Snyder’s work is an extended research into the imagery and reporting of war. The intention is not to comment on political issues, but to investigate the representational modes of events that are consumed second hand.
In a sense the attempt is to take the news seriously as something that conveys information and refers back to a reality beyond the television screen and printed page. In doing so, it attempts to reveal some fundamental questions of representation.
There are three related parts:
1. ‘Untitled (Archive, Iraq)’ is an ongoing archive of digital amateur photos produced by military forces and contractors excavated from photo file-sharing sites on the Internet exposes a layer of what would remain largely unseen images. Overt images of war and violence are excluded in favor of banal subjects of amateur photographers. The images present a perspective different from that of the embedded reporter and evoke notions of tourist, classical and criminal photography.
2. ‘The Site’ uses a matrix of images and reports produced by western news agencies about the capture locations of Saddam Hussein. Overlapping accounts and visual evidence are used to produce a similar, but inconsistent depiction of a location and incident that is restricted and no longer exists in reality. The analysis is not conspiratorial, but rather about accessibility, timing and the relation of reporters to their subject. For instance, it is interesting to note the media’s particular focus on western consumer items like candy bars, processed meat and deodorant.
3. The video ‘Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars’ examines the acceptance of consumer products on all sides of ideological divides and the transforming role of photojournalists given the availability of consumer digital imaging products. Using imagery from amateur sources and from media agencies like the Associated Press, conventions and complications of producing and iconic image of war are explored thought concepts such as the history of staging, digital manipulation of image, the news viewer as consumer and the photojournalist as looter.