Crossing Europe by Poike Stomps
The specific moments that I chose to photograph were when people needed to cross the street; somewhere, anywhere. That would give me a starting point from which to learn how people behaved. I saw them hesitate or hurry, being irritated or waiting patiently; following the rules or deliberately ignoring them. Where was their focus? Within themselves or out on their own personal goal. Were they paying attention to the other people around them? Was there some kind of communication? Did they interact intentionally? What was chance or coincidence? It takes several seconds to walk over to the other side, enough time for plenty of minor encounters. And if you looked closely, you saw many little stories being told: people reacting to people. Just as in the wider world. A crossing: a metaphor for human life.
Sometimes I would be reminded of Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s work. In his series ‘Heads’ he captured city life, using an infrared-activated shutter linked to a strobe light. Camera and flash were hidden somewhere in pub- lic. There was no photographer: people triggered the shutter with their movements, unknowingly recording their actions. I was deeply impressed by the resulting images of such natural behaviour, such a natural state of mind; of people totally absorbed in their own world.