Week 8 | Workshop

In response to the workshop task I have decided to revisit the content from the earlier weeks of the module, considering how digital techniques can be encompassed in photographic work. This was an area that I really enjoyed and think would work with the students that I teach in an FE college.

As a media teacher, I teach both A level and vocational learners therefore I have decided to aim my workshop at this audience. It may be worth noting that I am planning to deliver this workshop/project when my students return to the college in September.

I continue to find the work and research of Jenny Odell really interesting and a great example of how everyday technology such as google applications can be used for creative processes. I find the philosophy of Odell really refreshing as opposed to a constant emphasis on functionality and convenience which we usually associate with SMART technology. Therefore the aim of my workshop will be to encourage students to think differently about technology. Whilst teaching students how to exploit applications for creative purposes and empower them to see the possibilities of SMART technology to inform creative intent.

Week 6 | Reflection

Once again the week has resulted in further considerations regarding the intent and purpose of my exhibition. Having carried out the advice I received in my one to one with Cemre last week. I have produced work which encompasses movement in addition to shooting at a lower angle in an attempt to emphasise the perspective of a child. The results of these tasks received mixed reviews from my tutor and peers with the outcome being that the preferred images were those which encompassed a sense of stillness. I did experiment with slowing the shutter to emphasise a sense of movement in addition to trying to fill the frames in a way that may have small echoes of Alex Webb and Shirly Baker who I have researched previously in this module. In a personal sense I did produce a couple of images that I was quite happy with and the process of experimentation was one I enjoyed. Whether it is in keeping with the broader theme of my project, I think maybe not but in conclusion, the experience was a worthwhile one. 

Observations by of the work I produced this week made reference to a lack of representation of female players. An observation which I totally agree with and without pontification of this issue. I have responded by organising to attend a girls training session next week with the intention of making some portraits. 

Once again I was questioned about my intent regarding the choice to hold a small exhibition in a football changing room. In continued defence of this choice, I explained that the changing room is frequented probably, by an audience of over 100 people per week. The space is used for pumping up footballs in addition to being a room which connects to a store room so that people are in and out of the space. This is relevant because I feel the need to justify my project to the people who frequent this space as active users. The reason being, these people at present have only witnessed my presence with a camera. I have not shown them any images and the audience wouldn’t be considered to be one that would engage with photography at a gallery. Therefore I feel it necessary to exhibit to this specific audience in order to illustrate the outcome of my attendance with a camera. The next intention would be to promote contemplation of the images by the volunteers who see the work. At this stage I would consider the exhibition a success. In order to try to measure the response to the work I will leave a labelled comment box with a pen and sticky notes attached. This may lead to gaining some possibly useful feedback to learn about the impact of the exhibition. 

This week I have also been researching the ideologies of museums and galleries, the contents of which are contained in the previous post. However I am now understanding the importance of these spaces in relation to the art market and how they expose new and established practitioners in addition to contributing to the capitol and prestige of artists and their works. I feel that now I have a slightly deeper understanding. I am looking forward to exploring galleries for myself and will begin to plan visits as soon as I am able due to once lockdown eases. An interesting question I will explore further is the relevance of smaller galleries and understanding where they sit and their importance to the communities they serve. I have previously written about the Open Eye gallery in Liverpool so it will be my intention to how such galleries reach out and engage communities while offering an outlet for people such as myself who I would consider newcomer to this world.

In conclusion, I have had a productive week in terms of reading and making photographs. Although I didn’t get the greatest feedback in this week’s webinar I feel that I am learning in both a practical and philosophical sense. I am now reflecting on my work with intent and direction and at this point I am understanding that not all approaches will be successful however my intentions are continuing to be informed. A consequence of this is that I am approaching the making of work with an academic approach. As a consequence I think some of my images reflect this and lack the clarity of my own ‘free’ gaze. Shooting with a disciplined intent but not really reflective of myself. This is not to discredit the tasks I am carrying out because I think with further contemplation and reflection, new and informed techniques will bleed into my approach naturally. This process has led to further consideration of what is a poetic image. The fusion of experience, knowledge and feeling about making a choice to photograph. This is photographic poetry to me. 

Photographs of interest this week:

Week 6 | Exhibition Research

I feel that the best way to start this post is to refer to my earlier forum post about my intended exhibition.

In response to this this task, I am considering the use of a football changing room as an instillation which would require the viewer to move around the space to view work situated in different corners of the room (Bishop 2005). A football dressing room is frequented usually at the same time on a weekly basis, by participants in sport in this case football players. The intention would be to ‘activate’ participants into consuming the photographs which would be framed and mounted, although I have not decided how the photographs would be mounted. This image is not the actual space as I won’t be attending until tomorrow.

As I engaged with the weeks reading I was unsure of how to apply lots of the ideas to my project. therefore I will use this post to review and discuss the various points of interest that I identified and apply them to my intentions accordingly.

Firstly Bishop (2005) makes the distinction between ‘Instillation of art’ and ‘Instillation art’. Instillation of art being secondary to the art itself is an interesting starting point as my understanding of the ideologies of galleries is quite basic. Reflecting on my own experience of attending galleries, I would always attend with the expectation of viewing object and artefact to look at them and spend a short time contemplating those objects that I found interesting. Never considering the idea that the space itself could constitute art. In terms of creating my own museum, it would be my intention to use the space I have access to, in order to turn it into a piece of ‘instillation art’. When I proposed this on the group forum my peers correctly pointed out that using a football changing room as an exhibition space would alienate much of the potential audience and severely limit the exposure of my work.

I am in total agreement with regard to the issue of audience however I feel that the intention of my exhibition at this stage isn’t to maximise audiences. The intention at this stage is to give something back to the organisers and participants of the football club (Reddish North End) who have granted total access to this space in addition to their trust.

And in a personal sense, being a community project, based in the area I spent my formative years, I feel like the location of a football dressing room based at the space I have been photographing is an accessible place for fellow volunteers, coaches and participants to enter the space of their own motivation as opposed to having the work bestowed upon them in a more public arena.

Furthering my argument for the football dressing room as a location for instillation art is the presence of white walls. O’Doherty, B (1999:15) states that ‘The object introduced into the gallery ‘frames’ the gallery and its laws’. With the ideas of O’Doherty in mind. It is my intention to transform this functional space into a place that resembles a type of ‘do it yourself gallery’ moving it away from a space which people occasionally use to change.

Gallery Space

It is my intention to place images in black frames slightly below eye level so that they may be viewed with a type of unconscious importance so that viewers are able to view the details in the work that I have created. Further justification of using this space and the use of white walls in addition to black frames, is the accessibility and in-expense of frames, furthermore, I will utilise frames to create a type of separation to emphasise the depth of the photograph compared to the wall. O’Doherty, B (1999:18) comments with regards to the ‘easel picture is like a portable window that once sat on the wall, penetrates with deep space’. I don’t purport a frame to be the same as an easel however the use of a frame I feel will be important in order to achieve the separation as argued above.

In terms of the method of hanging the works I exhibit, O’Doherty (1999) states ‘hanging editorialises on matters of interpretation and value and unconsciously connected to taste and value. In terms of the way I intend to hang my work, I would like nothing more for them to be a permanent fixture. However before this potentially happens, I feel that the work will need to met with approval with the viewers who frequent the space on a regular basis.

In conclusion, the impact of this task is of significance in a personal sense as I see it as an opportunity to visualise the impact of the club and the volunteers. I see the exhibition of as celebration of the people that use the room and it is the hope that the participants/viewers take a small sense of pride from being exhibited in this space.

My potential audience may also be diverse in terms of cultural background, however the presence of physical prints may be novel as Cotton (2014:219) points out ‘the physical characteristics of photographic prints, no longer the default platform for photography but an increasingly rarified craft divorced from our day to day experiences of the medium’ Cotton makes an important point which may be relevant to my potential audience and how their day to day experience of photography is largely divorced from viewing printed photographs in a physical sense. In favour of endless streams of digital photographs seen on social media using various digital methods. Cotton’s ideas certainly provide a solid argument for the printing of photographs. The potential audience for my exhibition at the football club are probably digital natives as opposed to remembering the days of analogue photography. Thinking back to my own childhood, I have really good memories of looking through my grandparents photo albums of family holidays and days out. An interesting study would be to gain an insight into whether this still happens. Although digital natives, do children still look at printed photographs? Thinking forward, I could add a participatory element to my exhibition by using a photo album and asking members of the club to fill it by contributing one photograph each, signing it on the back before collecting at the end of the exhibition. The results may be unrelated directly to my broader aim however it would be interesting to gain an insight into the lives of the members of the club.

Upon further investigation of exhibitions and their importance to the art world as a whole, I feel I have mad important steps forward in developing my understanding. Barker (1998) has been useful in attaining this knowledge, initially illustrating the different types of galleries and museums in addition to understanding them as a type of currency for artists, the more galleries and the bigger the galleries an artist may exhibit, the broader their credibility and capitol within the art world. Ultimately making their work more appealing to buyers. Barker (1998:113) illustrates this assumption when she states ‘Exhibitions are central to the economic and social system within which all art is produced, distributed and debated’. In considering the importance of an exhibition, my thoughts are led to considering them as a type of shop window to moving through the various circuits of galleries and museums. A means of building a reputation and credibility with the gatekeepers of the industry. A point further illustrated by Barker (1998:p114) who suggests ‘In the usual run of things, the works that fetch the highest prices on the art market are also the ones that are most exhibited’. This leads to a form of scepticism about the art world as Barkers ideas allude to a hierarchy of name and reputation as opposed to quality and intent. In making this statement I don’t mean to suggest that producers of high art don’t produce important pieces of art however the ideology and capitalism present within the world of exhibitions may inhibit new talent and the discovery of it. Furthermore, the prejudice of representation in terms of diverse groups is a further issue which needs consideration.

Barker, E (1998) Contemporary Cultures of Display. London, The Open University.

Bishop, C (2005) Instillation Art: A Critical History. London, Tate.

Cotton, C (2014) The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London, Thames & Hudson.

O’Doherty, B (1999) Inside the white cube: the ideology of the gallery. University of California Press.

Week 4 Reflection | Strategies of Freedom

Week 4 

As in previous weeks I have found this weeks tasks difficult but rewarding. Initially I had the guilt of feeling that I wasn’t doing enough or being disorganised due to putting too much emphasis on last weeks zine task and fiddling about with InDesign.

Throughout the module I have been mindful of broadening my contextual understanding and trying to engage with the research of at least two practitioners a week, commenting on them in accordance with the weeks theme, this week being strategies of freedom. 

In order to understand and effectively respond to the tasks it was necessarry to generate an understanding of photographic freedom in order to navigate an effective response which encompasses my project. The starting point for an understanding was one of context. In terms of my own project, this was initially the decision of using digital or analogue techniques however I then begun to contemplate the question of identifying strategies of freedom in a hypereality. Flusser (2000) reminds us that…

‘life is coming to mean feeding apparatus and being fed by them… The task of the philosophy of phoography, is to question photographers about freedom. To probe their practice in the persuit of freedom.’

Here Flusser poses a useful question which one may consider beyond the basic concepts of image, apparatus, programme and information as he earlier argues. As a result I continued to look deeper at the work of Jenny Odell this week focussing on her projects ‘Satellite Landscapes’ (2015) and ‘Travel by Approximation: A Virtual Road Trip’ (2010). 

In relation to Satalite Landscapes I was interested in Odell’s ideas about distance and the lack of visual traces as a critisism of satellite photography.  In order to explore this approach I used Google Earth to observe some of the football pitches that I have visited throughout my football project. I did find this interesting to an extent however having identified 5 images, the repetition of vantage points, I felt diluted the impact and subsequent interest in them. Threefore I am inclined to agree with Odell in her assertion. Although the images were interesting.

Screenshot of East Manchester

Going forward with such tasks, due consideration will be required about the presentation of images. Disseminated as a collection of similar images I feel an audience would be subject to an overload of information. However as a stand alone piece or part of a sequence. The images may work more effectively. A juxtaposition of distance when coupled with some of my documentary work a possible strategy. I will experiment with this type of sequencing when this post is concluded.

As a result of these observations I decided to further my engagement throughout the task of making work relevant to my project by making a short video using google street view. NavigatING my way through the streets of Manchester. The starting point being an area of South Manchester where the old Manchester City stadium once stood to an area of East Manchester where the new stadium is. The inspiration for doing this was the Odell project, ‘Travel by Approximation’ where Odell makes a virtual road trip using google street view and trip advisor amongst other sources in order to find accommodation, eat and fill her car with petrol.

Andrew Findlay: Strategies of Freedom Video

In terms of the use of sound, I took influence the Chatonsky project, Vertigo at Home. Here Chatonsky used the score from the 1958 Hitchcock film ‘Vertigo’. For the video I chose to use a piano version of the Stone Roses ‘I am the Resurrection’. The Stone Roses are an important piece of Manchesters cultural history and I felt the theme of the song met with the narrative of Manchester City  leaving their old stadium and creating a new history for themselves. 
The final photographer of interest this week is Robert Overweg and his 2010 project ’Shot by Robert’. Overweg describes himself as ‘a photographer in virtual world environments’. His project focuses on glitches in computer games such as Grand Theft auto. He seeks and isolates scenes highlighting the disjuncture within them. Commenting on his work Overweg states…

 ‘I proceed to the outskirts of the virtual world which I dissects through my photography. In doing so, I draw your attention to environments that are often overlooked and yet ironically appear eerily familiar.’ 

in doing this Overweg is operating in a hyperreality with the intention of highlighting indescrepencies within specific contexts such as Gran Theft Auto. I see this as a type of activism against digital innovation insofar as the digital realm is often responsible for the dissemination of photographs of human inperfections, Overweg is choosing to disseminate images of digigital insecurities. In suggesting this I am not arguing for the existance of a digital conscious. Maybe aimed at game developers or gatekeepers of mass market digital products. 

The digital world that Overweg challenges is relevant to my project in this case the Electronic Arts game franchise Fifa.

Screenshot from Fifa 2020
Screenshot taken from Fifa 2020

Flusser, V. (2000) Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books, London.

Chatonsky, G. (2015) Vertigo@Home [Online] Available at: http://chatonsky.net/vertigo/  (Accessed 26th June 2020)

Odell, J. (2010) Travel by Approximation: A Virtual Road Trip [Online] Available at: http://www.jennyodell.com/tba.html (Accessed 26th June 2020)

Odell, J. (2015) Satellite Landscapes [online] Available at: http://www.jennyodell.com/satellite-landscapes-book.html (Links to an external site.) (Accessed 23 June 2020)

Overweg, R. (2010) Shot by Robert [Online] Available at: https://www.robertoverweg.com/Shot-by-Robert
(Accessed 26th June)

Week 4 | Forum Posts

Post 1: Week 4 Forum

The example I have chosen is the Satellite Landscapes project by Jenny Odell. Currently reading her book ‘Hot to do Nothing’ which is a type of critique of the attention economy created by social media. The Satellite Landscapes project as Odell (2015)  suggests is ‘ a place whose existence feels peripheral to immediate experience, geographically, psychologically, or both’. Her ideas often comment on the way that technology has a power to create distance between people and human experience highlighting that as technology develops the impact is to remove more and more of the humanity between people. I really identify with her intentions and consider her work to be unusual while forward thinking and intelligent.

Post 2: Week 4 Activity

Continuing the theme I spoke of in the first task of this week in relation to the Jenny Odell’s 2015 project, ‘Satellite Landscapes’. Odell suggests ‘The peripheral nature of satellite landscapes, then, has as much to do with repression as it does with distance, the hiding of visual traces, or habituation.’ What most intrigues is the idea of ‘habituation’ as it was a word I was unfamiliar  with. I often find myself faced with new terminology and feel that developing a language to speak about photography is important as a personal goal.

I used Google Earth to explore the surrounding areas and communities of the football grounds I have visited. I felt that the images may be interesting and provide visual clues regarding the infrastructure of these places. Saying something about their importance, their local industries etc.  However by the time I had found the 5th image, the landscapes started to become familiar and slightly banal. 

In considering the idea of ‘photographic freedom’ Flusser (2000) comments ‘Freedom is the strategy of making chance and necessity subordinate to human intention, freedom is playing against the camera’.  In this sense, I consider this a central theme to the Jenny Odell projects I have researched such as Satellite Landscapes. In making work such as this, the impact of the work in a conventional sense isn’t the main concern. I feel that the use of google earth in this context represents a piece of activism as it highlights a technology we all have access to but wouldn’t think of using to include in a creative project.

Flusser, V. (2000) Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books, London.

Odell, J. (2015) Satellite Landscapes [online] Available at: http://www.jennyodell.com/satellite-landscapes-book.html (Links to an external site.) (Accessed 23 June 2020)

Week 4 | Zine Task

I do have some basic knowledge of InDesign in terms of placing text and images however I really struggled with using the layers to format text, block colours and images. I invested some time in attempting to work with the alpha channels to achieve a text wrap effect however when I did this I couldn’t decide on a style that I was happy with. The task did reinforce some existing knowledge but when being ambitious with such projects, solving one problem opens up a raft of other issues. As a result, I hit the point where I needed to accept defeat and move on with other tasks.


Jenny Odell | How to Do Nothing

Throughout my project I have been interested in my non commercial football project as being activist in its nature. A comment against the digital consumption of football. In order to understand my objective in a broader sense my research had led to the consideration of the digital economy as opposed to an experience led economy. By this I don’t mean to suggest that all experiences are non commercial however my reflection upon reading some of this book lead to an idea of the higher echelons of the football such as stadiums may be comparable to theme parks. Where experiences are researched and manipulated to provide maximum efficiency or productivity. Stadiums are designed with excellent facilities to eat, drink, read and purchase the latest range of leisurewear as opposed to the spaces that I inhabit, where the emphasis is ‘watching the game’. Whether that be in a local park or local stadium. Odell (2019, p14) states…

‘In a public space, ideally you are a citizen with agency; in a faux public space, ideally, you are either a consumer or a threat to the design of the place.’

It is not my intention to argue that all non league football spaces are comparable to public spaces. In fact they are quite the opposite. Usually having to pay to enter in addition to being able to purchase a number goods. The spaces inhabited by people within this world could neither be considered as a ‘faux public space’. From my experience, spectators may attend for a number of reasons. As fans, a centre for the community or somewhere to be alone and collect ones thoughts. As previously stated/illustrated in the last module, figure 1 represents an example of consumption on ones own terms. Entering the space to be alone and watch the spectacle take place, without being seen as a consumer or a rule breaker for arriving with her own seat and supplies.

Figure 1: Drew Findlay

Odell (2919, p13) continues her argument regarding public spaces in a way that may be illustrative of the example I have used when she states

‘True public spaces, the most obvious examples being parks and libraries, are places for – and thus the spatial underpinnings of – ‘what we will.’ A public, non commercial space demands nothing for you to enter, nor for you to stay; the most obvious difference between public space and other spaces is that you don’t have to buy anything, or pretend to want to buy something to be there

Although not usually free space to watch football. The non league part of the game represents fairness. Usually under £10 for an adult with concessions usually under £5.

Odell (2019, p15) ‘just as we lose noncommercial spaces, we also see all of our actions as potentially commercial’

I understand that the ideas expressed above appear to be far away from a photography project. The ideas of Odell are relevant in establishing the theme and justification of my project and the activist roots that I use to underpin my argument. Such ideas may be useful going forward as a broad message to communicate the intent of this project. The intent may fuel the potential to produce metaphorical or work of a poetic nature.

Week 3 Forum | Collaboration or Participation?

Within my project of non league football spectatorship I am required to work in a collaborative process on various levels. Firstly, having identified the event of a football match I would like to attend in order to photograph. The collaborative process is initiated by myself, making contact with relevant club officials using email or social media. 

At this stage I am usually met with enthusiasm. I describe the nature of my project and what I am trying to achieve. This is a useful method and a form of preparation in a personal sense. I select football matches based on a range of factors including: the local fixture list and my personal knowledge or secondary research of the stadium in order to understand the type of aesthetic I will be working with. With this in mind I feel the assertion of Azouulay (2016) when she states in relation to collaboration “The photographic event’s degree zero”. I consider unstable. Based on the assumption that degree zero is the photographic event. The statement does not recognise the planning or research stage of the photographer. I consider this to be relevant because every project must start with some type of intention. Whether taking a camera to a tourist destination, describing life or documenting inequality. The photographer must start with some type of intent, which in a personal sense precedes the photographic event. I agree with the idea that without collaboration there is no project or study however I believe that intent in whatever form should be recognised. Based on the assumption that a ‘degree zero’ represents a type of neutrality I refer back to the intent of the photographer. Chalfen (2011) makes the distinction ‘between’ projects and ‘studies’. a project initiated by a caring individual within a context may be an act of responsibility or personal interest. These ideas, however noble, may be compromised by intentional or unintentional bias. With respect to my football project, my intention was and is to explore, however I am aware of my personal bias. The people of this world gave me a lot and I learned many lessons which have stuck with me. The football gave me much less, such as broken bones and confidence issues. In reflecting on this, I realise that my project is a type of metaphor for how I feel about this world. It gave me a lot, but took away other things. Therefore my selection of a project is not objective. 

With regards to the people I collaborate with, I have already discussed above such as club officials and gatekeepers of such clubs. The second stage of collaboration when I attend a football match is the interaction with individuals that I encounter. The difficulty in this cannot be overstated, I approach tens of people, I speak and listen to their stories before taking their photograph. This is the result of watching and observing my surroundings before approaching people. Although on occasion, an individual will be known to me. Most of them are unknown to to myself. I often find myself having to earn some trust before lifting the camera. In this sense I am required to earn each photograph that I take, when I take a portrait or lift the camera when people are aware of my presence. the photographic event maybe ground zero for the collaborator such as the person in front of the lens, but it is not for the photographer. 

In terms of perspective and voice of the subjects I photograph, they are often limited to what I communicate with them regarding my intentions. If my explanation is sufficient and I am successful at this stage, a person of interest makes the transition to collaborator. This consent cannot be underestimated, maybe seen as a type of submission. A submission to be objectified in a way led by my intention. Sontag (1979, p.14) states, “To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed”. Sontag’s ideas are particularly relevant to the collaborations and subjects that I work with. To consent to being seen as they never see themselves or ‘having a knowledge that they will never have’ infers not just a collaboration, but a power relationship where the person with the mechanical instrument is dominant, the subject subordinate. To achieve this, with reference to my project, a subject needs to believe in my intention, trust my motive. The return for the collaboration is to be part of the intention of a noble project. A form of activism supporting participation as opposed to digital consumption. 

The people who appear in my project are hugely important to my project. They are the face, the emotion and the humanity of the world I frequent in order to progress this project. The project may be achievable without human presence. And this may be an interesting challenge which requires further reflection.

Azoulay, A. (2016) Photography consists of collaboration: Susan Meiselas, Wendy Ewald and Ariella Azoulay in Camera Obscura 91, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp.187–201.

Chalfen, R. ‘Differentiating Practices of Participatory Visual Media Production’ in Pauwels, L. & Margolis, E. (2011) The SAGE handbook of visual research methods. (Los Angeles: Sage), pp.186–200.

Sontag, Susan. (1973) On Photography. New York, Dell Publishing.

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

Week 1 Reflection | Re-Photography

My current practice is based around the theme of non commercialised football/soccer in the UK. To date I have produced work of a documentary nature, driven by human presence although I have engaged with some work which focuses on objects associated with the game at grassroots level. 

Within the week 1 tasks set in the Surfaces and Strategies module I revisited the area of Edgeley in Stockport which has been a significant destination for my work. I rephotographed some of the places outside of the football ground Edgeley Park. Opportunities were somewhat limited due to the current lockdown measures however the task was both relevant and rewarding. I then visited for a second time this week with the intention of producing a number of images in order to produce work which encompasses a wider context. This had varying success but I have begun to understand how such processes work and might be relevant to my work. 

At this stage, the methodologies have taken a type of trial and error  approach. I have struggled with vantage points, and shooting at a range of focal lengths to experiment with different effects. I will definitely be experimenting further as more opportunities arise as locations become more accessible as lockdown begins to ease. 

Going forward, my approach will explore the themes of environments and objects. The often tired and dated nature of non league football stadiums in addition to a developing gaze I hope will lead to furthering my own voice as a photographer. 

The week’s theme of re-photography has been somewhat enlightening in considering the range of approaches in addition to how new and emerging technologies are utilised to record the passing of time and understand the implications of this. 

When looking at my own engagement with rephotography, I was able to consider my work in a much quieter sense, standing back and contemplating before shooting. This has been a relevant experience personally as my work is driven by people and chasing moments that audiences will identify with. 

Being able to then compare images was useful and provided an opportunity to see my work in a different way and shifting the relationship I have with the photographs I take. I found that matching vantage points was very difficult and contemplating the impact of this was useful. 

The last module I explored portrait photography and the idea of the deadpan face and its ability to raise further questions. My recent work has been challenging in that it has required looking deeper, contemplating the whole frame and composition.  

My research of late has been in the area of focusing on objects and environments as opposed to people and human activity at football matches. My research is currently in the direction of the work of William Egglesdon, Stephen Shore and William Christenberry. All of which provide a powerful blueprint for the future direction of my work in the short term. Coupled with recent emphasis on vantage point and light, I have been able to reflect on the choices I make and consider how my personal voice is emerging and could be improved throughout this module. 

The Shore Project by Britanny Marcoux is an interesting use of rephotography and has its roots in fandom and the audience as producer as opposed to being an audience alone. Made possible by digital platforms such as instagram as a point of exhibition. More research into this type of fandom will be part of my personal roadmap in this case. 

Chatonsky and his project Vertigo@Home was a little more complex than the Shore Project in that the combination of the scientific recording of google street view with the musical score used in the Hitchcock film. This led to the consideration of how to separate discourses within my work. Using colour and thinking about the reason for this as opposed to shooting black and white. A factor I was criticised on when submitting my previous portfolio. 

Baudrillard, J ( 1994) Simulacra AND Simulation, Michigan, The University of Michigan.

Chatonsky, G (2015) Vertigo@Home, [online] Available at: http://chatonsky.net/vertigo/ (Accessed: 8th June 2020)