There have been many bodies of work compiled on the abstraction of light in photographic practices in the West, with an analytical view of space and time. In East Asia, photography returns much more frequently to the poetic, the meditational. This is surely based on the longevity of native philosophies such as Taoism, Confucianism and Zen. Meditation is not a workflow, it has purpose through ritual and repetition, but like memory is not a linear recollection. Each one is studied based on its own merits.
Using a concept not dissimilar to the New Vision pioneers with a distinctly philosophical mandate. Moving from the constructivist photogram to the observational shadowgram. Studying light, not in a scientific context but as a meditation, devoid of poststructuralist connotations, and East Asia pictorials. The ebb and flow of light/shadow from a fixed point is a visual metaphor for mindfulness meditation that allows thoughts and memory to come and go. Showing the transience, impermanence of things. Unlike contemporaries such as Uta Barth however, I am initially making a return to modernist thinking, namely focusing on the image itself as opposed to what surrounds it.
That said, my desire to accommodate my historical influences of East and West also seek to acknowledge the present, the algorithmic process in which this work is created. In the slideshow below I seek to recapture what is lost in the immediacy of digital culture, time itself. And in doing so, it acts both as a framework for meditational exercise, together with being an example of how the constant recalibration of binary data highlights that “the visible cannot account for everything that is taking place.” (Rubinstein, 2013). A shared viewpoint between Asian philosophy and commentators of representation in photography.
This assignment acts as a continuum of A1, but also from my last module documenting a James Turrell Skyspace. The process evolves my smartphone notations which are public impulses into a ritual of private contemplation. This for me is reflective of life-altering factors; impending fatherhood and a transition from an impulsive traveller to a contemplative domestic.
Kepes, G (1944/2012) Language of Vision. USA: Literary Licensing, LLC.
Moholy-Nagy, L (2009) The Photograms. Catalogue Raisonné. Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag.
Rubinstein, D (2013) The Digital Image. London: UAL.