While in many ways, for Umbrico, “the medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan’s famous treatise goes, her choice of subject matter is also poignant. Each serialized subject has a mystical resonance in its own collective history. Mount Moran, for example, was named for landscape artist Thomas Moran and is the site of a 1950 tragedy in which 21 people, including seven children, were killed in a place crash. Likewise, a sunset stands in both for the sublime and for death, and is a natural phenomenon that pinpoints an exact shared moment in the lives of people around the world.
Umbrico points out
that the proliferation of repeated imagery can dull the effect those awe-inspiring moments hold: “[T]he illusion of choices we’re given masks the actual limits of choices we really have. To me these technologies seem to be tyrannical, especially when they define in our own minds who we are, how we want to be seen, and how we see the world.” However, even as she distances herself from the banality of our media-saturated image culture, Umbrico’s works also highlight the uniting effect of these assertions of humans capturing the world around them, be they virtual or real.