Week 2 Reflection | Shooting Film

Over the recent weeks I have begun to consider without much intuition the idea of introducing analogue techniques in order to further my project. Throughout my research I have ascertained that many of the photographers I admire shoot their images mostly using film cameras. Admittidlay, lots of those artists such as Stephen Shore, William Eggleston and William Christneberry didn’t have the option to shoot digital. However the work of photographers such as Stuart Roy Clarke still choose to shoot film. 

In furthering my understanding of the motivations to shot film Zylinska (2010) discusses the ethics of shooting digital and highlights a range of issues which may be relevant to my project. As my project is about engaging with football in at the less commercialised end of the game and as argued by myself. I always felt that the project was a form of acitvism against the modern game that is disseminated on digital platforms for mass audiences to watch, listen and play interactively. All of which are binary opposites from spectatorship, participation and community. My project was always going to be about documenting the people places and objects which compose the game at a material level, the act of attending, collecting and creating historical artefacts in the form of photographs in different places within the same theme. A form of archiving, Zylinska (2010) provides some substance to my ideas…

‘archiving is an effort undertaken by an individual or institution – an artist, an amateur historian, a museum – not only to preserve the past but also construct a certain version of this past and a memory of it, by including certain objects and traces while excluding others.’

Of course I accept that when firing the shutter I am choosing to construct representations by choosing what to include and this idea isn’t new. However what I find interesting is the idea that by shooting in a digital format. I have the power to look, review and edit my work by reviewing images and deleting them almost instantly. Reflecting on this process leads to the conclusion that by doing this I am conforming to the idea of digital consumption and an instant culture that negates the idea of contemplation and reflection. In engaging with education at this level I feel that reflection and contemplation are central elements to improving my gaze and informing the creative choices I make. I want to see my mistakes and think about them before trying to identify solutions. 

Zylinska (2010) suggests that in using analogue techniques and collecting such work is important ‘preservers of value and the past, as keepers, against all odds, of a certain world that (allegedly) once was.’ 

This idea is hugely relevant to my project and it alligns well with my intent as I visit locations which encompass various structures and objects that have not yet been replaced by things that have been designed with maximum efficiency in mind. They are not new or innovative. In the future lots of these things will dissapear and no longer be functional. They will be replaced with user friendly structures designed with maximum occupancy in mind. As opposed to the places that I visit which are smaller, made from different materials and often bear no relationship to each other. 

Joanna Zylinska (2010) On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs, photographies, 3:2, 139-153, DOI: 10.1080/17540763.2010.499608

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