Mike Sullivan: Image Essay Proposal- “My iPhone > My Government”

The overall point of my project is going to be the government’s manipulation of the social structure. Discussing how the United States has become wrapped up in everything that is “important”. These decisions on importance are diametrically opposed to what the government is up to or what the globe is doing. It is in what the American people have placed value in that they miss the greater picture of where the government is behind it.

My subjects will be retro 3 3/4′ G.I.Joe action figures among various items that will illustrate the social manipulation. My selection of these action figures are multi-fold. One, they are known because of their title- “G.I.Joe: America’s Heroes”. This play on their intended role and the lack of power within the pictures will juxtapose itself. Two, the various figure’s dress allows it to double as the varied cultures and backgrounds within the US. And three, the actions figures allow for the interpretation of the abstract ideas I wish to convey. As the photographer, there is a level of intertextuality as I bend and mold the figures to fit my will, all to illustrate the bending and molding us as Americans are forced into.

The action figures will be centered around specific high profile items or ideals to show our small in terms of the product. I will be using products, franchises and Americana to get the best rounded showing of items. Contrasting the smallness of them and the epic proportion of the items they pine for will help convey my message.

My images will be delivered in saturated tones and darkened backgrounds as much as possible. The intention behind keeping the saturation high is to again stress the variations in the dress (and again, to in turn discuss the variation in cultures and backgrounds). I would like  to keep my images darker for the tone of a darker force manipulating behind the scenes (i.e. American government). I feel that these decisions will compliment the intentions of the topic as we all consider ourselves “individuals” with a vibrant coat we wear proudly, all the while being followed by the darkness to watch your moves.

My default chosen camera is the iPhone 5s since I have no access to better equipment. The pictures taken so far have shown the effects I intended. I will be using photo editing software, Fotor, which offers plenty of effective alteration options. The products I use work well with the subject and act as an ironic/hypocritical moment as the iPhone is an “essential” piece of lifestyle equipment and Fotor, which was a spotlighted editor by the App Store as the “editor you need to have”. So as the goal of highlighting our use of such products I am using them at the same time.


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