Recently I've been diving back into conceptual writing from the late 60's & 70's. Writers like Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag who had unique and visionary ideas of where we were headed as a culture, as a people. Their ideas around the proliferation of the photographic image, of the tools of bringing the outside world into our homes, and the horrors that would ensue from our ability to view anything, and more importantly our creeping belief that this was a right - not a privilege - have come to bear in such astoundingly grandiose ways it is almost comical to read their prophecies. Like a parody written in reverse, their recognitions that this new world crowded with images would create a deadening of the senses, of morality and of our ability to understand nuance, outlined with creepy accuracy where we would find ourselves in the 21st century: deadened to shock and outrage, fractured on morality and hopelessly peacocking in photos to prove that our lives are real.
Susan Sontag concludes her opening essay from On Photography by saying "today everything exists to end in a photograph". I wasn't alive when she published the essay, in 1976, but I can emphatically say that if she was right then, she is beyond right in 2019.