LUCA ZORDAN PHOTOGRAPHYLUCA ZORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY
THE TOWER OF BABEL
THE WAY WE SEE

What people’s penchant for selfies by the Tower of Belem says about our common humanity.

The idea to create this series of images came to me in Lisbon as I was photographing a boy in front of the Tower of Belem who was taking a “selfie” by positioning a rock with his outstretched arm in front of his face. This interplay of imagination and imitation provided the impetus to observe the dynamics that emerge through the use of a cell phone - that an electronic device rapidly becoming an extension of ourselves.

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Over the course of six months

I followed phones and their owners from all walks of life to document their mechanical motions that resulted in an array of predictable images. Like spectacles on a stage, tourists of disparate ethnicities, ages, and genders re-enacted in front of the Tower an unwritten script comprised of the same positions, expressions, and gestures that muted their cultural differences. As I was witnessing people united by the same sense of urgency to create a digital record of themselves in front of the Tower, I saw how the separation between real and virtual life was becoming increasingly blurred. This series of images gives us a moment to pause and reflect on how our mobile phones impact the way we see and interact with each other and our surrounding space.



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