Behavior Lag

As I have worked through the past several months on forming the way I discuss my practice and specifically the photographic series Removed, I have come to a greater understanding of the psychological and sociological factors that are in play with this work. The term Behavior Lag expresses the concept of the time period between not knowing and then eventually learning the new ways in which technology is understood and more specifically how it is physically used.

An example of this can be found in the early adoption of amateur motion picture film users whose subjects found themselves posing still for the moving camera. The previously learned response to being in front of a camera was to hold very still and smile so that a single sharp frame could be exposed. The new technology allowed for motion and action to be recorded. After users saw themselves on film, they began to shift their performance to one that included movement and narrative. Posing still for a motion camera is just one example of Behavior Lag. 

This concept can also work in reverse where the user has mastered the behavior of current technology however, when presented with outmoded but similar technology, the user employs a gesture, or application that does not result in the desired outcome from that technology. For example, a child who attempts to manipulate a screen with their direct contact of that screen however, the surface is not touch sensitive. 

This concept also applies to shifting social behaviors and ethics since the rapid introduction of the smart phone and other personal devices. The perception and expectations of social engagement are being altered by the ability for users of this technology to connect with anyone anywhere. The dividing of attention between those who are physically near you and those who are not is widely debated. The Behavior Lag is present when using a device around other people or while driving or any other activity where one feels anxiety or guilt but yet still chooses to engage in the use of the technology. The ethics remain undetermined while humankind experiences this shift that is more widely adopted and in volumes unseen in human history.

Below are photographs made while speaking about Behavior Lag

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