Ethereal Panorama

We move through time and space within the impermanent conditions of life.  

Sitting on the Shinkansen (bullet train in Japan), I realized as I attempted to capture a three-hour ride, that the iPhone panoramic function proceeded to capture the speeding imagery, in its own algorithmic and glitchy mode, filling the scene with fragmentation and connection. 


This banal, everyday, technological product astonished me by translating the temporal bodily experience of sitting on a train into an image of its own language. I considered the history of panorama in this place -- paintings depicting events, locations -- in a specific, avant-garde compositional technology that crystallized Japanese painting into its own.   

While Japanese painting of our ancestors works to offer a wide view through a style of gesture, narrative, and sublime senses, the drive to create panoramic photo technology in the west was driven by verisimilitude -- a realistic visual simulation, a visual index of the world as the eye can see at a wide angle.  They are both attempting to capture impermanent senses into a permanent object, specifically the wide image.  As I travel through time and space in the place of my ancestors as a foreigner, I sense these ephemeral moments that reflect my hybrid, diasporic condition, through fragmentation and connection of moving through this ancestral land.