Sync (2017-2022) is a photobook installation that calls for reflection at a time when technological progress seems to be accelerating. In a highly modernist society that largely takes place online, Maria Dabrowski has explored finding a new balance and reflection with her photography. The analogue photo series reflects a search for reflection in our volatile (online) society: in nature, with attention to the daily details and our own rhythm. More and more people struggle with mental problems and burnouts continue to increase in our fast-paced, demanding society. Sync can be considered an introspection. The photos are symbolic, psychological and contemplative in nature.
In addition to compiling the photobook, a collaboration took place with a deep tech company from Nijmegen specialized in artificial intelligence (AI) and Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). An EEG-experiment was performed with a ‘subject’. During this experiment, the subject was placed on the head with electrodes to measure brain activity while looking at the photos from the Sync photobook. The raw data obtained from the experiment will be used in the multimedia installation. The data from image and sound is converted into visual and auditory input. The multimedia installation Sync links the world of science and data collection to that of visual arts and philosophy. In the installation Maria Dabrowski investigates how these scientific methods can be used as an artistic means. With the installation, Maria wants to expose hidden brainprocesses and data while we're 'consuming online' and make people aware of it. The interaction between the different exhibition elements aims to slow down and play with the attention of the viewer and his time. In the design of the photobook, the viewing times of the experiment are reflected per photo, to point out to us the volatility of our attention span in the digital world. In addition, the experiment in the multimedia installation indirectly refers to the conversion into data of so many facets of our human behavior. The photo series, which consists of 52 analog photos, enters into a layered interaction with the graphic design of Yorick de Vries (Studio Another Day), with the call to slow down the viewing process. The visual content of the photo book is linked to a text written by Joris van Merwijk. In this he discusses the ambiguous relationship that we as modern humans have with ‘free’ time in connection with our consumer driven society. The text with a philosophical slant is executed as an additional clue to a possible interpretation of the images from the book; as a road map to a new consciousness.
The work raises questions such as; to what extent do we manipulate ourselves (nature) and who dictates the rhythm (time)? Do we still know how to get to our feeling? Is there still time in the distant future for your own thoughts and will? And if so, will it be commercialized by eg giant tech companies?