In the past century, photography quickly went from being a privilege of an army of professionals and wealthier, first-world amateurs, to a mass medium of almost universal access. Critic Brian Droitcour has described the rise of social media as a rebalancing of image-making power: the ‘aestheticization of everyday life in social media…[that] has leeched the authority
of image-making from mass media and from art.’
Now, in the 21st century, only a tiny minority of people is cameraless, and
the steady streaming of pictures – billions each day – increasingly characterizes our lives, even if most of them have the lifespan of
a mayfly. No one knows where it’s all heading, though we suspect it’s heading somewhere.