Assignment two: Tutor report

I received the feedback for A2 Shadowgram from my tutor. Here I will break down how I would like to reflect on the input.

Firstly the thing I disagree with is that I haven't explained my ideas in my notes. At the very least I would say that I have been clear in how I came to the creative strategy and developed it. I wrote posts that established the idea, consolidated it through printing, replaced printing with post-production and lastly played with exposure time. I also wrote about how the work of Uta Barth challenged me on how to differentiate my approach photographing light on the interior space.

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Reflection: The Emperors New Clothes

For this exercise I am going to use the example of Bloomberg & Chanarin. As they represent much of what I have been exploring more in Part 2. Namely confronting art or artists that initially aggravate me. When reflecting earlier on the examples from the genre Conceptual Photography, I saw the response of Sean O’Hagan, art critic for The Guardian and Observer to B&C’s work The Day Nobody Died (see fig. 1.). Like O’Hagan my threshold for self-righteous grandstanding was crossed when I learned the concept behind the work. Writing later in The Guardian, he sums it up perfectly saying “The phrase "when viewed from the right perspective" is crucial here, suggesting that there is only one "right perspective" – their own.” (O’Hagan, 2011).

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Reflection: Accidents

When first engaging with BoW I spent a day playing around with the absolute basics of photography, light itself. I had a macro adapter connected to my camera and passed light through a prism. Getting up close with a home-made colour spectrum was fun. Later on when I returned to my desk I had left the live view function on the camera where I could see the abstraction below. I aligned the camera more centrally and took a few frames. What engaged me was that all of the elements in frame are what we would call white. The shadows, the walls, window frame, blind and paper lamp.

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Reflection: The Frank Album and Thomas Ruff's JPEG

I have a sense of ambivalence to The Frank Album. I am not particularly against the use and reuse of image sharing on the internet. For studies I frequently do so myself, referencing other artists work to articulate or support my points. However I am not seeking profit from this, as in keeping with current copyright laws I am referencing for academic and personal purpose. This is the area I find problematic.

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Exhibition: Liverpool Biennial - Various Venues

Liverpool’s Biennial is now in its 10th edition which is positive in establishing its position on the arts and culture calendar for the city. Although the predictability of its venues and limited amount of prospects for local artists does make it occasionally alienating for the community. It certainly doesn't have the vibe of the Documenta in Kassel, Germany. Which might be an extreme example. But while Kassel is taken over by international artists and tourists there remains a cultural inclusion with its inhabitants that I don’t recognise as much here. Attending the kick-off of the fringe event Independents Biennial back in April there was a collective frustration of people left to squabble over nominal funds and a couple of venues delegated after an arduous box-ticking exercise.

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Exhibition: Shape of Light - Tate Modern

It is not possible to overstate the value of this exhibition in the timing of my entry into L3. I visited Shape of Light at the Tate Modern just prior to enrolling and the exhibition helped to articulate my artist statement and intention for CS. I had the discovery of recognising many influential works of the Korean photographers I have researched and admired the last years. And so compressing this into an exhibition review would not be realistic. What I will do here is discuss the exhibition on its own merit with a separate intention to isolate connections I made from the exhibition in later posts which can form the basis of my research into CS.

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Exhibition: Anthropocene - AGO

Walking around the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) it is hard not to be guilty of a little envy being present amongst the impressive work of Edward Burtynksy. Who has for some photographers and aspirants, a dream job. Not only as a successful photographic artist, but as the founder of Toronto Image Works, a darkroom (now also digital print lab) which ensures the technical standards of his own prints are met along with those who wish to achieve the same. Like several other high end photographers he receives criticism aestheticising climate change and for commercial print sales of social issues, it cannot be said however that Burtynsky doesn’t reinvest into the medium that has brought him success.

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Research: Eight Centuries of Studying Air and Water

I found myself inspired recently to follow-up on some research into East Asia ink wash paintings following on from a conversation with Russell, my tutor for CS. Both of us have a connection to Chinese art in particular and have a very fluid dialogue on the influences. We talked a little about the BBC documentary series Civilisations (2018) in relation to early Asian art and the first waves of globalisation. Which formed a part of my first essay for CS.

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Reflection: Projections

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been exploring the impact of time on my initial impulses of my notations.

The two examples I referred to I also set up the camera to record the evolution of the image (like a time-lapse). Time-lapse itself is now a technique used to speed up time to demonstrate the changes of a subject or event. What I see being primarily interested in the still image, is how this sequencing is how we select/deselect images. Likewise how we remember certain memories and disregard others.

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Assignment two: Reflection

I found submitting this assignment an intensely practical challenge which I will outline below. When reflecting on the criteria for BoW I find it important at this juncture to acknowledge a synergy; of consolidated learning from the last module, my initial expectations set out in my artist statement and the presence of mind to engage with peers suggestions, tutor feedback and tangents that come up in research and the course itself.

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Reflection: Exposure vs luminosity

In my first shadowgram study I explored the evolving image from a fixed position like a mindfulness meditation offering a conveyor of images piercing and disappearing from the frame. My second study was an uninterrupted light reflection that gradually moved out of position.

My third experiment with a shadowgram works with the fading of the light source (the sun) at the end of the day in response to a quote by György Kepes, that "Light rays covering an image are able to interpenetrate one another, light increases light, shadow deepens shadow. The result is greater intensity." (Kepes, 1944/2012, p.80). As this intensity depreciates, the shadow pattern is affected in the face of increased exposure times.

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Assignment one: Tutor report

I received my feedback for A1 Shadow and Surface from Robert. I have been reluctant to move too far ahead with my ideas for BoW in order to acknowledge the input.

This assignment was executed only with my smartphone, although I have been carrying out further experiments with my camera in the domestic space. The feedback for the use of the smartphone has been very positive from Robert as in my previous module and his encouragement of the risk element in my work was nice to read. It seems to tap into the impulsiveness of street photography without creating a story. Robert expressed a little concern about me being more interested in form over content, and not to dismiss content but to find a balance. Perhaps I should clarify here a little, it is more that I am not interested in narrative and that abstraction is the direction I am pursuing.

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