone. Our world is mediated through our individual and always subjective perception of it, giving us the illusion of being the absolute centre of the universe. This makes us feel we are special and unique. With this uniqueness comes a sense of being always lonely. We seek love and acceptance wherever we can find it in order to transcend our loneliness. Filling our lives with online friends and pursuing these kinds of relationships, we often use the superficiality of digital interactions as an anaesthetic against this condition, this existential angst.

“I Am Not What You See and Hear” is a project about these very connections. The use of the webcam on video chat websites that randomly pair strangers, allowed me to freeze brief moments of waiting and expectation right before the appearance of another new face on the screen. Through the gaze of hundreds of people portrayed on these websites the project aims to give the viewer an imagined access to other selves, in an attempt to provoke reflection and compassion. Looking at these private spaces, these empty rooms, desks and beds, the viewer can peek into a stranger’s life, and imagine their fears and expectations. The project owes much of its inspiration to the work and truly compassionate vision of life of David Foster Wallace.

Simone Massera is a London based photographer whose work explores the subjective perceptions of social issues. He is also founding member of the collective of photographers Five Eleven Ninety Nine.

For more about this project please visit
Simone Massera – “I Am Not What You See and Hear” (2011)

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