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.

In part 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.

Where I agree the assignment falls down is in its presentation. The biggest problem I see is that I have tried to incorporate too many ideas/references that have come in since A1 as there is a disconnect between the notes I made and the final submission. For example the numbers in the video relate to the exposure time which I initially wrote up in my reflections here. I am guilty of being too generous in not filtering out some suggested reading/research from tutor and peers. In some cases input greatly helps as it offers a chance to explore something that you may not have considered but here I haven’t distilled the suggestions. Two elements that contribute to the disconnect are in adding the reference to The Digital Image (Rubinstein, 2013) and John Cage in the video, which I acknowledged as being crude in my reflection. I conclude this is the consequence of the break in my studies being without my laptop. I would have submitted A2 sooner without too much time to overthink and convolute the notes.

Because of the pace that I am working at I have a sense of displacement towards the overall feedback. In the two weeks since submission I have carried out a lot of experiments, research and reviewed exhibitions. So some of what is commented on to me belongs in the past. In some cases it vindicates thoughts I have had already such as the application of John Cage’s 4’33“. In others, because I have moved on, what I might be looking into for my next assignment is being reviewed in the feedback for my last one. Eg Uta Barth was commented on in my report for A1 but it was research relevant to A2. I think that in this case it is no bodies fault but I should signpost more concisely in my submission which posts in my learning log are relevant to the assignment.

Feedback on how to make the meditation ideas more clear is also an interesting point. Is the technique more a method, and its meditational potential subjective to the individual? Perhaps the yūgen spirit in the exercise has presence if one wishes to see it, but not necessarily the purpose.

A big part of this assignment though ultimately is a consolidation of the technique I was engaging in and a process of trial and error. There were always going to be variants in success and failure and A2 is a good time to explore that. My biggest conclusion is that the images on their own are not enough. Sharing the assignment with peers in a study group recently they initially said it was hard to see what was meant by the abstract image. But when I showed them ‘making of’ photos they found it much more engaging and interesting because it explained the idea. Conversely many of my non-OCA peers in design were engaged by the individual images because they were aesthetically relatable for them. So for me the feedback is relative to the point of view. And this is what I really like about it. It is reflective of what I gained most out of my last module, the interplay between art vs document, content vs context.

For two weeks over seven afternoon sessions I have explored further the idea of shadows at home so how I write this up will be influenced by the feedback on A2. I see the use of the digital image and online presentation being perhaps more useful as a document of the engagement, reminiscent of how photography is used to corroborate and record experience in the work of Richard Long, James Turrell etc. This I would say is something I had already reflected upon in my latest experiments and been adding to my notations gallery. This work will be a little out of time because my current focus is on A2 for CS.

In the break without my laptop I also experimented with other experiments of shadow projections and fixed composition studies. I don’t believe I am being too narrow in my thinking, I use opportunity and accessibility as a catalyst to try new things, I return to the shadowgram in Part 2 because I had the opportunity at home to play for a limited period. Even the shadowgram experiments are time restricted, along with celestial and climate interference. It is in this case I regard assignments as assessments to science experiments (What needs more clarification and verification to make the theory more concise).

For BoW, I am at the intersection of one way of life and another. My lifestyle of being continually on the road experiencing and working within different cultures and customs will change dramatically with a change of home and impending fatherhood. For at least the coming couple of years I will be present within a much smaller footprint than I have been used to. Hence the thought to transition from being inspired primarily outside to inside, from being impulsive in the public space to reflective in the private space.

I mentioned in my introductory tutorials that I see a greater potential connect between BoW and SYP. Perhaps because as I have already stressed, I don’t think that the digital platform is useful to the presentation of the shadowgram. I see potential uses for it more in terms of residencies, demonstrations and site specificity. The conclusion of BoW may be less to do with the images created but the strategy itself. It becomes more clear to me that CS is a past tense (where I was inspired; East Asia), BoW present tense (where I’m at) and SYP where I want to go which creates an interesting personal journey for L3.