[Update: For an updated, more academic take, see the comments.]
Random theory. And I mean really random.
The ostensible point of tilt-shift is to make something huge look miniature, right? To take a scene that involves possibly thousands of people and more space than you could touch in a week and to make it look small.
The web is an overwhelming, impossibly large, ever-changing repository of information. It, like the cosmos, is the impossibly huge, the impossible to comprehend.
Tilt-shift is its aesthetic response. It takes the overwhelming, the massive and renders it to seem acceptable. We no longer paint enormous, grand, sublime paintings. We take photographs that make us believe that, just for a second, we can, to invoke a cliche, ‘hold the world in our hand’.
It’s the inverse-sublime. And if the Enlightenment needed the sublime – if Burke and Kant had to ressurrect the idea to reposition the individual and consciousness in relation to the world – then we have to use tilt-shift to make the world seem small again.
But like I said. Random. And clearly I don’t mean this literally. I could just be talking out of my ass. Thoughts, though?