The work "The A-series" looks at the people behind the academic title civilingenjör (a Swedish master's degree in engineering) and those on the civilingenjör programme. I am looking at a particular profession partly because the Swedish have an underlying attitude that your profession says something about your personality. That is the reason why the question "What do you work with?" is the most common question to ask when getting to know someone. But I am also putting the engineer into the spotlight, because they are invisible in Swedish works of fiction and other cultural utterances. Due to the heavy dependency of the innovation industry, both in past centuries and modern times, this constitutes a paradox for Swedish prosperity since the engineers have an integral role in this.
I have chosen to depict the engineers in the form of an altarpiece, specifically a triptych, because of the altarpiece's traditional role to elevate what seem to be ordinary people. Primarily, it is my intention to elevate the people behind the profession, rather than the title in itself. Because I am focusing on the person behind the title. I have chosen to depict them in two different ways - as individuals and their identity. From the point of view of their
identity, where the person is portrayed in the fashion he or she wants to be seen. The other point of view of their individuality, have their identity markers have been subtracted from the composition altogether. I am working with the assumption that identity groups people into subgroups; as defined by from group memberships, and can be seen as analogous to how we associate professions with personality traits. In each triptych I put the individuality in the centreground, flanked by the identity.
The name of the work, "The A-series", is derived from the paper format, where A4 is the most famous, and more importantly - the series is a product of engineering. One of the more prominent features of the paper sizes in the A-series is that if you, for instance, fold an A3 in half on its longer side, you'll get two A4, which exibit the same ratio between the height and base. I have for that reason let the individuality in the middle taken the form of a landscape A3, and the identity on the sides as two portrait A4. As a result, can the identity be folded over the individuality, like two panels.
My interest in the civilingenjör stems from the fact that I am one myself, and in my everyday life am I confronted with the wild variety of
misconceptions that surrounds the profession. Because of that is it my interest to present an alternative view than the prejudices that exist, and also because of that do I find it highly motivating to have a reversed sex ratio compared to the reality at a typical Swedish School of Engineering.
This work will only be shown in digital form since engineers are a paramount factor in technical development. Also, a photograph in its essence captures a fleeting moment in time, and it would be disloyal towards the medium to have false pretenses that a photograph ought to be stuck, frozen in time, on a piece of paper. A monitor is closer to the idea of the escaping moment in its nature, due to its ability to change picture and content, and even to be turned off.
The driving force behind my creativity is that I strive to be enthralled, fascinated and charmed by the photographs that I produce. If what I produce doesn't appeal to me, I completely lack reference to how it would affect others. The initial steps to this work can be found in portraiture from the early 16th century, and the aesthetics borrows some traits from life style magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.