The word of the compiler.
Photoport theory in the age of post-identity
Let's start with the thesis that this photographic almanac is devoted to the subject of photographic post-identity, or fluid identity , and then return some 65 million years ago to the Cenozoic. καινός, "New", and ζωή, ‘Life’) era, which - you may not have known - continues to this day.
Think of it as a good opportunity to remember our geological identity again. So, 65 million years ago, there was no one to call Europe Europe or America - America, and these were just parts of a continent completely different from what it is now. Yes, the dinosaurs were already extinct. Growing mammals ran the ground more and more boldly. The variety of plants and insects has expanded rapidly. Somewhere where we currently know Lithuania is, subtropical forests have spread. The amber trees were rich in resin. You probably won’t be surprised if I reveal for a long time now that all this has turned into amber over millions of years. We know from amber fossils that there were lice in mammalian hair, for example, 50 million years ago. However, of the vertebrates, only the lizard, which has turned into a fossil, has survived. This amber fossil will probably be the first portrait of a vertebrate recorded in our geological latitudes.
Although amber is not photography, it binds more than it may seem at first glance. The Lithuanian etymology of amber is still a mystery to us, but its Latin name electrum, and in ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (ēlektron) relate to the term ἠλέκτωρ (ēlektōr), which means the shining sun. According to one of the ancient Greek myths, when Pheton, the son of the sun god Helium, was killed, his mourning sisters became poplars, and their tears ēlektron, or amber. The sun and light are associated not only with amber, but also with photography, or, repeating the greatest truism about photography, light is photography, or more precisely, photography is a captured, stopped light, a fossil of light.
But let’s keep thinking about amber, this fossil substance. Amber is called in Arabic kahraba'; the Arabs took the word from Central Iran pahlavi language word kah-ruba (Kah "Straw", and rubay means ‘attract’, that is, a reference to the electromagnetic properties of amber), and it later became an Arabic word for electricity (kahrabā’ electricity). Amber is called in ancient French and medieval English Ambre. In both Arabia and Western Europe, amber was most commonly traded by sea and ocean, suggesting that it may have been one of the reasons why amber is also referred to as the secretory secreted by the sperm gut, amber, which is commonly found on the coast and used in perfumery. . We can name another similarity - both amber and amber could be heated and incense.
Let’s stitch this story again with keywords. Volatile post-identity: the shining sun - life on earth - the resin dripping from the trees in a tropical climate - a dead lizard falling into them - 50 million years later amber, called an electron in some languages, associated with the same sun - amber fossils in which, viewed through a magnifying glass , you can see both the sun and its halo, the orbiting planets with plants and small animals trapped in photography - the seaside - travel by sea - whales - incense - electricity, the main energy used in modern photographic techniques, which enables both the production and performance of photography and social dissemination. networks and other ways, the processes of light, the signals of which are shared by optical cables in those photographs in this networked world. Have you noticed how changeable, volatile the identities of photography, that fossil of light, can be?
Let’s get back to identity and portrait. The key word is also how different data systems in somewhere very far away data centers create our portraits based on our online activities. Depending on what we do there, in a few minutes we are assigned gender, nationality, age, social class, education, marital status. If you are not granted US citizenship under this portrait, you will lose certain privacy rights , and you may be more likely to be tracked down or spy on than US citizens. Assessing the rather conservative predictions that modern man will statistically make 25,000 people in a lifetime, the question arises as to why humanity is characterized by a hypertrophied focus on identities and faces. Today, as people spend more and more time on social media, this increased focus is not only on their own or family portraits, but also on the faces of other people, animals, and various hybrid digital creatures.
But what does a photo portrait mean today, or how to create or recognize one's photographs in this old new world, which until recently arrogantly declared "the end of history" (Francis Fukuyama), who says he was "after nature" (for example, Jedediah Purdy in "After Nature: The Politics of Anthropocene" or Steven Vogel's book "How a Shopping Center Thinkes: The Philosophy of the Environment After the End of Nature" declares that "we have never been modern" (Bruno Latour), that "we have never been human" (Donna Haraway) or that “we were never just humans” (Michel Foucault) but were and are superhuman or subhuman?
"Your face is your password," says you iPad. Today, when faces are "read" and "recognized" by telephones, police cameras or search engine algorithms, the question arises as to how machines interpret our faces, what features they "scan" and what remains unreadable and obscure information? According to the new reality, which sometimes far exceeds the prophesied visions of science fiction, the artificial intelligence that reads the faces will soon be able to scan political views, the economic situation, sexuality, and the coefficient of intelligence. When a face becomes an open book, it can be changed and manipulated, what does it mean to create, have, or lose one’s “face”?
Also, how is the concept of authorship changing in such an environment saturated with artificial intelligence, applications, and technology? How does this change our own growing sense of identity? Or - when faces are read today by various invisible robots and algorithms, how their faces are created or protected by those whose faces belong to the so-called fourth world are not ordinary, recognized, legal, belong to national or sexual minorities, nomads, low-income migrants, belonging to the past living outside the neoliberal technological modernity?
I hope that the narrative threads of the album will dissolve as they try to feel like amber or amber incense, and that the process of flipping and reading will become a dizzying, easily eroding process, a questioning of identities, and even better, an interesting journey.
 The almanac is designed to avoid a chronological, linear, single-discourse narrative structure. Information about the tracks is provided only at the end of the album, in the hope that in this way the visual narrative will bring joy of unexpected discoveries.
 John Chenney-Lippold. „We are data. Algorythmes and making of our digital selves“. New York University Press, 2017, 3 p.