Matthew Belanger

new media artist




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In 1996 I began taking photographs in large super markets and big box retail stores. I was interested in capturing how people negotiate these massive and often dehumanizing spaces.

I began by composing shots of products on display, but eventually developed a style of shooting from the hip that enabled me to capture people without their knowledge. Initially, I had conflicting feelings about taking photos of people without their consent. However, I came to the conclusion that these stores are essentially public spaces and that people shop at them with little expectation of privacy.

In 1998 I purchased my first digital camera, an Olympus D-340L, the first affordable 1 megapixel camera, and started using it in these stores. The low fidelity of this early digital camera appealed to me. And it felt appropriate for documenting this particular time and place.