Viewing Platforms

"Dean MacCannell does not argue that many of the sites and performances that are "staged" for tourists are authentic in their own right. Rather, he suggests that the tourists' goal is to get behind the stage that is provided for them and find something real to experience. An analogy with many people's fascination with movie actors can help explain this process. While many of us enjoy the performances of actors, we seem as a culture to be unable to accept them simply in relation to the role they perform on screen. We want to know what they are really like, and a whole other industry has developed to keep us informed of the most intimate details of their lives off camera"

Erve Chambers, Native Tours; The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism, 2010

Viewing Platforms is a photographic investigation of the relationships between people, places and the environment and the consequent interaction of society, space and nature. The project documents Australian touristscapes, it does not chronicle the unrelenting and highly apotheosised "clash" between nature and culture, rather, it seeks answers to why such a divide exists. To conduct this research tourist landscapes are considered as "heterotopian stages" that are charged with both negative and positive possibilities. The photographs explore the physical infrastructure that is imposed over particular landscapes and the intended and unintended psychological effects this has on tourist visitors. Viewing Platforms ultimately poses the question: What do we gain from the landscape through mediated tourist experiences?