Sunday, June 19, 2011

Would you like fries with that?

We were at a rather 'flash' restaurant the other day and the table of four next to us was an interesting study in how the bigger 'We' engage with the world. Each of the four had a camera at the table and they all photographed every dish that came out. That is not to say just their own but rather EVERY plate on the table.

At another restaurant, we overheard a customer request that the Chef come out as he (the customer) had 'eaten at some of the best restaurants at the world, etc, etc' and would like to photographed with him/her. As a side note, according to the waitress the kitchen was too busy (the restaurant was empty other than our two tables), the Chef was 'shy' and didn't have time to come out.

It's always been interesting to us how people engage with 'culture'. The classic example is the phenomenon of people photographing artworks in galleries/churches. Often they do so as a replacement to actually looking at the work. That is, they view the work through a tiny, shaky viewfinder. They then photograph it under 'duress' by using a flash and running away when attendants attempt to admonish them.

Ultimately they don't experience the work anywhere near as well as they would in the 'flesh' but - interestingly - also not as well as they likely have seen the same in a book. So.... what's the point?

This is also the case with concerts. You see white fields of cameras held at arms length when you look at concert footage. Are people looking at the viewfinders or 'experiencing' the concert?

This is not to say that the food (or music) goes cold whilst people fiddle with their various dials but you do have to wonder what is, in the end, achieved?

Most likely the quality is exceedingly bad so why 'work' without purpose when you could other wise simply enjoy?

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