Vamika Jain






I Travel Therefore I am

I Travel Therefore I am is a visual study of the vicious cycle of aspiration-consumption-validation. The work analyses the influence of visual media on popular culture in tourism. Addressing the commodification of our visual and social realities, the project expands on a notion of the photographic- analysing the way we register, document and produce images to remain relevant. The work foregrounds the image-based inundation that surrounds, as well as defines, our experience of popular tourist destinations today. It explores the role of visual content in being the driving force for multiple channels of interaction between tourists and destinations. The project is an inquiry into how constant exposure to images of tourist destinations on popular information platforms fuels our aspirations to create similar visual content so one may validate the vacation and become a participant in the trends. The project, conceived through seven chapters, is created with an amalgamation of images I have photographed at tourist destinations and found images from different sources- stock image websites, travel and in-flight magazines, Instagram posts of tourists and tourism advertisements. The various chapters collectively aim to question the tourist gaze and the constant desire to photograph ‘perfect images’ as tourists.