By Nichole Fernández (Editor)
The exhibit by Croatian photographer Tomislav Može entitled command+shift+3 (the shortcut keys for a screenshot) is an exploration into our daily involvement with the digital world. The exhibit blurs the boundaries of photography as a discipline by using screenshots as a mode of image capturing. Beyond its clear mechanical creativity, the project challenges the modern world of social media we constructed and now traverse.
Može reached out to his 4,000+ Facebook followers (people he had never met in person) and searched for participants to take part in virtual nude photo shoots. These photo shoots were conducted via video chat software: the computer and internet collectively created the encounter, provided the means of communication, and the mode of capturing the image. The use of social media and the focus on modern commonplace technology both pushes the boundaries of photography as an art form and criticizes the view that sincerity and trust is lost through technological advancement.
Može’s intent was to explore his role within these social networks, to “understand how we are not aware [of] how much we offer to other people that we don’t know”. This exhibit shows the trust and closeness that these social media tools can create between strangers. By composing the photos nude, and setting them in the model’s personal space, his work brings an emotional truth and humanity into the cluttered mess of debates between social scientists - debates which, incidentally, consistently imagine a bleak technologically determined future where interpersonal relations have lost a human connection.
This project easily balances on the boundaries between observer/voyeur and sharing/exhibitionist that are continuously blurred in a digital era in which much of our personal information is willingly presented online. Imagine for a minute that you follow someone on social media that you have never met, which many of us do. In that instance you are the observer verging on voyeur, peering into the life of someone you don’t know in person. And the person you are following is sharing much of their life willingly, in a way which verges on exhibitionism. If the person you are following then asks you to participate in a nude photo shoot via Skype in your house, the rolls of sharing and observing become entwined breaking down social boundaries within online communities.
Within command+shift+3 there is an intentional exploration into the existence of this observer/voyeur/exhibitionist relationship in social media, questioning whether social networks have changed society’s acceptance of both the voyeur and the exhibitionist. Može believes “the mass media and internet changed the meaning of the words voyeur and exhibitionist because everybody now is a voyeur and exhibitionist”. Within the social sciences we commonly criticize this behavior online as creating empty relationships and realities that lead to unfulfilled social interactions, emotional laziness, hurtful online behavior that turns to trolling, breaking down the boundaries of reality, and distrust in human connections. Many social theorists no longer see the internet as a form of free expression and unrestricted identity formation. But Tomislav Može’s project serves as a reminder that while social media may have its downfalls it can still act as a platform for intimate human connections and trust.
 For more on this see Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other