True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I'm working on bringing the instant film camera back as part of the future.
- Lady Gaga
"Instant Joy is a short series of photographs that examines our elevated culture of immediate sensations and experiences. The use of drugs, whether prescribed or otherwise, as a way to deal with, limit or enhance experience is a point of cultural significance very similar to our use of manifested instant technologies, e.g. streaming news feeds, mobile access to applications of social connection and communication, and integrated mass media.
The Rave, seemingly developed as a focused exercise mirroring our evolving ADD culture, revolves around the most basic aspects of instant joy. The connections a participant makes with people, with the lights and the music, with dancing, and with the collective entity of the crowd are all attributes of the moment “now.” Enhanced by drugs like MDMA, with its relatively short duration of altered reality, and thrust upon a demographic raised upon instant gratification, this combination is a strikingly potent one.
The photographs you see here are, both in the physical action of capturing the image and the aesthetic achieved, reflective of the rave experience, and in turn are a reflection of how instant gratification has influenced our lives, entrenching itself within the threads of our social fabric. Shot in instant Polaroid format, on extremely limited WildSide spectra film, these images are not meant to feature carefully detailed composure or a specific artistic quality. Rather, these represent a momentary snapshot that when taken out of context may be considered abrasive or perhaps even ugly, much like the WildSide Polaroid border itself. In the same breath, when viewed from the context of the subject, this is also an experience that may be defined as a moment of ecstatic beauty, pure instant joy. The duality of viewer and viewed is subject to display and both are open for judgment."