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MFA Photography

Lauren Spencer

I Dream of Screens 

Digital meets physical in I Dream of Screens, a series of works which is concerned with the absorbing online world. The catalyst for the work was an interest in how excessive internet use may affect the mind and body, as well as the abstract nature of human connection in the digital era. The photograms shown here are part of a wider project created with cameraless techniques using light from smartphone screens and bodily gestures, which leave their imprint on light-sensitive photographic paper. 

Each phone photogram is 1.5 meters tall, taking 1 hour to make in the total darkness of the colour darkroom. Working with prints at this size increases my awareness of my own body, which becomes disembodied from itself, even irrelevant, when I am immersed in the online world. I wrestle the heavy roll of paper into the paper cutter, hold my arms up to catch it as it churns out from between the blades, my fingertips feeling for the slightly tacky emulsion-coated surface which will absorb the light. Then, I crouch over it, kneel on it, to apply the light. The result could be thought of as a collage of analogue screenshots or slowed down smartphone selfies. 

Instagram: @laurenspencerphoto