A Collage of container ships by Jenny O'dell
Jenny Odell is a collector, but not of physical objects. She collects photos of landmarks, geographical features, large ships, and man made pools. They are merely digital images but they give you a certain perspective of the Earth we live on. These are not things you can actually collect (Unless you’re a multi-millionaire) but they help you see the imprint of technology and advanced civilization on the Earth.
They also suggest the vast reach of modern commerce and global economy.
Collecting is one of the traits that we share as humans. We want to arrange, compare and categorize. This helps us understand our world. This way we can feel we have a little control with the knowledge we accrue. I was not allowed to drink pop as a kid, but I used to collect bottle caps, shells, stickers (scratch and sniff), rocks and coins.
I did not have the internet either, so I could not do what Jenny is doing now. Her collections are a way to look at and sort the overwhelming amount of images that we see. Her collages are an expression of a filter device we have. We are constantly asking where things belong: dangerous, crude, ridiculous, hot, dark, alive, dead, immoral. Everything can be put into multiple categories simultaneously depending on the kind of filter you are using and your parameters. If you do not do this, I strongly suggest you try. This is one of the ways we add meaning to the world as human beings.