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NPR Arts & Life

When Cameras Are Part Of The Party

Dina Litovsky

A new exhibit at the Light Factory documents our desire to, well, document everything. It’s called Connected There but Not Always Here and it questions our relationship with social media and how it influences our relationships with each other. The exhibit will be on display through May 19. 

One of the artists featured in the exhibit is New York-based photographer Dina Litovsky. In her series called Untag This Photo, Litovsky shows how social media can guide our behavior when we’re out at night.
Nightclubs are a place we go to see and be seen.

But when photographer Dina Litovsky went out in New York City, she saw that there was another witness to this ‘performance’.

“I started noticing that there were so many cameras there,” says Litovsky. “That the cameras became part of this performance, like an integral part. And these photos were ending up on Facebook and that was kind of altering the behavior of performance in the club itself.”

So Dina decided to explore this trend by picking up her own camera. What she found turned into the photo series Untag This Photo, now on display the Light Factory.

At first glance they appear like chaotic party scenes. Hidden in the photos, however, is a camera. Sometimes it’s Dina’s camera, sometimes it’s a strangers, but it changes the subject’s behavior.

Litovsky focuses on women’s often sexualized reactions to the camera. The photos show women dancing and posing for the camera, and looking back at the photos.


“This behavior is almost not noticed, it becomes so ubiquitous,” says Litovsky. “You know, that there are cameras, and we take pictures and we look at them while we are dancing, we are looking at pictures already.” 

One photo shows three friends, giggling around a digital camera. Alone beside them, arms crossed, is a girl sulking without a camera. 

“In a way it’s kind of holding a mirror showing what is going on rather than making a judgment,” Litovsky says.

“The title to me is sometimes how I feel about the whole social networking thing,” says Dennis Kiel, Chief Curator of the Light Factory. “You are somewhere else; you’re not paying attention to where you are. You’re talking to someone out there and so you’re connected there, but not always here.”