Roaming around in the Internet has become something we take for granted (for many, it seems most natural), but do we really understand how it has been changing our reality, perceptions, or interpersonal relations? Are we capable of getting our heads around it, and keeping up with the digital changes? Will the hybrid space which combines the virtual with the real turn out to be something alien and hostile to us, or rather something that is tame and indispensable?
A series of photos by Szymon Rogiński illustrates the emergence of the Internet and computers against a chaotic landscape of Polish cities and towns. The eyesore of advertisements, shop signs and neon signs on the makeshift buildings erected during the transition period is intriguing, almost beautiful. The photos taken at night ooze silence, familiarity and tranquillity—the dormant “web” prompts us to rethink the role of technology in our lives, and also our online presence. The Internet today is something altogether different from what its creators had once imagined. Does it bring us joy or sadness? Anxiety? Or nostalgia, perhaps? Rogiński’s photographs, despite their hidden depths and unexpected afterimages, are not at all mystical—they do not depict places of worship filled with a timeless presence, nor do they stand for self-gratification. After all, the digital technology has populated recognised and humble areas: tower blocks, housing estates; spaces just like us—ordinary Poles.
About the author
Szymon Rogiński (b. 1975) studied acting at the Derevo Theatre School on Wheels (Germany, Netherlands, 1997-1998) and photography at the Art Photography Studio in Gdańsk (1997-1999). He was granted the Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarship twice (2010, 2013). Szymon is the author of, among others, the following photo series: Poland Synesthesis (2002-2006), UFO Project (2005-2007), Borderlands (2015), The Internets (2018). He has published his photographs in magazines such as Common & Senses, Vogue Hommes, Young Tree Press, Futu, Shots Directory, A4, Fluid, Modern Painters. He participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions. His works are held, i.a., at the collections of the Museum of History of Photography in Kraków, the Museum of Contemporary Wrocław [MWW] and the National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Internety / The Internets
Editing, introduction: Bolesław Stelmach
Graphic design: Studio Noviki
Published by: National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planing
ISBN: 978-83-951542-5-6 (PL), 978-83-951542-6-3 (ENG)