TPL: Talk to us about your experience in how global advertising has impacted the environment. What would you like to see change and how can we all help to make a difference? How has this changed your own perception to how you photograph now?
IXI: Thank you for asking me that question. It’s obviously a very broad one and also quite personal. To begin with, it’s not just the global advertising industry. It’s a massive cog, sure, but it’s the whole machine we should be looking at - from the manufacturers to the advertising agencies to the big tech. They have so much data on us that they know what triggers to press and how to sell to us. We’re turning our homes into warehouses.
And it’s not like there’s a pool of unlimited resources. The limits of consumption have grown more and more visible. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance. If ever there was evidence of us trashing our planet, it’s right there. Floating. Three times the size of France. And it’s not even part of the conversation any more. It would be naive to think that profit driven companies will actually want to put limits on growth.
So to answer your question, yes, we can all do something. And we should. It’s not sustainable at the moment. Justin Rosenstein, the former engineer at Facebook, summed it up quite accurately, “We live in a world in which a tree is worth more, financially, dead than alive. A world in which a whale is worth more dead than alive.”
Which is why I’ve adopted minimalism and advocate it through my photography. Whether it’s for you or not, that’s an individual choice. But let’s make it part of the conversation at the very least.