MB_Nostalgia http://instagram.com/mb_nostalgia/
The project Manhattan Beach Nostalgia is currently being displayed on Instagram. Originally the project was created to show, through visual imagery, the changes that occurred in the same space overtime. However, the project expanded from revisiting and re-photographing the locations in Manhattan Beach to compare how the physical place evolved overtime, to a more elaborated idea regarding space and time.

We understand Instagram as a contemporary online platform that operates first as a social media space where users gain access and are able to comment on others’ images, as well as a platform that allows the users to emulate old photographic film filters, thus creating a narrative of the past. Aesthetically speaking, Instagram brings the nostalgic feelings that accompanied the evolution of photography throughout time, enabling contemporary photographs to resemble visual imagery of the past. During our conceptualization of this project, we raised several questions. “Why is it appealing to all users of Instagram to register their images in such a nostalgic manner?”, “Why do we comprehend the established idea of time as a linear process?” “Do old photographs appear to be more “real” because in the beginning of the 20th century image manipulation software did not exist?” “How do Framing and Dark Room techniques such as Dodging and Burn altered “reality” in photographic images? And so forth.

Our process for this project was based on a series of questions we raised during reflections regarding social media, internet as an Art platform, artworks created solely for the Internet space and how artworks dwell in an online space opposed to existing in a physical space. We intended to deconstruct the solidified idea of time as a linear process. The common notion of time is diminished in simplistic formulaic concepts, such as “That business was there in 1940, but now it does not exist anymore, and has no value for contemporary society”. What exists in the year of 2014 in Manhattan Beach isn’t a simple dissociation of what existed in the past. What is now present in the physical space of Manhattan Beach is a result of what evolved from that era, the past, the history of the town, the architectural features, and many components of the physical space permeated and trespassed time.

Through a series of collages along with scanned old photos, we intended to bring attention to the audience regarding time operating in depth instead of following a linear course. As an example, in one old slide of Manhattan Beach, we added two men who are clearly dressed in contemporary clothing (hip hop style) by old cars that don’t exist in 2014 any longer. The collages trigger the audience to disbelief in how photographs are pursued as real mark of time. The collages incite the audience to reflect about Time in a fluid manner. Instead of Time running in a linear method, following a conventional chronology, we want Time to be thought in another dimension– in a three dimensional plane. By mixing elements of old photographs with contemporary photographs, we hope to present to the audience a fresh take regarding the notion of Time. “Things don’t emerge in 1930’s and die in 1931. Things, places, people’s histories emerge at some point in History and are carried on, persisting over time, carving marks in the timeline called life.”