Sunday, April 6, 2014

Random thoughts

I have been clearing out my inbox and wanted to collect here some of the elements which had caught my imagination…

Fellow OCA student Anne Giddings had referred to a Welsh term “Y Filltir Sgwar” (The Square Mile) which is described as the area with which one is most familiar and concerned with.

From Anne’s website:


In this project I explored the idea that  “…we know a patch of ground in a detail we will never know anywhere again.  In Welsh it is called ‘y filltir sqwar and it exists in the Welsh psyche as one of a series of cognitive maps around home and locale” (Pearson) 

I believe that this intimately known area from childhood has stayed with me and is resurfacing unbidden in my photographs. In this work I visited this idea consciously, mapping one part of that cognitive map from childhood onto my current surroundings.

The resulting work seems to reflect feelings of disorientation and uncertainty as though in a shifting labyrinth, maybe there is a sense of a need for transition from one place to another through or within these liminal spaces. 

I love this idea (and that the Welsh have a term for it!) and it reminds me that I am fairly dedicated to my own square mile around our place near Brick Lane.  I really need to push myself to go further afield to make videos.

This was an interesting piece on the so-called ‘photo-taking-impairment effect’:

I have definitely experienced memory haze with events and locations when I was almost exclusively obsessed with picture taking but I also agree that sometimes getting in really close and allowing some abstraction can solidify an object or subject in my memory. The author of the article, Andrea Norrington, urges us to: “Get in close, abstract, distort, look up, look in, look across, look down and whatever you do, leave plenty for the imagination to play with…”

I was fascinated by an article from Loring Knoblauch:

It talks about how digital photography, in its relatively short history, has moved from direct technical substitution to being more tightly connected with other media.

“...the larger effect is I think a result of a more subtle shift in artistic mindset, from “I am a photographer using a camera to document X” to “I am an artist who is using a computer/scanner/camera to mine an archive of found imagery, using those images to build studio installations and sculptures, which I then rephotograph multiple times and reprocess with a software algorithm” or some such equally complicated combination of steps, processes, and intermingled, mashed up ideas.”

Somehow it reminded me a little of two slides I saw in a presentation this week about the transition of magazines from print to digital.

The speaker described the first slide as “Perfection” – what everyone in publishing wants and expects to have:

The second slide was entitled “Reality”: 

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