Reflecting Now

©2013 Dave Ortiz, from the series, Navigation Without Numbers

©2013 Dave Ortiz, from the series, Navigation Without Numbers

All artists are products of their time and good artists reflect that in their work. They do this by not only using the tools available to them in a particular point in history to their fullest capacity (and beyond) but also by tapping into the surrounding zeitgeist and reflecting the mood of a culture in their artwork. Here in the United States in 2013 we are confronted with a myriad of contradictions and anxieties. A devastating tornado in Oklahoma and politicians denying the existence of climate change, powerful people advocating for immigration limits while that same class of people depends on immigrants for a myriad of menial jobs, Corporations crushing the idea of a middle class and trying their damnedest to not pay taxes while extracting all they can from a government they are cheating. I can go on and on but that will just get me too depressed and angry. The U.S. is becoming a third world country where there are the people in power and everyone else. There is no middle.

Lately I have been photographing Times Square and notice that I keep making images like the one above, unconsciously commenting on the society that I find myself in. I don’t realize it at the time I am making the picture. I only realize it later at the editing stage. These images feel more to me like the idea behind Navigation Without Numbers, that sense of being unmoored and adrift; nothing in society to use as an anchor. My thought right now then is to incorporate the images I have been making in Times Square with the images I have and (I guess) will now continue to make for Navigation Without Numbers. NWN will be the umbrella idea for my image making for the time being.

 

Update: The lists of Societal ills continue (great photographs):

The New York Ties Lens Blogs

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/societal-ills-spike-in-crisis-stricken-greece/

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