Beauty in Chaos

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” —Lao Tzu

I wanted to create a series of images that consider the way we as individuals self-style our lives, plotting out our perceived existence, and how these personal expectations are often seemingly dashed by life's actual outcomes.

The photographs were taken in a controlled studio environment, with their actively chosen color palettes, costumes and poses, they reference the notion of idealized existence; projections we consciously or inadvertently impose on our own lives. They, like depictions in advertisements, are alluring but false.

The term "glitch" widely refers to an unexpected technical malfunction, and the 21st Century artistic method of "glitching" is the manipulation of a given medium to produce some element of corruption. The introduction of random, visual glitches to these otherwise thoughtfully planned and executed images is analogous to life's uncontrolled variables, and the myriad ways our idealized personal narratives are regularly upended and thrown into seeming chaos.

With unplanned outcomes and unmet expectations can come disappointment, even devastation. But life— like these images —albeit imperfect, still contains wonderful things.

© Gracie Hagen 2017