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.

While I have to tread a fine line between being contemporary and repeating modernist tropes. I am equally forthright in not wanting to repeat exhausted tropes of constructed realities, the drama of representation and putting a face on an issue.

Fig. 1.  Black Square  (1913)

Fig. 1. Black Square (1913)

I was interested to see that his thoughts on the use of the neutral crop of the square format, and its references to modernism (see fig. 1.). I have preferred using the 1:1 ratio for several years now as I like the compositional challenge of distributing space from within a static shape. It is not necessarily the case I will use it always, in my shadowgram test I cropped to A4 size to match paper output.

My comments on using the smartphone as a notational sketchbook to impulsively document abstractions was also noted. I thought since on reflection to have a ongoing gallery for this in BoW. Like a visual learning log (sans text copy).

I have wondered if these notations are a body of work in their own right. Maybe retrospectively they will build up into something interesting. For now I see them as an active collation. They are more on a psychogeography level of being taken in public spaces wherever I may be. The destination of being online I find problematic though, lost in a sea of Instagram blogging they do not standout in the digital public space. When I think of returning an image to its source, I think of it being returned to where it was taken, not in digital terms, presented digitally. The areas I’d like to look into is guerrilla marketing techniques to make my interest in shadow projections more contemporary than that of the modernist era. I find images being displayed on-screen problematic because most images are only seen on screen. They don’t retain their sense of presence much like moving image.

I have some suggested reading to follow-up with but overall Robert expressed a desire for me to prioritise the risk element in my process.

I’d like to develop my domestic space shadowgram set-up a little more next. I see the contrast in the impulsiveness of my smartphone work in the public space and the slower meditational concept from within the home. The smartphone retains that sense of play to keep considering new ideas as the shadowgram becomes more thought-out.

Then I can consider bringing the concept outside.

List of illustrations

Figure 1. Malevich, K (1913) Black Square [Painting] At: (Accessed on 17.09.18)