We live in a strange world and quite often in the shallow-end of the Sea of Mediocrity. Keeping head above water is a constant near-drowning for social relevance; a self-imposed line-in-the-sand – the fountain of ALL happiness & modern success. Perversely it’s a demeaning, life-whisper that buoys us on to greater feats of triviality; more obsessive consumption and the accumulation of material wealth against which we’re measured in envy’s currency. Searching for relevance, at its most obscene, is also the root of failure.
If relevance is a subjective handle, internalised & a function of our own whims and foibles, then by extrapolation, we are our own judge & jury. Herein lies the self-destructive time-bomb we defuse later with regret when it’s too late to make amends. Bizarrely we sit in personal judgement through the eyes of our peers rather than as a reflected image in the mirror. Searching for relevance is almost always unattainable in the critical eye of someone else who isn’t given the chance to refute the evidence presented.
Whatever we say or like to say about ourselves, particularly in the social-spheres, we dress for others mostly, are motivated by the desire for approbation & crave an acceptance into our professional / special-interest Hall of Fame – the happiness at the end of the grind. Getting that recognition can, however, be fast-tracked by social-connection or with some money and that’s a false relevance if ever there was.
Fast-tracking is none more obvious than in the field of photography. In our modern, digital world photography has arguably lost some of the mystique of old. We’ve become accustomed to instant gratification & the back-end of the camera is the kicker to instant success or a ticket to whatever; terminal irrelevance. Fast-tracked success, behind the shutter, is a social-media phenom & a modern social-media ruse to the artificial relevance of the untalented. Where social-media relevance is claimed by a show of thumbs; acceptance becomes an unaccounted / majority-ruled show-of-hands. Performance is then a socialite’s rubber-stamp rather than one of critical acclaim. Financially-successful, fast-tracked amateurs, flaunting talentless perfection behind a learned composition and a top-end camera, bask in false relevance. Looking through the glass is very different from seeing the artful composition of a creative masterpiece. Where subjects are a composite success in themselves rather than the result of the creative talents of the point & shoot photographer then, in context, relevance is false. Notwithstanding, if relevance is subjective or a self-regulated level of achievement, then false relevance is always in the eye of the interested observer.
If relevance is life’s hack or a social-mask of paper-mache then that success is defined by false concealment – a single act; 5 minutes of fame.
Creative photography isn’t a fast-tracked paint-by-numbers, on good glass, but a window to the soul and the final product of Self. True success and enlightened relevance is embedded in the fabric that is true-Self; anything less is superficial social-acceptance and a ticket to the shallow-end.