www.nonphotographyday.com
 
   
  Celebrate the moment, don't document it.    
   
   
 
   
 

Activities for the Day

Non Photography day is a calendar sculpture, a day formed for action and awareness. Taking part in non-photography day is simple, leave your camera or recording equipment at home and abandon your photo shoots. Whatever your activities that day, appreciate the life of the moment you are in rather than documenting the appearance of it. You might want to sit down and read some of the books that have inspired me in my views to form the day- these are listed below- or just enjoy the moments your activities provide.
However, if you feel enthusiastic about the day, you could join the 'non-photography police' and on the 17th July make others donning camera aware of non-photography day...

Events

Non Photography Police!

Non-photography talks, Brighton. 10am-2pm

Books

If the concept of photography and what it represents and its use and affect in society worries you, you might like some of these books. Please note they are not direct references to photography, I have personally interpreted their content and principles and applied them in critique of photography.

Society of the Spectacle- Guy Debord, Rebel Press, 1968
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance- Robert M Pirsig, 1972
An introduction to Zen Buddhism- D.T.Suzuki, Grove Press, 1934
Essays in Zen Buddhism- D.T.Suzuki, Grove Press, 1934
Walden- Henry David Thoreau, Dover Publications, 1920

 

Why put down your camera on 17th July?

Non- photography day is an effort on my part to revive the moment by putting down the camera. It is a day to think about how life exists, in essence and not appearance and to understand the inadequacy of the photograph in describing this essence, to bring awareness of the perils of living through the view finder or the display screen…

This day was made after trekking through the Jungle on the Thailand/Burma Border with a group of travellers. As you would expect we came across many wonderful views, villages and creatures on our way; however I noticed that the people around me were living in these moments through their camera, and as soon as we stopped and were still, all reached for their camera

I felt my fellow travellers rarely really appreciated the essence of the moment they were in or engaged in any relationship between themselves and the places we stopped. They were more concerned with gaining the pattern the camera made. I felt sad for them, as it seemed they were missing out on so much reality through their obsession, an act of possession- of wanting to own the appearance of the place, as if this was all it had to give and photographs were their way of taking it.

‘The thing is there before our eyes, for it refuses to be ignored; but when we endeavour to grasp it within our own hands in order to examine it more closely or systematically, it eludes  us and we lose it’s track’

D.T Suzuki- Essays in Zen Buddhism

This echoed in the streams of images people showed me, the only thing I could grasp from the images was that the person had been present in this location, somehow the stories, the perceived magic of the places never emerged. I concluded that through this use of photography, people’s natural creativity with communication was and is being lost.