Thursday, 15 March 2012

Back To Busyness

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Back To Busyness ~

Back To Busyness, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

We are so often swallowed up by our own creations, it's almost as though we've insignificantised ourselves out of existence. You look at people on the tube, tap tap tapping away. And sometimes you wonder, is it we who possess the iPhones, or the iPhone that possesses us?

But, exceptionally, I'm going to get all positive on you for a moment. OK, so we don't have the right to stare strangers in the eye for more than a millisecond. But there's nothing to stop us from sneaking up behind them as they hurry on their way to some destination unknown, getting almost unbearably close for a millisecond, and walking a few steps in their shoes.

It's quite fun to imagine you are them, coordinates set for... the heart of another day pushing paper, maybe, or an 'important' international meeting you're nervous about because your English isn't up to scratch, or a potentially romantic meeting with someone you've been chatting to through an on-line dating site.

There are occasions for human contact and fleeting warmth: excusing yourself when you get up to alight; that moment of confusion when you can't decide which way to swerve to avoid the person coming towards you; letting someone go through the turnstile before you. Suddenly a veil of opaque indifference is dropped for a millisecond, and you see the real person shimmering through, be they black or white, young or old, male or female, privileged or poor. For that moment nothing separates you as a shared external experience renders you equal.

Then the millisecond passes, of course, and it's back to busyness as usual. Like nothing happened at all.

Are we not, in fact, just so many little ants scurrying around, and isn't it fun to watch? One person's disappointment is another's pleasure. One person's failure another's success. I'm not being gloomy, we've got Eeyore and economists and any given news report to do that for us. I have another suggestion for you. Let's go ant spotting.

Birds and humans and ant-eaters have real ants as their ants. Dogs have fleas and ticks, and humans have lice and bedbugs. Ladybirds and ants have greenfly. Hey, there's a thought, like wasps: does anything eat ladybirds?

Humans can be other humans' ants; just go up the Eiffel Tower and see if it ain't so. Pure Brownian poetry in motion. But what about all humans? Is our little planet simply someone, or something else's pet ant colony?

From space we probably look more like bacteria. And if we are simply someone else's ants or fleas or maybe wasps if we're lucky, he's sure staying mighty discrete about it. Some sort of universal non-interventionist strategy, then. A kind of free market, laissez-faire human ant colony policy, if you will. What a fascinating social experiment that must be. Do you think they consider us intelligent?

So, whilst waiting for more information on the subject, I recommend you carry out some preliminary ant-human studies of your own, just to get your eye in and see what insights, if any, come to mind.

I can recommend the elevated Eurostar walkway at Gare du Nord as a great place to groom your formicidae antennae and look down on some seriously antish human antics. Anthill next time, exoskeletal scallywags.

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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