During my time in Paris I became entranced by the need to physically catalogue my place in the city. I realized quickly that my phone was automatically registering the steps I took each day, and being in a walking city, the numbers were rather high. To create and hold my presence in Paris I started collecting everything around me. I started with words which I wrote and scanned when I returned to Florida. I also collected numbers, since that caught my eye to begin with. Instead of resisting this authority my phone took on, I embraced it. I created a system of logic behind my movement through the city. After compiling the number of steps I took and transferring them to miles, I applied these numbers to metro travel. The number of miles represented the number of stops I would take in any direction. Upon arrival I focused on acclimating myself to this new space and becoming situationally cognitive of what the people surrounding were doing and how they utilized this new location. The activities I accumulated, and gathered before arrival took shape as signifiers, or icons of Paris.
The location was photographed using a twin lens and developed there in the city. Later, after the film was processed, I used those signifiers to manipulate the film shot. Since the signifiers were actions carried out on the film that stood for ways we classify Paris the main manipulations were: burning cigarettes onto the film, soaking them in wine, taping them to the bottom of my shoe on my daily walk to class, and taping to the bottom of a metro turnstile.
When I returned back to Florida I had an interest in why I had a strong need to do these actions and what made them necessary. The process as a whole was a way to orient myself in a new city and take personal control over my movements and to feel powerful where I felt so small. Paris has the power to make an individual feel very small when encompassed by its size and age. The indexical nature of the final image also became an important aspect of the project. Referring to the index of photography through the images by placing the city back onto itself. The process of taking in relation to the resulting image carries out the essence of photography visually through its tactile experience.