Writer John Koenig created the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a collection of invented words created to summarize complex feelings. “Vemödalen” is one of the most powerful words he created, summarizing the problems facing creators in a world crowded with digital materials.
He described this feeling: “the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.”
In the video embedded below, you can see a powerful illustration of that concept.
But ultimately, the video sees something authentic in each repeated photo. In the montage, you can see how we are all profoundly connected. From cave paintings until 21st Century selfies, we are connected through the pictures we make.
“The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse,” concludes the video. What do you think?
Here is the complete definition of vemödalen:
“n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.”
Photo via Luke Hayfield