Samuel Joshua Richardson

Selfie

Within my practise I deal with the self portrait, and the fascination humans have with their own image. Daguerreotype's were introduced in 1839, the first photographs which soon led to everyone being able to have a photograph of themself. I found the Daguerreotypes were made on silver treated copper plates which lead me to experiment with these materials.

The self-portrait is everywhere now, in profile pictures, in stories and in your news feed – everyone is a photographer, specialising in hundreds of self-portrait's and this is all capable because of smartphones. But, many people don't realise the ethical repercussions from smartphone production. I created my piece in the exact dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy A50, the best selling smartphone last year and Samsung is guilty of using child labour, having terrible working conditions and using unsustainable materials. Samsung also over uses coal-fired power plants according to Greenpeace.

 

In the last decade, production of smartphones has consumed nearly enough energy to power India for a year. In 2017, smartphones, and related products, made 50 metric tons of e-waste. Smartphones also use planned obsolescence, which means you have to buy a new one after a year or two, and since smartphones use rare earth metals, this is becoming an ever increasing strain on the environment. So, this is an area I feel quite passionately about, there is a lack of transparency within companies about where their products come from and there is also a lack of awareness from the consumers.

Samuel Joshua Richardson, Fine Art BA, 2nd year