Results

The results are out & I got 78%!!  I am super excited and grateful to my tutor who encouraged & supported me & who facilitated my creativity like nobody else has.  I just hope I can keep it up!  Thanks Clive White!

My new blog for level 3 photography can be seen here.

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I have moved

My Digital Image and Culture unit has been handed in for assessment so there will be no further assignments or exercises here.

I have decided to take the plunge and continue to Level 3 of my photography course where there is no choice on which units to take – there are three: Body of Work, Contextual Studies and Sustaining Your Practice, and they all have to be covered.  It could take me four years to complete the course.

Many thanks to all who supported and encouraged me on my way, I have greatly valued your input which has, at times, made me rethink what I was doing.

If you wish to follow my next blog, you will find it here.

John Akomfrah wins the Artes Mundi 7 prize.

Photography and film making win the biggest art prize in the UK!

In November, when I saw the Arts Mundi 7 exhibition on an OCA study day, I had very little time to watch Akomfrah’s exhibit.  We had spent more time than we should have at the previous 4 exhibits so we had to rush to get to the last one.  There was something drawing me to this but I just put it down to my interest in the subject rather than to the rationale behind it.  My review of it was, therefore, rather dismissive.  Two of us decided that we were going to come back to Cardiff, to the conference to hear the artists speaking about their work, which we did on 25th January, 2017.

Every single presentation surprised me.  Some because of their delivery, others because of their content.  The lecture hall was in darkness so I had to guess what I was scribbling and consequently, some of the notes were totally undecipherable.

First up was frenetic Neïl Beloufa who could not get his laptop to connect with the technology in the theatre.  Was this, being so true to his MO, part of his performance?  I asked him as we were waiting in the queue for coffee afterwards and he said it wasn’t – but it was a good idea and something to keep up his sleeve for the next time it happens, being the opportunist that he is!

His presentation started with a little cartoon about a social gathering in a sharks restaurant in which one of the shark diners states that he won’t have crab because he is vegetarian.  There is a sharp intake of breath from the other sharks as the power struggle starts.

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In his presentation, he gave us some ideas of how he challenges authority; how he makes the people he works with feel that they have some control over how the project is developing.  Basic to his artwork is his desire to break down authority and power relationships.

His presentation was in keeping with his art work.

He comes across as a self-professed opportunist, boyish anarchist & it’s a persona he cultivates carefully.  In the coffee queue, I asked him if he would ever consider collaborating with Nastio Mosquito whose anti-authority presentation we had just seen, and his response was an immediate and unequivocal “NO!”   The potential power struggle was very evident in the explosive reply.

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Neïl Beloufa’s ‘World domination’ (2012)

Next up was Amy Franceschini representing “Future Farmers”.  The project is a socially engaged one taking us back to re-forming communities via seed exchanges & story telling & festivals which eschew the acceptance of standardised, modified seeds sold internationally by multi-nationals in preference for locally grown seeds.

In November I thought that this was a multi-stranded, well exposed exhibition in which the artistic element was very strong.  At the conference, what came out very strongly was the social element of their project which shifted the weight of the exhibit away from art.  Future Farmers are to be applauded for using this platform for raising awareness of what they are doing which, in my opinion, needs to be done.  Amy stressed that the main message is that they do not want the seeds to be stored in museums or laboratories, they want them planted and used.

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Future farmers: The seeds of time.

Nástio Mosquito was on a blacked-out stage, indistinguishable from the curtains.   He waited for silence then started to speak about meeting Noah with some friends, like a herd of animals, which made no sense to me at the time or afterwards.  Then he started singing a song which sounded like a Negro Spiritual song and had the refrain: ” You speak about power like you know what it is.”   At the end of the song there was dead silence.  The performance lasted for about 10 minutes and was like an extension of the exhibition.   The artist sat down & eventually the auditorium lights came on.  Unlike previous presentations, the audience was not asked if they had questions for the artist.  This was a pity but we had to accept it.

As the performance was in addition to the exhibition rather than an exposition of its rationale, I did not feel that I had understood his work better.

Lamia Joreige was the only artist to give an academic lecture which gave us insights into what she was trying to achieve.

In the project Objects of War (1999 – ongoing), she is trying to re-access the history of  Lebanon through objects and people’s links to those objects and recollection of events in order to expose a personal history.   Through this she uncovered fragments of history which bordered on fiction and discovered that there is no hierarchy in objects of war.  She came to ask if history can be captured by a fragmented image – the exercise seemed at times to be a crime scene reconstruction.

Her phrases “Un ailleur inaccessible; un bonheur endormi”  = ” an inaccessible elsewhere; a happiness fast asleep” for me caught the essence of her work and the nostalgic tone of her presentation.  The idea of elsewhere was picked up again by John Akomfrah in his presentation.

Her “Objects missing” section told of the inaccessibility of pertinent information which had been ‘lost’; an archive which may or may not have existed.  The book which lists the missing objects is itself inaccessible – behind a glass case never to be opened.

In diagnosing the present, Lamia presents us with a fragmented, subjective and, to date, incomplete image of the past.  Photographic images, drawings, paintings, archives, sculptures and film recordings all rooted in memory, make hers a very rich exhibition which viewers can access in many ways.

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Lamia Joreige: River drawing detail

Bedwyr Williams‘ presentation was a performance in the character of a vicar / minister / priest in which he lampooned various stereotypes.  His humour was engaging and original.  The 4 minutes of church music and choral singing (probably in Welsh) which introduced his presentation, although superb in their genre, told me very little about the artist or his work in the exhibition.

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Bedwr Williams: The image, with alternate eye open, on a film which illustrated the performance.

John Akomfrah’s was for me the pinnacle of the artists’ presentations.  His talk opened my eyes as to what I had been looking at so briefly in November.  He spoke about images being a repository of a haunting, the uncanny, the strange, the eerie.  He sees images as a ‘contest of sight’.   Through films and stills from those films, John spoke about an ‘elsewhere’ evident in an image: in the following still from the film ‘Shoah’, John spoke about the haunting element of the image: the subject is both with you and elsewhere at the same time.  “the promise of the image is that the viewer will see the the image at some point in the future, but you won’t because it will always be elsewhere.” He describes that ‘elsewhere as ‘ the incantatory logic of story telling’.

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John Akomfrah: that incantatory ‘elsewhere’.

In looking at images, John tries to find the elsewhere in banalities too, and illustrated this through the film recorded in 1964 in Bethel Baptist Church, Houndsworth.   In it someone says: “We are going to perform normality for you” … “You will see us not being niggers, being normal.”

In analysing archived images, John asks “What is this image trying to say to me?  That image only exists so that, in that moment you have a bond with it.”  He sees that as the underscore of every image.

In putting work together, John asks himself if, after all his research, he is doing his work justice. Is he being true to the work?

He sees the archive as constructed material / language and asks how the image evokes that material.  He sees a shift in the meaning of the archive depending on where it resides.  Everything about an image is haunted by the past.  Finally, he said”We need to widen the meaning of the archive.”

What was so striking about this presentation was the artist’s integrity and humility vis a vis images and humanity.  His presentation spoke of his work to which he is evidently deeply committed and which is so desperately relevant with the mass migrations of people today.  He brought ‘hauntology’ home to me and made me realise that it is evident in all images: it is a composition of past, present and future and I am certain that it will affect, consciously or subconsciously, how  I will see and make images from now on.

At the panel discussions after the presentations, it was evident that some artists were more prepared to speak than others.  Bedwyr looked very uncomfortable and said, after one of the questions that he was very tired and felt that he could not answer.  Lamia spoke very little while, the others all took it in turns to answer.

I asked one of the selectors, Alistair Hudson – Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art -, if it was a coincidence that all the exhibits were mediated through language, either spoken or written or both, and if this was a conscious criterion on the part of the selectors.  He had not considered it & said that it was not one of the criteria for selection.

As a language teacher, I wondered how language worked at a subliminal level in the selection process & found this cross-over very significant: six art works have been selected in an international competition from a submission of over 800 and they all have language as an integral and essential part of their installation to deliver their message.  That language emerged in film scripts as sub-titles; film narratives; spoken and subtitled translations in films; folk tales; archive materials … the list could go on.

When you have so many art works to consider, you need all the help you can get to understand what the message is so, is it logical to accept that selectors are going to go for the art work ‘explicated’ via language ?

Recent exhibitions in Plymouth

We had a meeting of the SW new initiative on Saturday 21st January in Plymouth.  After over two hours of looking at one another’s work, we set off to the Theatre Royal to see the exhibition of the 21 Group, set up and curated by them.

The group comprises mixed media artists in the South West. A production of Mama Mia was on so there were thousands of people waiting to find their seats but, when they had all been seated, we had time and space to see the exhibition. Compared to their normal shows, it lacked substance for me. Perhaps it was because the paintings and prints were arranged on a convex wall the full width of the corridor so you had no sense of the ‘collection’ as such.  My favourite was a print by Val Jones from Totnes:

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We then went to the Royal William Yard, Stonehouse, where we saw an exhibition of “Earth and air: the episodic memory of place” by Julie Ellis.

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Julie Ellis’s press release.

The long hall made the similarity of approach, technique and subject stand out, which we found was a negative aspect of the exhibition. We all admired the work very much. My favourite was given pride of place at the far wall & that seemed to draw us in:

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I particularly liked the textures which were at odds with the silky-smooth finish of the other paintings:IMG_4307.JPG

 

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The vitrines have a collection of artefacts and sketchbooks:

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Two paintings which are used in the publicity cards:Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 16.59.31.png

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Super day out with fellow students.

Summary of a 15 minute interview with Erik Kessels

Summary of a 15 minute telephone interview with Erik Kessels conducted on 26th October, 2016.

For Assignment 3, “We are all photographers now” my essay led me to an analysis of the language used in the 2011 Arles Manifesto “From Here On” drawn up by Erik Kessels, but I had some questions for which I needed specific answers. I wrote to Erik Kessels about 3 weeks before I had to submit my assignment but the answer did not arrive in time.   Instead his PA asked me to phone him. Although I had permission to record the interview, I was not allowed to use it as such for any other purposes. What follows is a summary of the points discussed.

My contention was that the language used in the manifesto was very similar to that used in the Futurist Manifesto drawn up by Marinetti in 1909 and published in Le Figaro in France. I asked if this had in fact been the inspiration for it and was very surprised to hear from a very surprised curator that it was not and that it was very much a collaborative effort among the 5 male curators: Clément Chéroux, Joan Fontcuberta, Erik Kessels, Martin Parr & Joachim Schmid.

In the manifesto it was apparent that the 5 curators at the Arles photo festival were trying to make a break with the past – ‘yes it was a niche idea at the time’.  ( Marinetti may have said the same thing had he been interviewed about his Futurist Manifesto.) The internet imagery was a starting point for the exhibition.

I asked about the composition of the curating team: could there have been a woman included in the team? Joan Fontcuberta had brought the team together and Kessels said that one of the main criticisms of the exhibition was that it was quite male orientated.   He subsequently and very kindly sent me more information and material about the exhibition.  Gosh!  Male is the key there!  He said that he would not like to be a full time curator because as a photographer he would find that boring. He did not have any other explanation for having had an all-male curating team.

He spoke quite colourfully about the experiences the curators had in deciding which images went in and which not.

It was a very interesting experience for me &, although I did not feel nervous at the time, the recording makes me sound very nervous. I will have to practise more of this, it would seem!

RWA exhibition review

Exhibition review

164th Annual Open Exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy. (Joint mixed media exhibition.)

With OCA students led by Michele Whiting

RWA, Bristol

 

23rd November, 2016.

Curators: Gallery Director, Alison Bevan et al.

Location, setting & atmosphere.

This was an enormous exhibition, enough to bamboozle any visitor through its numbers of exhibits in every possible medium.

Again, the images had reflective glass so you can’t see the contents clearly. They were arranged in salon format so I could barely see some of them let alone see who they were by or their titles.

We were asked to see if there were works which shared a subject matter: landscape: from (what interested me since I have been exploring the medium) landscapes on tracing paper in small frames

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to Susan Derges’ monumental photos. (Derges was one of the selectors)

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We were also asked which mediums we found particularly interesting & mine had to be the use of tracing paper. There was an example which was literally and figuratively multi-layered:

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This was “Hong Kong Ding Ding by Valerie Treasure. It used collage, mixed media and stitching to achieve its final form. It is intriguing because the viewer has to analyse what is being said through the use of the different media although the language itself has a limited readership.

Also on the subject of media, we were asked to consider if we would apply any of them to our work. As I am interested in texture in photographs, I found the following work particularly inspirational: the first is by Zara McQueen & titled: At the Chapel: charcoal, pastel and collage.

 

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And the following charcoal on tissue paper by Paula Havard “Jenny Dreaming”:

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detail: IMG_3982.JPG

The next question asked if there was any exhibit which spoke to me through either its technical or conceptual merit:

I appreciated this oil painting for its technical merit:IMG_4038.JPG

For its conceptual merit, I chose “Tea and Toast” by Ben Hughes with its references to Charles Ingram. The eyes engage the viewer while the open aspect of the painting pulls the viewer in:

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You can’t separate the concept from the technical novelty experienced in the “Sheep at Sheepsgate” collaborations because they have used GPS to plot the movements of various sheep and used other mixed media to produce a very novel form of imaging.

 

 

I also appreciated John House’s Study in Colour and Light no 5: photography triptych (giclee print):

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and Daniel McGirr’s “The Void” – ink and gesso on MDF:

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We were  asked to consider the framing. I found it all very traditional and you could argue for or against various applications but it comes down to taste, in my opinion.

Finally we were asked how radical the supports (what the work is painted/printed on) and if we thought the supports detracted from the work.

Radical for exhibitions in my experience was the tracing paper. It was used in various applications. This I thought was experimenting with technique:IMG_3974.JPG

 

 

The last question on the sheet was :Can you think about a work of your own that might sit alongside the works on show?” Not now.

 Highlights for me: Seeing the use of tracing paper being accepted for the show.

What I took away with me about the exhibits:

The huge range of genres gives hope for different work.

About me and my work:

I am pleased I am not afraid to experiment with different media for photography.

Next steps:

?????

Assignment 6: Pre-assessment tutorial

The purpose of this assignment is to decide how I’m going to submit my work for assessment.

Reviewing my assignments:  My tutor and I have been reviewing my assignments as we have gone along.

Reviewing my learning log:  My tutor and I have been reviewing this as we have gone along.

I have responded to tutor and peer suggestions as I have gone along. For example, my first presentation of the assignment which evolved in to Assignment 5, had the following observations and replies:

      1. I looked at all the options and chose the numbers which I think represent you. Though this tells you more about me than you Anna. Here are my numbers:
        7,8,10,41 and zero.

        Like

  1. That’s brilliant, Edelgard, thank you very much. This element of the selection being more about you than about me is very much part of the concept of the assignment which I did not want to write in because I thought it would have put people off. In Pirandello’s novella, it is only when the protagonist’s wife tells him that his nose curves to the side that he starts to analyse how he sees himself and how his wife sees him! He had always thought his nose was straight & why hadn’t she told him before? He then realises that the image his wife has of him is totally unrecognisable to him – she even gives him a name which is not his own! This is super – thanks again.

    Like

  2. The more I think of your assignment, the more I think the images we pick say nothing about you but all about us and our relationship with you. You made it especially hard by giving us images which everyone will interpret differently. It would have been easier had you given us words or categories. But maybe your whole idea was to conceal yourself rather than reveal yourself.

  3. That is a very perceptive comment, thank you.

    When we think of someone, I would think that a visual reference comes up rather than words or languages or sentences. After all, in the novella, it is the protagonist’s appearance, as it is seen by someone else, someone who should know him very well, which gives rise to the whole dilemma – expressed in words!

    It can’t say nothing about me because I either asked for the images or referenced myself in them somehow, so I am in them somewhere to a greater or lesser degree. Thank you so much for adding this! It has made me dig deep!

    Good. It made me think about it too and I came to the conclusion that it also says little about me, because nobody knows how I translate the images.

     

My learning log is accessible: my tutor has kept an eye on this & has made suggestions as we have gone along.

Apart from the website http://www.lightrider.biz which will be a URL submission for Assignment 5,  I propose to submit the following physical material for assessment:

  •  My sketchbook / workbook.
  •  Part 1:   Assignment 1:

Image 1: The Stage Set collage.

Tutor amendments

Image 5: Unseen Florence collage.

A Florence of imagined and irrational fun.
An imagined Florence developed through elements of Dadaism, irrational absurdity and fun but still linked to plastic arts, design and time.
  •  Part 2:  Assignment 2.

The book I created on Brexit.

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  •  Part 3: Assignment 3: The critical essay: The digital self.

Part 4: Assignment: Digital identities 1: No submission.

  •  Part 5:  Assignment 5: Digital identities 2: an autobiographical exploration.

The book for 31 10 20 16 : 25

Prints of 3 images from 1950 + 66 

Probably:

anthropocene-torquay-red

lee-mill-quarry-4

  •  Assignment 6.

Tutor report

Overall Comments

OK this is a refining go around on the carousel again…

Feedback on assignment

I’m going to go through the points I pulled out last time.

But first I’m going to reiterate how I think the diversity of the work properly represents the multiple digital personalities that people inhabit; from my point of view that’s a real strength in the work when perhaps under normal circumstances one would be looking for more continuity in the choice and application of mediums.

Your continuity comes from the creativity of your solutions and your tenacity in applying them.

I’m probably rather pre-empting you here but just as a reminder it’s a good idea to put a final post on the blog introducing the work to the assessor and giving them instructions as to how best to access it.

http://www.lightrider.biz/

Going to the website the first thing one notices is that you’ve changed the font; good.

The artist statement is good. I would make the title slightly larger or bolder; just so it catches the eye first rather than going straight into ‘When people…’

The Home page is working well and clicking on the introductory images takes one to the section they’re part of; good.

The navigation arrows either side of the image on screen are rather bigger than they need to be.

‘When you mouseover a menu item on the left it disappears, probably the rollover is set to white text, this is rather disconcerting, having it go Bold or change to a lighter grey would be better.’

There’s now no indication of mouseover on the main menu; apart from 10 + 1 jiggling a bit.

31 10 20 16 : 25

 This section is fine.

‘extra hour to enjoyNelson’ < get someone to proof read the site that’s not working on it if you can.

1950 + 66

 This fine too and the coordinates are a good size.

10 + 1

 This layout works but I think the paragraph at the top would benefit from a smaller font. It feels like it’s pushing the images off the bottom of the screen.

150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

 I think it was a good idea to reveal the grid making the whole thing feel more architectural and accurate; very good, possibilities here for BoW.

231,513,114

 I would put the credit line at the top centred under the images at the very bottom in a smaller font.

10:66

As I said before excellent and another possible approach for BoW.

Now the essay should start here.

The content is fine but the text feels a bit slabby. It needs to be broken up into more paragraphs to make it more digestible so it can be speed read, as it will be.

Overall I think it’s appropriate, effective, intelligent, progressive work. It’s just the formatting and presentation that needs polishing to match the quality of the ideas and the thinking.

Coursework

 Done

Research

And

Learning Log

Dusted

Suggested reading/viewing

Something good; smiley

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

‘physicality of my assessment submission’

I literally mean the heft of it. It’s presence on the assessment table as a pile.

I remember one assessment submission was a single CD with something scribbled on it in black marker, slid into a frosted plastic sleeve that had a curling yellow Post It note stuck to it; not a good opening gambit.

I’m preaching to the converted but just make sure the pile looks like it’s worth a good mark at Level 2.

Tutor name Clive White
Date 17/1/17
Next assignment due Finished

Reflections on the tutor’s report:

The positive element is very strong and enabling.  As always, a good mixture of humour and help in delivering the message.

On my website, the navigation arrows  are as small as the web page design will allow.

For the physicality of the assessment submission, I was enquiring about  how much I should include as there is a discrepancy between what is on the student website and what administrators in OCA suggest.  The assessment guidelines state that we must submit all assignments, tutor reports and any amendments following receipt of the tutor reports, whereas staff in OCA say that we need only submit our amended assignments because the assessors can access out originals on our blogs.  I have now clarified it and have printed out all my original as well as amended assignments.

Reworked assignment 6: Digital identities 2

                                  75,287,520  + 1

Because any person is an amalgam of many types of experiences, not all physical, this assignment is presented in different ways.  The modes of presentation cannot be all inclusive but they give the idea that life cannot be expressed purely in images and text.

My website  http://lightrider.biz  delivers the assignment using a variety of media: text, images, a video and an interactive roll-over pop-up element.  The artist’s statement on the home page explains why the project is divided in to sections.

The section titled ‘Project rationale’ lays out why the project exists as it does and explains its interactive element.

 

 

 

The Blurb book can be seen here.

This is the PDF of the book published by Blurb.blurb-book-pdf-752875201

The individual books also exist as PDFs printed by me: pdf-books-for-assessment-submission-4pdf-books-for-assessment-submission-5pdf-of-books-for-assessment-submission-1pdf-of-books-for-assessment-submission-2pdf-of-books-for-assessment-submission-3

31 10 20 16 : 25

This is included in the assessment submission as a book in its own right and as part of a five book box set as seen below in facsimile.  It presents the submissions in response to my request to my Facebook friends to let me see what they did in the extra hour they had at the end of October, 2016.

 

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facsimile of the five-book box set

1950 + 66

This presents my vision of Anthropocene Devon which I traverse on a weekly basis with my family and photography friends.

10 + 1

This references Facebook interactions between people who share my name and surname.

150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

An interactive grid reflecting my architectural interests as well as my curiosity to explore new technology and concepts.

231,513,114

This ‘sampling’ of images from Flick’r reflects my interest in how women are portrayed in social media.

10:66

This final element is an autobiographical video hosted on Youtube.

Assignment 5: Digital Identities 2.

Brief:  Use your tutor’s feedback on Assignment Four to help you develop your digital identities project to the point of resolution. … Include a 500 word essay that contextualises your project and provides a self-evaluation.

The format of this assignment is explained fully in the conclusion.

                    75,287,520 + 1

Essay:

“Una realtá non ci fu data e non c’è, ma dobbiamo farcela noi se vogliamo essere: e non sará mai una per tutti, una per sempre, ma di continuo e infinitamente mutabile.  La realtá d’oggi è destinata a scoprirsi illusione domani. ”  From the novella by Luigi Pirandello entitled “Uno, nessuno e centomila = One, no one , one hundred thousand” 1926

“We weren’t  given one reality  and it isn’t there, but we have to make our own if we want to be: and it won’t ever be one reality for everyone, for ever, but one which is continuously and infinitely changeable.  Today’s reality will be seen as an illusion tomorrow.” (My translation)

This statement, written almost a century ago, is still relevant because, in my opinion, human nature has not changed in that time.  Like Pirandello, I search continually for the authentic me which I glimpse momentarily from time to time but it is always superseded by another me, another ephemeral reality.  When I see other people, I never see the same person twice.    The title of Pirandello’s work ‘One, no one and a hundred thousand’ reflects this impossibility to see.  This 1926 sentiment of Pirandello is reflected in the reaction of  film maker Wim Wenders when he saw a portrait of his photographer wife Donata taken by photographer Peter Lindbergh in 2012: ” Wim was surprised that the woman he loves and has known for such a long time could reveal to someone else, an unknown side of herself.”(Pirelli)

This exercise is interactive:  each viewer chooses  5 images  which s/he sees as a best fit me – the author of this assignment.  They can be any five images and may all be from one of the categories or one from each or any other combination.   If you are taking part in this game, please enter your combination in the Contact us section on the website or in the Comments section of this blog.    There is no wrong answer but the interest factor for me is immense!  This idea mimics those quizzes and games on social media which, by way of having fun, purport to tell you about yourself – your personality, your strengths, your cognitive ability ….  You invariably end up with the same outcome as that of several of your friends and, invariably, you can’t see how those other people share your personality traits or your strengths … you are, after all, unique in this world!  There are  100 images from which to choose ( and one video) echoing  the avalanche which Erik Kessels constructed in his “Photos in 24 hours” installation of the 2013 exhibition in Arles.

The scroll-over pop-up presentation of my images in one of the categories ( My House) is a new idea for me for which I had to learn new technical skills but is based on an idea presented by Fred Ritchin. Ritchin wants to find ways of getting round the idea that you can’t trust digital photographs any more to tell the full story in any given situation.   His idea was for a photographer to present his/her image and then invite others who were present at the event s/he is depicting and asking them to present their version of the image.  These ‘other realities’ then appear as a viewer scrolls over the top image.  This technology appears here too: my original image appears as the cover version then under it are hidden 15 underlays which are QR codes, as well as images of sketches / drawings by the designers and architects.    The QR codes all refer to URLs relating to websites of the relevant architects or designers.

The six elements  constitute a subjective selection of probable representations of me.

  1. 31 10 20 16 : 25

Kate A.pngUsing Facebook was always my first aim, following on from my Assignment 2, but how I used it changed as different opportunities presented themselves.  I also wanted to use Google Earth because it is a big part of my photographic exploration on the ground as my photographic practice takes me everywhere with my projects.

I have chosen to present the 25 hour day from the Facebook contributions as a book so that each image is given a more prominent space than it had in assignment 4.    I asked my FB friends to take a snapshot of what they did in the extra hour they had when the clocks went back on October 30th, 2016.  I collected 25 images representing the 25 hours that the people had had on that Sunday.  The connection is that, as friends, we must have parts of who we are in common, even if it is just a sliver of an nth part of ourselves.

2.    1950 + 66

Anthropocene Torquay red  .png
Anthropocene Torquay

The second aspect of my digital self is how I use or abuse my environment.  An abiding hobby of mine is looking at geological structures locally to see what they can tell us of activities through the ages.  This is particularly relevant in Devon as it is noted for its complex geological structures and has a geologic period, the Devonian period which spanned 60 million years from about 400 million years ago, named after it.    Following my reading of the work of David Thomas Smith,  I decided to look at  Devon on Google Earth through an Anthropocene lens and produced work which I had started experimenting with four years ago and gave up.   I was very grateful for having received permission from Google Earth to use their work with which to experiment.  Two of the images have a hole in the centre which reference a line of a poem by W B Yeats, now out of copyright:  “The Second Coming”: ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’.  Because the Anthropocene , said to have started in about 1950 which coincides with my year of birth, references the changes man makes to his environment to allow him to live the way he wants, there are many who feel that these practices are causing catastrophic climate changes which will lead to the destruction of our planet.  The second coming Yeats writes about anticipates the apocalypse caused by man’s abuse of the environment.

Climatologist at UCL,  Chris Rapley states: “The Anthropocene marks a new period in which our collective activities dominate the planetary machinery.  Since the planet is our life support system – we are essentially the crew of a largish spaceship – interference with its functioning at this level and on this scale is highly significant.” (See the guardian url below).  Ironically, in his explanatory notes  on his poem, Yeats writes: “The end of an age, which always receives the revelation of the character of the next age, is represented by the coming of one gyre to its place of greatest expansion and of the other to its place of greatest contraction… The revelation [that] approaches will… take its character from the contrary movement of the interior gyre…” (Spark notes) The Anthropocene marks the end of one age and the start of another, and the tension felt in Yeats’ poem is that which I feel when I see how much we have altered our environment.

3.    231,513,114

Anthony Wood.png
Woman by Anthony Wood (with his kind permission)

On Flick’r, I searched the term ‘woman’ and picked some images, asked for permission to use them in this assignment and received that permission for these images.  This represents my recently sparked interest in how  women are represented on one social medium reputed to be used by photographers who take their work more seriously than those on Facebook, for example.  In the 2017 Pirelli calendar, Peter Lindbergh has introduced some changes in how women are represented in a type of publication seen on garage walls and intended mainly for the male gaze.  I am looking forward to exploring that avenue next.

4.    150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

Zaha Hadid 21st C art museum 38.png
Zaha Hadid

My house reflects part of me too.  Here I have presented, on the website only, a roll-over pop-up experiment which has my favourite  architects, dead or alive, and designers.  The idea is that my house needs to be renovated so I have, in my imagination, selected these architects to work their magic and, as can be seen, they  have started doodling their versions of what it should look like in terms of architecture and artefacts.  This project is open ended so it may take many years, but we can, in the meantime, dream on!

I also wrote a poem called “Change” which can be seen on the website and in the book.

5.     10 + 1

Cover .png

Following the 2009 work of Penelope Umbrico, ‘Many Leonards not Natman’, I  contacted people on FB who had my names: Anna Goodchild and Anna Toscano (my maiden name).    Umbrico searched in vain for details of Leonard Natman whose portrait in oils hangs in a reception room off BAM’s grand lobby.  He had worked at BAM as house manager, had developed a youth education programme during his years there, and had died of AIDS in 1986.  Umbrico could find very little on Natman so decided to collect 100 Leonards and made a book with them. ” ‘Leonards For Leonard’ is a conversation between the digital Leonards and the oil painting Leonard – the many Leonards keeping Leonard company.”(Umbrico).  I had forgotten about this work until I read the work of fellow OCA student Kate Aston on her student’s blog about a similar project she did for one of her assignments.  My work contains only 10, 5 of each name, as that is as many as I could find at the time.

6.           10 : 66

7.  80.png
The staff at Newcastle High School.

My journey, not yet ended, is depicted here by a video with 10 images taken from my family archives.   John Berger observes  that men are portrayed “according to the promise of power they  embody “(p39) and women ” so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman.”(P 40)  I started this essay with a quote from a man who does not distinguish between men or women in their futile attempt to portray themselves to others or to  themselves.  This observation is put into question, in my opinion,  in John Berger’s statements because he implies that women are aware that they are seen as well as seeing how they are seen, and that people see men by the power they promise in their embodiment.   My contention is that neither men nor women know how their projected images are received by other men or other women.  My video with stills is a fragment of the image I think I portray both to myself and to others of how I see and how I’m seen.

Conclusion:

Because any person is a complex amalgam of many types of experiences, not all physical,  this assignment is presented in  different ways.  The modes of presentation cannot be all inclusive but they can give an idea that a life cannot be expressed purely in images or text. There are aspects which cannot be seen, most of which lie below the surface, and what you see depends how you try to tap into them: you can, for example, gloss over the surface or just tap into sources of information.

a.  On this blog is the written aspect to give some rationale and background information on the project.

b.  In hard copy form is a Blurb book  showing that some aspects can exist in a physical form.

c.  On my website is the whole project minus the written contextualisation, with the inter-active roll-over pop-up experience presenting one part which cannot be presented any other way.   There is also an AV component,  presented as a video with stills on Youtube,  which also cannot exist in any other form of presentation other than on a website / blog.

What went well:

  •  The response form my Facebook friends – I thought I would get a maximum of 10 images and I was sent 25.
  • The Anthropocene experiment turned out to be easier than I had imagined as did the speed of permission to use Google Earth.
  • The out of date copyright element of WB Yeats and Popeye made things much easier.
  • The timely publishing of the interview with Peter Lindbergh with Wim Wenders relevant quote and the rationale for the 2017 Pirelli calendar was timely and very exciting for me.
  • The quick permissions granted for the use of the Flick’r images.
  • The roll-over pop ups went well after a terrifying start when I thought I could never get through the technical jargon.
  • Finding a website which would calculate the combinations I needed.
  • I learned such a lot about complex technical aspects of video making, web site building, particularly page linking, and roll-over pop-ups which are such a lot of fun to build.  In this assignment, they are particularly complex because there are four layers to the pop-ups: the surface image, click & you see the architects’ and designers’ drawings and sketches; hover over the top image and you see the QR codes; use your smart phone to read the QR codes and they will take you to the respective architect or designers’ web sites.   I never realised you could get such complexities in a web site!

What could have gone better:

  •  I had to get help from my husband who is a computer wiz to get the roll-over pop ups to work.  I could not penetrate the on-line tutorials on it & the more I tried to sort them out, the more difficult I found the process.
  • I would have liked to have received responses from more of the FB people who shared my surnames.
  • I could not use some of my favourite Flick’r images because their authors did not respond after many weeks.
  • I should have given the Facebook respondents an idea of what size photograph to send of their extra hour activities because I had to resize all but 2 of the images.

References

de Saint-Exupéry,A.: 1958.  Le Petit Prince. Heinemann

Pirandello, L. 1926: Uno, nessuno e centomila. BUR Rizzoli

Berger, J. 1972.  Ways of seeing. Penguin.

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section5/page/2/

http://www.pirelli.com/world

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4017251/Popeyes-copyright-to-expire-in-January.html

https://www.mathsisfun.com/combinatorics/combinations-permutations-calculator.html

http://penelopeumbrico.net/index.php/books/many-leonards-not-natman/

http://david-thomas-smith.com/ANTHROPOCENE

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/devonian/devonian.php

http://2010dmsresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/after-photography-by-fred-ritchin.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth

http://tech.fanpage.it/facebook-rilascia-la-feature-l-anno-in-breve-ecco-come-creare-un-riassunto-del-2015/

Appendices:

  1.  W.B.Yeats poetry out of copyright:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipedia/6916596/WB-Yeats-and-Sigmund-Freud-works-posted-on-Wikipedia-as-copyright-expires.html

2.  Google permissions:

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 12.00.46.png

Tutor feedback on Assignment 5:

Overall Comments

A very appropriate culmination to the module which demonstrates the sophistication of your thinking and the diversity of your creativity. Well done!

Feedback on assignment

I think the diversity properly reflects the fragmented nature of people’s digital selves. Even on the simplistic level of having something of themselves on Facebook, some on Twitter, some not shared and kept on a single machine and some indeed remaining as paper archive; fragmentary like a cracked mirror.

Although the structure is a perfect metaphor those coming to it anew, assessors for example, need to be given a bit of a guiding hand to lead them into the work. I must say I found it confusing having the essay up front and only discovering a URL for the actual work much further into it.

This is very much putting the cart before the horse, it’s the actual work that’s the thing, the ‘essay’ isn’t intended to be a formal essay but an explanatory piece to come after the work.

The blog entry could practically be just the URL to your website that contains the work.

http://www.lightrider.biz/

Going to the website the first thing one notices is the Comic Sans typeface.

This is a definite no no http://designforhackers.com/blog/comic-sans-hate/

Comic Sans is perfect for one thing, the use it was designed for, speech bubbles in a cartoon strip.

Try some other sans styles instead.

Begin with a short artist statement, distilled from what you’ve written as part of the ‘essay’; just enough to give a flavour of your intent and the quality of your references rather than ‘The written part of this assignment can be seen at http://www.mylandscape2016.wordpress.com’

Everything needs to be on this site for the convenience and understanding of the assessors. Your written expansion can come after the work, once they understand exactly what you’re talking about in respect of the actual work, the visuals.

Also on the home page it would be good if the images in the opening slide show were a little bigger particularly “Woman” on Flickr.

I’ve investigated and it can be enlarged by 50% without the loss of sharpness becoming objectionable.

jbnauta
Woman by JB Nauta

It would also be good if clicking on a particular image in that slide show took one to its section. Not worth spending a lot of time on but a worthwhile refinement if it was straight forward to implement.

Also the viewer needs to know that they can control all the slide shows with the scroll wheel. I’d been through the whole site a couple of times before I discovered that.

When you mouseover a menu item on the left it disappears, probably the rollover is set to white text, this is rather disconcerting, having it go Bold or change to a lighter grey would be better.

31 10 20 16 : 25

 This works well on the website and especially as a book too. I wouldn’t put Part 1 and Part 2 on the title pages of each section. It doesn’t add anything and it’s rather unsettling because when you read the text ‘part 1’ you’re immediately thinking what part 2 might be about when you should be concentrating on the idea and the images of part 1 and then when you get to part 2 it’s obvious that something different is happening.

1950 + 66

 It works on the website and the book but the co-ordinates are mostly on the edge of legibility. Ideally they should be big enough to be consistently legible or dispensed with.

10 + 1

 I do not understand how this is presented unless I’m missing something; it’s laid out like a small book with images so tiny one can hardly make out what they are.

The idea is good; the material is good, even if there’s not a great amount. The images need to be bigger and the graphic suggestion of a double page spread removed. I don’t think it’s adding anything and you could make a lot more from what you have.

150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

 This is working well and as a technique has the scope for you to do more with. I’m not sure if the slightly different displacements in the tiles adds to the overall impression or not.

231,513,114

 Similarly for this, make them single images and larger.

10:66

Excellent; simple, and all the better for it, yet very evocative and resonant.

Good typography on the opening titles, perhaps you could use that font on the site but don’t label the video Assignment 5 in the titles. You just want it viewed as a piece of work in its own right.

Now the essay should start here.

The content is fine but the text feels a bit slabby. It needs to be broken up into more paragraphs to make it more digestible so it can be speed read, as it will be.

Overall I think it’s appropriate, effective, intelligent, progressive work. It’s just the formatting and presentation that needs polishing to match the quality of the ideas and the thinking.

Coursework

 Fine

Research

Fine

Learning Log

Fine

Suggested reading/viewing

We’re done, other than anything you care to add as you’re polishing before your final submission.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

You’ve delighted me with the progress you’ve made over the module and the quality of the work that you’ve done and it all seems to have absolutely flown past.

I think you’re well on the way to doing extremely well at Level 3. The creativity and the intelligence are certainly there, it’s only the presentational skills that need buffing up but that comes with time and practice, also it can be tutored much more easily than creativity and intelligent thinking.

I can’t remember if I’ve covered this or not but submission prints should be on unmounted and unsleeved heavyweight matt or semi matt, i.e. not gloss, A3 paper with generous, a minimum of 3.5cm, white borders for handling. The borders should be included in the digital file for accuracy of crop and positioning of the image on the paper and the prints should be presented in a clam shell portfolio box such as this…

http://shop.silverprint.co.uk/Silverprint-Archival-Portfolio-Box-A3/product/28984/AQ1203/

The larger half, like a box of expensive chocolates, is the lid. I point this out because surprisingly more than one student inexplicably considered it to be the bottom.

It’s a good idea to consider supplying a selection of prints. There was talk of making prints compulsory for all submission at all Levels in 2017 but I’ve not heard anything said about that for a while.

Tutor name Clive White
Date 15/12/16
Next assignment due Finished

Reflections on the tutor report:

A very encouraging report with lots of constructive criticism, which is what I like.

To improve on the assignment:

  1.  On the blog (this one) just put the URL of the website hosting my work.   Although it seems to be putting the cart before the horse by having the essay and then the URL,  the essay explains how I got to the work so I assumed that readers/viewers would like to know what the work is all about before they see it.  On other websites, the authors have the basis for the work under ‘About’ so you can see it whenever you want to.
  2. Change the font – anything except Comic Sans!  I watched the video Clive suggested & had a good laugh.  Message received – I am a mother after all!  I suppose the ‘Comic’ in Comic Sans should have told me as to what it was used for, but I liked the informality of it, yet I accept that for formal assessment, this should be a formal presentation.  Helvetica was available at a price but it is, to my uneducated eye, very close to Ariel so that’s what I chose. Done.
  3. The artist statement idea makes sense.  It’s when you have been with the material for so long that you don’t realise that newcomers to it will not necessarily have had all the background to it.  Done.
  4. Everything is now on the website.
  5. The images on the Home page are now bigger, and the arrows on both sides indicate that viewers can control the sliders.  The links are now there to go straight to the section indicated by the image.
  6. The mouseover on the side menu now brings up the menu item in bold rather than having it disappear.
  7. All the ‘Part’ elements in the book are no longer there & I agree with the thinking behind it, & it’s just the titles which indicate where the readers are.
  8. The co-ordinates on the 1950 + 66 are now separate from the images & easily legible.
  9. On 10 + 1 the images are opposite one another because the Anna Goodchild & Anna Toscano are communicating, hopefully.  They were very small, almost fly droppings on the page before.  They had been small because I was not sure that I wanted them big in the book so, in the interests of uniformity, I had made them small on the website too.
  10. The tiles on the roll-over pop-ups section are being resized = takes an eternity.
  11. The ‘Woman on Flick’r’ images have their own page and are much larger.  I had done them smaller because that was the size they were in the book.  But that’s the beauty of diversity – you can make the presentation different without breaking the cohesion in delivering the message.
  12. The AV title has now been changed and a new version up on Youtube.  I tried to get the same font but I could not justify the cost when Ariel is very close to it.
  13. The essay is now on 2 pages on the website.  It has been broken down, slimmed down (if only all slimming was this easy!) and only the essence of the contents is there on page 26 with my reflections on the assignment on page 27.  I apologise for all the indigestion this has caused to date!
  14. The next assignment will probably consist of this reflection in preparation for final assessment.

Reworked blog page:

Assignment 5: Digital identities 2.

The contents of this assignment are all on my website:

www.lightrider.biz

There are some elements in a Blurb book because they worked well in that format.

The work on the website also has an AV component , titled 10 : 66, made with iMovie and posted to Youtube.

Reflection:

What went well:

 •  The response form my Facebook friends – I thought I would get a maximum of 10 images and I was sent a serendipitous 25.

 • The Anthropocene experiment turned out to be easier than I had imagined as did the speed of permission from Google Earth.

 • The out of date copyright element of WB Yeats made things easier.

 • The timely publishing of the interview with Peter Lindbergh with Wim Wenders’ relevant quote and the rationale for the 2017 Pirelli calendar was timely and very exciting for me.

 • The quick permissions granted for the use of the Flick’r images.

 • The roll-over pop ups went well after a terrifying start when I thought I could never get through the technical jargon.

 • Finding a website which would calculate the combinations I needed.

 • I learned such a lot about complex technical aspects of video making, web site building, particularly page linking, and roll-over pop-ups which are such a lot of fun to build.  In this assignment, they are particularly complex because there are four layers to the pop-ups: the surface image, click & you see the architects’ and designers’ drawings and sketches; hover over the top image and you see the QR codes; use your smart phone to read the QR codes and they will take you to the respective architect or designers’ web sites.   I never realised you could get such complexities in a web site!

What could have gone better:

 •  I had to get a lot of help from my husband who is a computer wiz to get the roll-over pop ups to work.  I could not penetrate the on-line tutorials on it & the more I tried to sort them out, the more difficult I found the process.

 • I would have liked to have received responses from more of the FB people who shared my surnames.

*  I should have given the Facebook respondents an idea of what size photograph to send of their extra hour activities because I had to resize most of the images.

Assignment 4:Digital identities 1.

Brief: Develop a project around the theme of identity within the current digital climate.  This could be an autobiographical exploration examining how you relate to digital culture.

                       28,989,675 + 1

“Una realtá non ci fu data e non c’è, ma dobbiamo farcela noi se vogliamo essere: e non sará man una per tutti, una per sempre, ma di continuo e infinitamente mutabile.  La realtá d’oggi è destinata a scoprirsi illusione domani. ”  From the novella by Luigi Pirandello entitled “One, no one , one hundred thousand” 1926

“We weren’t  given one reality  and it isn’t there, but we have to make our own if we want to be: and it won’t ever be one reality for everyone, for ever, but one which is continuously and infinitely changeable.  Today’s reality will be seen as an illusion tomorrow.” (My translation)

This statement, written almost a century ago, is still relevant because, in my opinion, human nature has not changed in that time.  Like Pirandello, I search continually for the authentic me which I glimpse momentarily from time to time but it is always superseded by another me, another ephemeral reality. When I see other people, I never see the same person twice.  You can live with a person a lifetime and you constantly see different versions of that person, and it is not only, in my opinion, because you both change, it’s also because your perceptions of one another change.  The title of Pirandello’s work ‘One, no one and a hundred thousand’ reflects this impossibility to see.

This exercise is interactive: each image has been given a number which appears on the bottom left or bottom right of the image, from 1 to 55;  each viewer chooses  6 images  which s/he sees as a best fit me.  They can be any six images and may all be from one of the categories or one from each or any other combination, so long as six images are chosen.  If you are taking part in this game, please enter your combination in the Comments below.    There is no wrong answer but the interest factor is great!

The 6 selected elements  constitute a subjective  representation of me on the part of the viewer and which , in this exercise, are represented numerically (digitally): e.g. 24,2,13,61,44,53.   This idea mimics those quizzes and games on social media which, by way of having fun, purport to tell you about yourself – your personality, your strengths, your cognitive ability ….  You invariably end up with the same outcome as that of several of your friends and, invariably, you can’t see how those other people share your personality traits or your strengths … you are, after all, unique in this world!

I wanted the possible combinations available to viewers to be 100,000 as in the title of Pirandello’s novella, but the closest I got was to have 6 categories with 23 images in total but that came to 100,947 combinations – an ugly number.   Besides which, in line with the avalanche metaphor which Erik Kessels uses to present our digital image-making obsession today, I have more than 23 images.

The scroll-over pop-up presentation of my images in two of the categories (Anthropocene Torbay and My House) is a new idea for me for which I had to learn new technical skills but is based on an idea presented by Fred Ritchin. Ritchin wants to find ways of getting round the idea that you can’t trust digital photographs any more to tell the full story in any given situation.   His idea was for a photographer to present his/her image and then invite others who were present at the event s/he is depicting and asking them to present their version of the image.  These ‘other realities’ then appear as a viewer scrolls over the top image.  This technology appears here too: my original image appears as the cover version then under it are hidden 5 or 6 underlays which are mostly images, with one text.  The images are all taken from the internet.

Using Facebook was always my first aim, but how I used it changed as different opportunities presented themselves.  I also wanted to use Google Earth because it is a big part of my photographic exploration on the ground as my photographic practice takes me everywhere with my projects.  Emulating the practice of different photographers who have signalled  an interesting perspective has also influenced how I see the world around me.  An element which I seem to be drawn to more and more lately is how I see women today as depicted in stills by digital social media.

These are some of the realities which I present here as autobiographical:

A.  On Facebook:  I asked my FB friends to take a snapshot of what they did in the extra hour they had when the clocks went back on October 30th.  I collected 25 images representing the 25 hours that the people had had on that Sunday.  The connection is that, as friends, we must have parts of who we are in common, even if it is just a sliver of an nth part of ourselves.  (For the names of the contributors and the titles of their images, see appendix 1.)

25 hours
Twenty-five images reflecting what FB friends did during the 25th hour on 30th October, 2016.

B.  An abiding hobby of mine is looking at geological structures locally to see what they can tell us of activities through the ages particularly since Devon is noted for its complex geological structures and has a geologic period, the Devonian period which spanned 60 million years from about 400 million years ago, named after it.    Following my reading of the work of David Thomas Smith,  I decided to look at South Devon on Google Earth through an Anthropocene lens and produced work which I had started experimenting with four years ago and gave up.  This subject also reflects on me and how I use/abuse my immediate environment.

Climatologist at UCL,  Chris Rapley states: “The Anthropocene marks a new period in which our collective activities dominate the planetary machinery.  Since the planet is our life support system – we are essentially the crew of a largish spaceship – interference with its functioning at this level and on this scale is highly significant.” (See the guardian url below)

By roving your mouse over the image, see the roll-over pop-ups here (see the Home page) 

C.  On Flick’r, I searched the term ‘woman’ and picked the first 5 images on the page.  This represents my recently sparked interest in how  women are represented on one social medium reputed to be used by photographers who take their work more seriously than those on Facebook, for example.

D.  My house reflects part of me too.  Here I have presented the second roll-over pop-up experiment which has my favourite  architects, dead or alive, and a designer.  The idea is that my house needs to be renovated so I have, in my imagination, selected these architects to work their magic and, as can be seen, they  have started doodling their versions of what it should look like in terms of architecture and artefacts.  This project is open ended so it may take many years, but we can, in the meantime, dream on! (The architects and designer can be found in appendix 2)

By roving your mouse over the image see the roll-over pop-ups here (See Page 2)

E.  Although I do not subscribe to Pinterest,  I have selected from the internet five images which represent my main interests and hobbies which I would have uploaded to it had I had it.(Artists and organisations can be found in appendix 3)

Pinterest
Pinterest images.

F.  Finally, I  contacted people on FB who had my name: Anna Goodchild and Anna Toscano (my maiden name).  This idea is based on Penelope Umbrico’s 2009 book “Many Leonards not Natman” reflecting her search, in vain, for details of Leonard Natman whose portrait in oils hangs in a reception room off BAM’s grand lobby.  He had worked at BAM as house manager, had developed a youth education programme during his years there, and had died of AIDS in 1986.  Umbrico could find very little on Natman so decided to collect 100 Leonards and made a book with them. ” ‘Leonards For Leonard’ is a conversation between the digital Leonards and the oil painting Leonard – the many Leonards keeping Leonard company.”(Umbrico).  I had forgotten about this work until I read the work of fellow OCA student Kate Aston on her student’s blog about a similar project she did for one of her assignments.

FB Avatars
Anna Goodchild and Anna Toscano on Facebook.

The above images reflect reality parameters within which I wish to portray myself  today – they  by no means exhaust the possibilities.  The interactive element of this assignment asks viewers to make a selection of 6 numbers from the 55 images presented.  Some will have realised that the  title, 28,989,675 represents the possible sets of me identified mathematically in this exercise.  The + 1, represents the possibility of someone deciding that none of the images is suitable and therefore  a set of 6 zeros can be presented as an option.

Reflection on how the project went:

What went well:

  •  The response form my Facebook friends – I thought I would get a maximum of 10 images and I was sent 25.
  • The Anthropocene experiment turned out to be easier than I had imagined.
  • The roll-over pop ups went well after a terrifying start when I thought I could never get through the technical jargon.
  • Finding a website which would calculate the combinations I needed.

What could have gone better:

  •  I had to get help from my husband who is a computer wiz to get the roll-over pop ups to work.  I could not penetrate the on-line tutorials on it & the more I tried to sort them out, the more difficult I found the process.
  • I would have liked to have received responses from more of the FB people who shared my surnames.

References:

Pirandello, L. 1926: Uno, nessuno e centomila. BUR Rizzoli

https://www.mathsisfun.com/combinatorics/combinations-permutations-calculator.html

http://penelopeumbrico.net/index.php/books/many-leonards-not-natman/

http://david-thomas-smith.com/ANTHROPOCENE

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/devonian/devonian.php

http://2010dmsresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/after-photography-by-fred-ritchin.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth

Appendices:

  1.  extra-hour-fb-project
  2. section-d-architects-and-designer
  3. section-e-pinterest

 

Tutor’s formative feedback:

 Overall Comments

As usual your mind was fizzing!

Feedback on assignment

And the feeling is conveyed too!

There’s a lot of material there and a lot of ideas, it’s going to need to be pulled together into something more coherent for Assignment 5; representing the pinnacle of your development as it should.

I think beginning with numbers and combinations is a strong idea and this could be the binding theme but should remain an allusion, not overly explained just hinted at in the way the idea is used. So for example that if we were talking a book form then each chapter would be named by a number that was the result of interpreting the visual imagery of the chapter as an equation in some way.

28,989,675 + 1 reminds me of scientific notation which is graphically more interesting and adds an extra mystery.

As well as a book it could be a website, you’ve got in-house tech support that could help with that. ‘ }

A

A good segue  from Assignment 2. I think making a grid of the images uses them up to quickly. I would get more value from them, maybe make them a chapter named after the date in some way, one image per page, two per spread and titled with the name of the contributor.

B 

This rather appropriately reminds me of fractals with the added bonus of the Baroque allusions. You could do more of these and I think the dissonance it creates with the previous section would be very contemporary.

C

This is also something you could develop further into Assignment 5; with the permissions of the rights holders of course.

D

Obviously this doesn’t work in print although the chapter could be a sequence of URLs, one per page, or graphically more interesting QR Codes with the URLs embedded. You could do more of these towards an element ofAssignment 5. Well done on the idea and the determination to get it working!

E

 Perhaps this is the least strong idea and could be dropped.

F

 This is reminiscent of a TV programme some years ago when the comedian Dave Gorman Googled his name to see what was being said about him and was surprised how many other Dave Gorman’s there were around the world and set out to literally meet them all.

Perhaps over time you could gather more responses or think of some other way to include the other Annas.

Coursework

 As usual; commited and intelligent.

Research

As above

Learning Log

Easy to navigate and lots of good content; it’s convincing.

Suggested reading/viewing

We’re rather past that.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

The task is to pull this all together in some coherent form; adding, subtracting and ordering as necessary to give a sense of identity while retaining the wide diversity. In doing so you’ll create a piece of work that’s worthy of the excellent progress you’ve made during the module.

 

Tutor name Clive White
Date 22/11/16
Next assignment due 22/01/17

Reflections on the tutor feedback:

  1.  The layout has been changed & number references which I feel are relevant, added as chapter headings would.
  2. Book and website are done.
  3. Valid opinion re grid refs being too dismissive of the effort put in to taking the extra hour images.
  4. I’m glad the dissonance in the 1950 + 66 was picked up & encouraged.  I have made many of these as I find the process rather moorish – I can’t stop!
  5. Woman in Flick’r: more permissions sought.
  6. QR code creator formula obtained & QR codes have been generated.  Takes time & effort.  Roll-over pop-ups are quite exacting – have gone for 15.
  7. Pinterest idea dropped as I too found it less than convincing.   I have started combining my own landscape images with fictitious characters who embody some characteristics that I feel I have such as:
  8. popeye-1400px
    Popeye: catch phrase: I am what I am.

    But I dropped this too as some of the characters’ other characteristics were quite embarrassing!

  9. I have decided to use the dialogue aspect of what the tutor reported and paired up the Annas reflecting a conversation idea between them.
  10. I am very pleased with the positive content of the tutor report.

Artes Mundi 7 : international art exhibition review.

Saturday 12th November, 2016, was an OCA study day lead by Helen Warburton and held at the National Museum, Cardiff.

It was a joint exhibition by the shortlisted 6 artists chosen for the Arts Mundi exhibition which has as its theme “The Human Condition”.  Although this theme encompasses every conceivable facet of human endeavour, there were interesting threads running through them all, the most unexpected for me was that of language.  This was possibly because all the exhibitions I have attended so far have been with images rather than the wider meaning of ‘art’.

The curator of the exhibition  is Karen MacKinnon who is also the director of Artes Mundi.

There were five students from different disciplines – photography, print making, textiles and drawing.

The location, setting and atmosphere:

The setting and location were simultaneously unusual and unsettling: the exhibition was split over 2 sites and the reason for this was only apparent to me when we got to the second site.   The first site is the National Museum, Cardiff.  Traditionally, you cannot touch exhibits in a museum so when this happens, you are immediately wrong-footted.  You are allowed to take photos, you are allowed to lounge on bean bags to watch and listen to a story about urbanisation of the countryside, you are allowed to move the furniture.  Very unsettling.  I did not have time to see the rest of the museum but, from what little I did see, it was pretty run-of-the-mill museum: bright lights and dinosaurs.

The second site, called Chapter, is a former boarding school, now exhibition space.  You are not aware of it at first, but the piece on the outside of the building, looking like an over-sized billboard, is actually one of the exhibits and therefore part of the exhibition.  When you look at it in that light, you understand more about what it is perhaps trying to say.

I wish I had read the exhibition catalogue before the visit.

Examples of the work:

The first exhibition was of Lamia Joreige in which she takes us through an anthropological investigation of post war Lebanon: ” Beirut Forever – Suspended Space in Suspended Time.” A refreshingly open view of the artist’s perception of post-war Beirut in which she started looking, imaginatively, through a hole left by a bullet in the wall of the museum.

museum-hole
The triptych of the hole hole in the museum wall which the artist used to make her sculpture (see below) and from which she imaginatively shot the photos of the neighbourhood.
hole-3d
The sculpture derived from the bullet hole in the wall.

The bullet hole sculpture for me symbolised part of the rebirth which the artist is depicting in her film of the concrete river bed.  Its symbolism is in the fact that it looks like a cross-section of an umbilical chord which the images of the river also seem to reference.

river-pics
Images of the river with refugee and immigrant settlements on its banks.

Details of the ‘settlements’ on the river banks signifying an organic

rebirth of the city.

river-series-explanation

The film with narration by the artist, takes us on a psycho-geographical and potential gentrification tour through the city via The River .

I found this a wonderful interpretation of the artist’s investigation of the state of what had been her communities.  I loved the river representations and the pinhole camera , continuing to shoot through the bullet hole idea;

pinhole-camera-shots

The facets I enjoyed the most were the pinhole camera images and the organic rebirth of the city drawings.

The second exhibition was a CGI by Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams who narrates a fictitious story of a huge urban landscape rising out of a Welsh landscape.  The CGI was complex with changing light and moving clouds and water surfaces.  Sadly the acoustics in the huge room were such that I could catch the occasional sentence but I could not piece the whole story together so I could not catch the humour or the shades of meaning of his narrative.  There were huge beanbags on the floor from which people could watch the changing scene.

bedwyr-williams-scene
Bedwyr Williams: Big Towers (2016) in the Idris’ Chair region in Wales.

 

cgi
The changing scene.

The Power Politics in Neil Beloufa’sWorld Domination” are portrayed through language and through imagery which reflects how old the power tactics used today are.  He records interviews of people trying to articulate their ideas and solutions to national problems in languages not their own.  The 3D model is of a dinosaur onto which the interviews are projected.  It is a very unsettling piece which makes you think about how political hierarchies are manipulated based on dominant languages.

neil-beloufa-world-domination
Fictitious interviews with fictitious heads of state speaking in a language not their own so coming across as less than articulate.

Amy Franceschini: “We don’t need a museum to preserve varieties. What we want is to plant them in the soil.”

This brings together traditional and current farming practices; traditional community sharing and growing; people going on a journey to deliver their message of preserving old seed stock.  The grains or seeds, represent the shared knowledge and experience, monocultures and diversity.  The current exhibition started in Oslo & will finish in Istanbul where the community will plant the seeds in a walled garden.  The flat bread made by communities brought people together to share and learn .  The charcoal which was left behind after the ovens had cooked the bread were used to present a message in morse code:

we-dont-need-a-museum

The art work was telling the story of the ‘futurefarmers’ project of which Franceschini is a member and leader.

poster

We were lucky in that, at 12 noon, an actor came in and took the vinyl records out of their brown paper sleeve and played them.  In a normal museum setting, this would not be allowed.

handle-the-exhibits

The actor read the stories told on the records in English and in Welsh.

performance

Throughout the exhibition and the performance, you were aware of the relevance of past time.

ship-carrying-seeds

The boat model actually holds the seeds as they are transported on the journey from Oslo to Istanbul.  OCA members listening to the story telling.

The actor let us handle what looked like a bit of drift wood but which resembled a bird which was at the centre of both old and new stories narrated.

symbolic-bird

This was by far the most complex project involving and benefiting a great many people.  The artist gives the following reasoning for her project:

“Through farming, I saw the connection of politics and power. I saw how the politics of marketing and trade and commodities all tied in. But I also started to see about the environment. I saw how the chemical water that went into the creeks started making the frogs become deformed and Silent Spring [a book by Rachel Carson, published in 1962, that warned of the dangers of pesticides to the environment] was written, which was a big eye-opener to a lot of people. It’s kind of simple: I want to be alive and I want to breathe.”(1)

The diptych filming of Auto da Fe by British artist John Akomfrah explores the global diaspora started hundreds of years ago.  Through it we are conscious of history, colonialism and migration as a consequence of persecution all over the world.  Of course it has resonance with what is happening today through wars and famine particularly in Africa and the middle east.  Fabulous use of photographic images, period costumes and filming to deliver a very strong massage.  migration-today

For our final exhibition, we had to trek (willingly!) across Cardiff to Chapter where we were met, outside the building, with the first part of the exhibition by Nastio Mosquito:

nastio-mosquito

The ‘artist’ does not believe in categorising people so he does not call himself an artist.  We discussed if and to what extent the billboard was offensive particularly as this was a family centre.  The clichéd angry artist, I concluded, chose his what is now banal expression, as his vehicle.   The writing was, quite literally, on the walls in the second room – the first room being blank, partially filled by us, presumably used as exhibits – not all of us oil paintings!  Were we supposed to be facing a new blank canvas on which Mosquito would paint his version of life / his message?  Were we to objectify ourselves as living art objects?  Were we to utter profanities at being taken in to a void passing as art vessel?

text-entrance
Entrance to the second exhibition room.

We did not hesitate in going through the ‘crossed’ entrance –  it is put there, I suspect, to make people feel that they are transgressing & as, such, another angry expression.  It is interesting how the size of the text and colours used in this room were, in my opinion, to make the viewers cower under the weight of the messages which also appeared to be shouted at them.  This was the only text in which there were no expletives showing.  We hear the swearing around us every day so it lost its impact for me – I was, if anything, surprised at its use, so banal both in the spoken and the written form.  The language here echoed that shouted in the last room of this exhibition where an old TV was placed in a room made to look shabby with plastic stacking chairs.

nm-text

The suppositories room invited us to reflect on the aid that is forced on people particularly in the developing world – and we could help ourselves to the suppositories if we wanted to.

nm-parachute

I appreciated the boldness of the work and approach.  I was certainly not shocked by it.

Highlights:

  • the collaboration and understated simplicity in Franceschini’s project.
  • the original concept of Lamia Joreige to look at her war-ravaged home town through the hole made by a bullet.
  • the importance in the use of language to help transmit messages in an art project.

What I took away with me

About art:  The relevance of history in contextualising the art was very apparent.

The use of language in various forms helps to convey messages more strongly.

Although art does not have to ‘do’ anything in order to justify its existence, in this case each exhibition had a function: to inform, to educate, to raise awareness through various  tactics.

All the artists used a multi-media approach to convey their idea of the human condition.  Can you convey it using just one?  Probably, but this is an international art competition so in order to make an impact, I suspect the artists felt they had to.  It would be  interesting to see if any of the 800 artists who submitted work to be considered for the prize used only one artistic medium.

About me: The use of film struck me as being very powerful.

Notes:

I shall look forward to hearing the 6 shortlisted artists  present their work at the Museum on the January 25th 2017.

References:

  1.  http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/amy-franceschini-interview-futurefarmers-seed-journey.
  2. Artes Mundi exhibition catalogue.

My Level 2 OCA Digital Image and Culture unit