Penelope Umbrico
[Photographer, b. 1957, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 I have always been more interested in how we as a culture see things than how I see in particular. 
 You get the camera. You see that the sky getting a little darker. You imagine there might be color in the sky. You might go to the place where you could see more sky, and everybody’s doing this at this moment. And instead of sitting there, and really enjoying that sunset, you’re snapping it. 
 In the act of making, sharing, and consuming images, it seems like the more one shares images of oneself, the less one exists in the world. 
 I actually think all art is, or should be, to a certain degree, transgressive. I take that as a given and don’t think very much about it. 
 I’ve never been interested in going out on the street and taking photographs. I’ve always been interested in the illusionary spaces that we, as a culture, create for ourselves. 
 … what I do online uses a photo-documentary strategy. I travel, navigate, through virtual space and I look for things that will support an idea I have. I make screenshots or download images and crop them in specific ways for what I am looking for. I frame the virtual world the way I want to see it. This is what a photographer does, frames and edits the world in the way that she sees it. 
 As soon as you put something on the web, you’re crossing a threshold from the personal to the collective. No matter how personal an image is, if there’s another image somewhere that shares the same subject and approach, it becomes part of a phenomenon. 
 I am not interested in producing work that shows how I see, in that literal manner that photographs can confirm. 
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