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Puerto Rico

PCOS is a photographic project that records my journey since March 2021, when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Through an exploration of the self, I analyze my condition, how it manifests in my body, my mind, and the experience of regulating it.

PCOS, in its most simple forms, is a condition that only female-born women can experience. The leading diagnosis notices multiple ovarian cysts in the ovaries. However, PCOS extends further and complicates many areas of the female reproductive system such as an irregularity in your hormones, insulin level and menstruation cycles. Other symptoms may be excess hair growth, acne, obesity, inflammation, excess androgen, and dark patches in the skin, among others. Bodily and mental complications include infertility, diabetes, natural miscarriages, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, mood swings, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, abnormal uterine bleeding, and endometrial cancer. Because of the different components of the condition, the photographs were taken around four categories: body, mind, treatment and food. Together the photographs present to the viewer a fragmented image of my body and my PCOS.

Learning about the condition and its complications came as a shock but also gave me a sense of reassurance. After 22 years, I finally feel like I am making progress towards truly connecting and controlling my body. The diagnosis made me spiral into a deep investigation of why it took so long to determine a condition that affected every aspect of my life, and in that investigation I was taken aback about how many women go undiagnosed, the gaslighting that the healthcare system in the USA consistently presents to women of color and the difference between the diagnosis of male and female doctors.

Stockholm

My mom came to visit me in Stockholm. We spent the day out at Djurgården and took the bus back home. I love her.

Bologna

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day"
The contrast between visible and apparently visible generates some kind of interest in the observer. A feeling that opens the doors of imagination, disorienting the common sense that makes things already fully visible.

Caxias do Sul

Put in chaos

Photography is the result of a device. More precisely, photography is the result of the correct operation of a device. Not from a technique of operation, but from an order of operation that begins with the perception of reality. Understanding that what is perceived, what is understood as reality is the result of the absorption of images, that the construction of the lexicon with which one communicates (with) the world is the result of all the images that one has ever seen, means to affirm a dependence to the image perception. Thus, the use of the photographic device determines what we consider reality, in a circularity between perception and production that highlights the political and social relevance of photography.

Authors such as Flusser and Berger proposed the brightening of the black box of photography, of the hermetic structure that makes up the device as used daily, that is, to understand the process by which the world is converted – technically – into an image so that it can also brighten the process by which an image is transformed into a world. So, experimenting with photography implies investigating, beyond the possibilities of the medium, the interpretive capacities of reality. Analog photography, freed from its function by technological evolution, already follows these paths by allowing itself to be something beyond what the program of its device authorized, by exploring different supports or processes and by the organic results of languages that derive from this experimentation.

Digital photography, on the other hand, is order. The ordering code of the numerical structure does not invite experimentation. On the contrary, any change in the program is an error, a crash. The digital image world is thus restricted to the existence of what is allowed by the program. Leaving the order means breaking, damaging, preventing the correct and perfect functioning of the device. The digital manifestation presents itself as the only way, as everything (1) or nothing (0) in which the machine imposes: either do it my way or I break. The anxiety of digital life is the result of the natural need for experimentation prevented by the program, of the need to seek the new by restructuring the order.

The being that operates the camera is organic, the body adapts, molds the form to the world and the world to its needs. It turns wrong into norm, normal into old and doubt into creation. To brighten the digital black box is to show that there is a plurality of possible organizations, interpretations and actions that, in their own way, give meaning to the world and the perception of reality. The fetish for order needs to be confronted by chaos, because the conservatism of order is the idolatry of backwardness. Above all, untouched order is illusion, as chaos surrounds, infiltrates, crumbles certainty. To accept the inevitability of chaos is to understand finitude, mutability, to know the inconstancy of experience and that everything that is understood – and how it is understood – will one day be supplanted by the new. To cry out for order is to chain yourself to a time that has already passed.

The imposed order, repeated and circular, invokes morality for morality's sake, doing because it is customary and being because it is due. Chaos is reflexive. It needs to prove effective and possible. The new comes from experimenting, reorganizing, reviewing and rebuilding. The impassive order is blind to the new.

Created by the process, curiously called databending – a name that assumes that the data is malleable, moldable, and that, contrary to what the digitally ordered world proposes, its handling does not result in an error, but in a new order – the images are the result of the damage of digital photographs by the random modification of its structure, either by editing the data that form it, or by applying programming codes that corrupt it. The result that can be seen, as chaotic as unexpected, is the materialization of chaos as an image, resulting from the reorganization of the digital image in its most basic order, interpreted and experienced as a new possibility, in which the referent is no longer what it should be. being, but its potency, that which can become.

To put in chaos is to allow an experimental experience in a program that values the imposed organization. It is to demonstrate that the image, source and result of reality, can fail to comply with what is allowed by the device, it is to make the body, morality and certainty the raw material, the code of a new program.

Austin

Taken September 26, 2020
We didn't know why, but my husband was in excruciating pain. I couldn't get him into our car to take him to the hospital. We were both terrified what him going to the hospital would mean as he would be alone. The pandemic made it so family could not be with loved ones in the hospital. I took this picture as my husband was being put into the back of an ambulance because I didn't know when I would see him again. He would ride in the ambulance alone, and be in the hospital alone. I waited 5 hours in the parking lot of the hospital that night. My husband had an emergency appendectomy and 8mm kidney stone. Due to Covid, they sent him home less than 8 hours after that ambulance ride. This photo sums up so much for me. The medical staff and ambulance are a light of hope in the darkness. The love of my life for over 33 years being taken away from me. Both of us separated from each other, and being scared of what going into the hospital would mean. Not only were we scared of his pain, but scared that he would contract the virus while being treated in the hospital. So many had been separated from their loved ones during that year, and have felt as I did then. When would I see my loved one again? Are they alright? Will the virus seize them too?

Santiago

This is a candid street portrait I did in my city at the Plaza de Armas

Carpi

As an oyster to the shell we are tied to our bodies Plato wrote, so the body of the woman is tied to an indelible collective imagination and in the same way I am tied to my body and theirs.

London

As the UK struggles with Lockdown fatigue during the Covid19 crisis, couples and friends escape their homes to enjoy the warm weather and exercise. Swimmers respect the social distancing rules, cooling off in the River Lea, Hackney , London UK. So to get this shot I went out armed with my 70-200mm lens . The brief was - to get a pretty picture of people pushing boundaries of social distancing and the relaxing of lockdown rules from Sunday. I've got to be honest cycling around London parks armed with my long lens made me feel really uncomfortable! Aiming into the crowds and trying to single out groups of friends clearing meeting up. I thought anyone can make this look busy with a telephoto lens and actually no one was really breaking the rules .. it looked busy but couples and small groups were at a social distance from each other! The police came along and moved everyone on that was sunbathing and not exercising, which gave me a few pix but nothing pretty. I headed home via the canal path through Hackney marshes and happened upon a scene from, I quote, “what heaven might look like“ It felt like a dreamy escape somewhere exotic, but is actually In Hackney! The police moved the majority on who were sunbathing on the banks, but a few returned to the tranquil cool waters of the river Lea, respecting social distances from each other. I hung around just long enough to catch this couple kissing and meet my deadline !