Days of Eyes (2014) was photographed at the Botanical Garden in Uppsala, Sweden. The images depict figures standing against trees hung with tropical vines. Amongst the vines heavy black cables merge with the existing plant life. We depend on cables to transfer words and images, connecting us via technology. Technology has extended our innate abilities providing us with tools that expand our memory and processing capabilities. Here Friberg’s images pose the question: Are we using technology to assist in our evolution? Are we separating ourselves further from the natural world in favor of a virtual one? Are there repercussions and if so what might they be?
The information that we post online becomes part of our collective memory. The Internet was designed to methodically store that information, but humankind is fallible. Friberg’s Days of Eyes touches upon this quandary. The series was created at the time of the European high court’s landmark ruling on “the right to be forgotten”, which requires search engines such as Google to remove personal data or posts upon request from its search results. The decision has sparked a firestorm of debate about freedom of speech versus the right to omit details about an individual’s past. Many of the removal requests were related to crimes and other unsavory activities, while others sought to remove hurtful content uploaded in vengeance. Perhaps this is one of the challenges Friberg alludes to, in our desire to digitize our memory?
/Curator Michelle Marie Roy