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.

Following on from my tutor report on A1, I had started conceiving ideas on a visual strategy. I used study groups with peers to share these ideas and received some really good reference points such as Uta Barth and Sonja Braas. This helped enormously to consolidate my ideas, and reflect on how to differentiate myself from work that already existed. Then came the technical malfunction which resulted in the loss of my laptop for the best part of a month. While I could access previous notes, I lost access to my image library and editing programs, extended research and update my learning log.

In this time I continued to photograph, read and make daily notes. I was also on the road in different countries and continents almost every week. I would try new things, I visited exhibitions, look at different genres and be mentally prepared to progress. This accumulation means now I have a backlog of learning log posts to write (good practice).

Reconnecting with work and ideas that occurred further back was a challenge, as I was ready to submit A2 and move on. I did consider if I had in fact moved on from those ideas into something else, but see A2 as a point which needs to be consolidated. The key to the learning log for myself as much as for assessment is to research and reflect on my evolving practice. So although it is an arduous process to ‘catch up’ on the last few weeks, it will benefit me to write up this stage between A2 and Part 2 and not leave a black hole between the two.

Within this there were some valuable reflection points that helped contextualise A2 further. Both of my tutors had given input about the uses of the digital space. Robert referred me to Daniel Rubinstein’s The Digital Image. Which I think gave me a bridge to another consideration offered by Russell, who asked if I had considered video as a format. I cited my assignment for my last module on a Skyspace by James Turrell as an example, which prompted for me a greater synergy in how my non-OCA work and Documentary 2 can interact. Something Robert challenged me about at the start of BoW.

A friend of mine suggested a connection in what I was pursuing with the shadowgram to the composer John Cage’s piece 4’33”. Which I rather crudely credit in the video aspect of A2. But the real benefit of this referral was for me recognising that 4’33” is defined by its composition. Much like a meditation, even silence needs a framework to be recognised as silence. What I take from that is the importance, when working in an abstract way is to establish parameters, that theoretical and literal negative space can be reflected upon. It is a case of finding a balance between ‘how’ I set up the image for a meditation now that it is established ‘what’ the image is. This is the area of experimentation that can continue into Part 2.