Man meets machine in this Schön! online editorial. Media drives every experience. Eye contact is only made through the front-facing camera. Photographer Vinnie Liazza’s inhuman vision is altogether too prescient. We are bound to the machines but cannot imagine life without them.
As writer Annie Markitanis explains: what does it mean to be part of a collective in the digital space versus being an individual in the real space? Although socialization is a fundamental human trait, and relationships are a universal human need, technological detachment is becoming today’s reality, diverting us from our real purpose, deteriorating the meaningfulness of human interaction, and gradually leading us to isolation. The ability to present our true self, both to ourselves and the world, is being compromised. Our skill to pay attention has been weakened. Our competence to utterly and openly join up with what’s inside and around us has been jeopardized, losing sight of the world as a result.
When was the last time we took the time to shift our attention from the screen and our busy schedule to relish the moment with all our senses? When was the last time we made eye contact, really looking at someone? When was the last time we allowed our self to be a magnet for the self in another? How congruent are we in our lives as opposed to what we virtually project? How can we nurture a bond with someone else, If what we reveal is only part of the whole picture? How can we really connect to anything or anyone, if all our mind can perceive is just a piece of the entire puzzle? How can we be genuine to the world if we are clung onto a screen as if a deity to worship?
In this editorial, the post-digital arena flirts with a disconnect from what is really important. The dystopian actuality of our alienation is decoded with mechanized translations intruding real-life situations. Our emotional, mental and physical states herald systematic actions, estranged behaviors and aseptic emotions. We are the creators and participants of an avoiding culture where the digitalization constitutes the bridge separating our true self from our public face.
A point in time where emotional invisibility pertains our existence as lost selves, dictated by an ego gone out of control; a point in time where our yearning for healthy rituals has been replaced by such notions as those of a multiplayer, network, and social media. Our primary need to belong, to be accepted, and to be seen lead us towards a distorted consequence where the answer seems to lie behind a screen, through the function of a post, a text, a photo on Instagram, or a smiley-face emoticon. Our virtual identity-focused temperament results in a shallow and stark reality; a reality where everybody and nobody are synonyms of an incompatible notion; a roundabout declaration of what makes us Us. In this editorial, the commanding paradox between virtual socialization and real isolation is contextualized through easily translatable situations. The eerie lack of human contact and the need for sociability are magnified, bringing to light the naked truth of our near future: A future where man willfully poses as an Orwellian Big Brother.
This Schön! online exclusive has been produced by
photography. Vinnie Liazza
fashion. Serena Pompei
model. Zhengyang Zhang @ IMG Models, Sair Tan @ Brave Models
creative direction. TOBECONFIRMED
hair. Amedeo Marcolungo
make up. Erica Peschiera
fashion assistants. Fabrizio Agostini + Alessia Vancini
props. Kadri Hirvesaar
casting. Michele Bisceglia @ Unconventional Artists
text. Annie Markitanis