“You got eyes”
Just a simple statement, but the message that beat writer Jack Kerouac - in his introduction to The Americans - delivered to photographer Robert Frank sixty years ago, remains a lofty compliment to pay any visual artist: You got eyes.
Could it now also be read as a provocative challenge to Generation Z and the wider society of the spectacle?... You, on the other side of the screen, swiping right - you got eyes?... You, out in the Anthropocene, amusing yourselves to death - you got eyes?... Do you truly see?
In 2018, more photographs are taken every minute than were made in the entire 19th Century, and in its multiple forms, photography continues to dominate all areas of communication. John Berger famously said, “we regret, hope, fear and love with images”, and as an artistic or journalistic medium - or as a subject-matter in its own right - photography has never been more important, attracting extensive examination from cultural theorists, art critics and philosophers.