I Travel Therefore I am is a visual study of the vicious cycle of aspiration-consumption-validation.

The work analyses the influence of visual media on popular culture in tourism. It is an inquiry into how constant exposure to images of tourist destinations on popular information platforms fuels our aspirations to create similar visual content that one may validate the vacation and become participants of the trend. With this work, I seek to deconstruct the said popular images, identify their prime signifiers and decontextualise them to form photographs that challenge the set parameters of a ‘perfect image’. The constructed images aim to question the tourist gaze and the constant desire to photograph as tourists. In a pool of infinite simulacrum of popular destinations, how do these aspirations interact with commodified realities of a tourist destination?

The work is conceived as four chapters which explore engagement with multiple forms of information conception and dissemination around tourism. It is a critical analysis of the universal consumerist culture which is changing the image of our cities today.

What is the ‘perfect’ image for a tourist attraction?

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Landscape in Goa, India

At the beach, Goa, India

The Royal Palace, Jaipur, India

Palace Courtyard, Jaipur, India

Mussoorie, India

Autumn in Mussoorie, India

Portuguese Facade, Goa, India

Is memory of a tourist destination formed by its many images already seen?

Why do we seek validation by recreating popular imagery?

How do popular visual trends establish a subconscious association with the act of looking at tourist sights?

About the artist

Vamika Jain is an artist and designer working primarily with photography. She pursued Master of Design in Photography from National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar and completed her Bachelor of Architecture from School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. As an exchange student, with a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut, she attended Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany in 2017. Her practice is an inquiry into environmental co-existence, places: non-places and intersection of popular culture with human aspirations.

Along with photography, Vamika works with text, found information, video and installation. With her work, she wishes to deconstruct the existing forms of visual representation. She also intends to make people inquisitive about their interaction with technology and more aware about their perception of natural and urban landscape. Vamika is the recipient of NID-MNF award for outstanding projects rooted in social, cultural and political inquiries. In 2021, she was awarded Experimenter’s Generator Grant and selected for a mentorship program and grant by the VII Academy and Pathshala South Asia Media Institute.

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