Photography has always had the power to transport us to exotic and unfamiliar places. With the arrival of the Internet, and the flood of images it’s brought with it, we can instantaneously travel just about anywhere in the world when we open a Web browser.
Our minds are now desensitized to the exotic. We might have friends who live across the world whom we’ve never met in real life, but whom we follow on Flickr, Facebook, or Tumblr. Snapshots of their distant existences are at our fingertips. It’s also easier than ever for you to hop on a plane and take a vacation to anywhere in the world while remaining connected to your life back at home. If you’re adventurous, you can move from city to city, state to state, or country to country.
The Web can also transport you to mundane locations—places in the middle of nowhere that you wouldn’t normally seek to discover. Photography on the Internet allows us to visually experience the daily lives of average citizens, whether they are amateur or experienced photographers.
However, the ability to be everywhere vicariously through the Internet often creates a feeling of sameness; you’re nowhere special. France looks like Kansas, New York City looks like Shanghai, hipsters in Brooklyn look like hipsters in Dallas. Naturally, I’m generalizing, but I think that the privilege to visit anywhere and everywhere has started to erode our affiliation with a specific geographic location.
In this issue, I chose four photographers who evoke my notion of being everywhere and nowhere. Tommy Forbes is a Londoner who discovered his photographic voice while taking a trip around the world with his girlfriend. Ed Panar creates beautiful, mysterious, humorous photographs wherever he may be: Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, or Los Angeles. Hannah Pierce-Carlson has photographed and written about her voyages over the last four years from the American southeast to Taiwan and China. Shane Lynam received a formal photography education and has created a series of calm, meditative landscapes that seem to exist on the periphery of a city that the world has forgotten.
I hope that this collection of photographs takes you on a journey to somewhere vaguely familiar and exotic at the same time.
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