Tuesday, 28 February 2012



Alex Leme-Doubt

Alex Leme's body of work "Doubt" photographs road advertisements and signs around America's bible belt. He uses juxtaposition to show the conflicting messages that local spectators are often viewing. 
The work raises questions surrounding spectatorship and active and passive audiences. The body of work also discusses the differences between these religious billboards and regular commercial product advertising?

In our regular everyday spectatorship we watch our televisions and view billboard advertisements whilst being bombarded with certain techniques that give us a reason to consume.  Usually that reason will make us contemplate the scenario that if we purchase that particular product our lives will be enriched. Individually, if we consume that aftershave or perfume it will undoubtedly help us in our search for sex, love, relationships and happiness.  Or collectively, it is the notion of selling happy families if we purchase that new computer console, eat that certain breakfast cereal or share our family photos on that website. Simplistically, brands will produce imagery and wording that connotes the message, buy this and your life will be better.  A+B=C.

 In comparison the religious signs Leme has discovered and photographed at first glance are uncommon signs that differ hugely to the usual message we receive within this medium of projection using billboard advertising. Firstly the seemingly fundamentalist religious billboards give us a consequence to our lifestyles and tell us if you want  happiness, live this way or you will be unhappy and not just in life, for all eternity. They also judge us and tell us how to live. Secondly they simply have to tell us how, because clearly they do not believe we can do it successfully ourselves with our own free will. They do not trust us as there is a fiery consequence if we do not obey. They offer us solutions to our unhappy lives a way to improve them, a way out, but only if we do what they say and abide by their rules.

Hang on is Alex Leme's work not highlighting that these religious messages are actually carrying the same method of persuasion and control that commercial advertisements do but just in a more blatant fashion? Is it not the same logic and notion for commercial advertisements to suggest buy this or the opposite sex will not find you attractive for religious billboards to say, come to church and worship god or you will burn in hell for all eternity? The messgae is hugely less dramatic but it is trying to control and manipulate by persuasion and consequence. 

Except, when the religious signs stops judging, dictating and using fear as a tool of recruitment and instead sends a simple message of love and uplifting support. These signs ideologically couldn't be more different to the brand advertisements. Unfortunately the signs that carry threats are often all to similar.

 In addition to highlighting this, what Alex Leme's work does also do is shows the confusing and conflicting messages us as spectators  receive on a daily basis through this very same medium. We are told and taught to have high morals and have a clear indication of the differences between right and wrong but when money becomes involved that can often change and the line begins to blur. The message becomes diluted and our moral compass confused when surrounding those messages of support and love are ones of lust and superficiality. Leme's work juxtaposes the extreme difference in messages we receive every day. Messages from teachers, parents and religion contradict messages fed to us from the media, advertisements and fundamentalist religion, no wonder we are all so confused.

All images by Alex Leme and text written by Chris Timothy.

Kevin Miyazaki-Early Places (inside outside, time to spend)

This work has been sourced from the artists website- http://www.kevinmiyazaki.com/

Monday, 27 February 2012

Laura Sackett-Liminal Portraits (time to spend)

Earlier this year, I knocked on the door to my daughter’s bedroom, then entered. She was doing her homework, so the scene looked like this: Opened textbooks surrounded her computer, and on the screen were several open documents and windows, music was coming from its speakers. Two open iChat windows showed her friends, Katie in one window, and Nick in another. They were both in their bedrooms, presumably also doing homework. As soon as I entered, I whispered ‘Hi Ava.’ She hit the mute button so her friends couldn’t hear me.  You never know when your mom is going to say something that will embarrass you.

iChatting is particularly popular among young teens. It is how they hang out when they’re not physically together. It’s a simulated presence. They often don’t even talk or look at each other. They just do their homework, sometimes get up and do something in another part of their room, get interrupted by parents or siblings, and occasionally exchange gossip, clever comments, or homework problems. They especially like sarcasm. They often IM others who are not in the chat, so you can typically hear the clicking of the keyboard.

IM-ing, Facebook, YouTube, iChats — the explosive growth of these forms of connective media is a reality that kids are growing up with, and one that older adults are adapting to. Every parent, without doubt, has worried about the effects of all this technology on their tender children.  We have only a very short history of grappling with some of the larger issues that technology introduces, and the lightening speed at which change occurs makes reflection and analysis almost impossible. 

As early as 1953, the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, in his essay “The Question Concerning Technology,” posed the fateful question: To what should we ascribe the dynamic, seductive power of technology? For Heidegger, technology was a paradox, and his resolution to that question became increasingly complex involving both the possibility for intense human creativity and utter human devastation.

As I left her room, I thought about how the medium of video chatting is indeed dynamic and seductive. It’s a new form of social networking but — unlike cell phones or instant messaging – the exchange is primarily through imaging.  That’s when I thought: Can a social site become a portrait?  And what would that portrait look like?
The resulting project, Liminal Portraits, chronicles my investigation into the teenage world of social networks and iChatting. Adolescence is a particularly transitional time in life, a time when teens are experimenting with and forming their identity. And with today’s wired kids, they have the opportunity to create virtual identities – every time they log on to a computer.  

By creating remote images with teens using iChat on multiple computers, my project explores a new form of portraiture, one that crosses social networking technology with the project of photographic portraiture to investigate this new form of the virtual self, which, like my
adolescent subject, is liminal – and constantly changing.

— Laura Sackett

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Nadav Kander- Yangtze-The Long river

1.What are the goals/concept of Kander’s work?.
2.What were Kander’s Influences outside of photography?
3.Should your work dictate a message to an audience?
4.What advice does Kander have about how to document issues within a location?
5.Is Kander’s work about a river?
6. What does Kander's work share with Emma Livingston; Urban Trees?

Below is a video of Kander discussing the process he went through to create a body of work surrounding the Yangtze river which flows throughout China. Kander discusses if the body of work is actually about a River or has the Yangtze been used to reflect the constant and often rapid change that China finds itself in.

He also discusses not making work obvious or dictating your concept to the audience. He believes your images should allow an audience room and space for them to make up their own minds and read it and draw their own conclusions.

If you are producing work on and about a location, firstly stop and think and summarise what is going on there?what are the issues? and then secondly think, OK, what can I show visually that highlights that. It also interestingly highlights how a projects ideas and goals can change whilst in construction and whilst on location.

Kander's work has 3 main goals. 1. It highlights the rapid change occurring in China that is loosing the locations identity and history 2. The huge amount of migrant workers that experience huge poverty,that  do not live, simple exist. 3. To show China in a different way, a way that stays well away from the western metropolis business cities, which are often beamed to us here in the western world which can often mis represent the Chinese population as something that it is not.

So is Kander's work about a River? Well no not really. A river is a metaphor for constant change, a river moves, a river flows, it is rarely still and always moves on. This is what Kander has discovered in happening in China and the paradigm is perfect.

This video was found on the Lens Culture Facebook page and can also be found on Lens Culture, Conversations with Photographers. All text by Chris Timothy. Links to Assingments; Inside outside.
Nadav Kander: "Yangtze — The Long River" from Jim Casper on Vimeo.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Mood Boards

Todays Task

1.Finish 3 Brainstorms developed in detail and fully completed.
2.Research and pick 3 photographers/artists who will use for your mood board.
3.Collect all images for mood board in a powerpoint before printing and ok with me. I suggest 3 images for each photographer. (remember your print out must fit on 1 sheet of a4)
4.Whilst you do this, collect concept of photographers work ready for future tasks.
5.Print Images, create mood board and ensure photographers names and body of work is written

Visual Influences (Just presentation/ Not content/concept)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Steve D Forster- The Garage Project- Inside Outside

Ineke Key- Landscape Boundaries (Negotiating Barriers)

The landscape in the Netherlands is continually changing, precisely because it is so densely populated. Towns and cities encroach upon the unspoiled countryside. Industrial parks and roads are springing up in places where cows once grazed. With the on-going industrialization and urbanization, new buildings and high dividing walls obscure age-old places from view.
Provided that cultural and social aims are being sufficiently served, we tolerate and indeed preserve these places, stripped of their original function, and now misplaced in the landscape. At the same time, differing environments draw ever closer to each other, sometimes even becoming intertwined. Walls, fences or sound barriers are designed to segregate these "conflict areas" from one another.
It is the tension in these "borders" in the continually changing Dutch landscape that drive me to make these photographs.


Massimo Cristaldi- Insulae (Negotiating Barriers)

This series of photographs captures what appear to be "islands of light" at night.

There is a sense of confined gloom fighting with darkness that all around turns into oblivion and mystery. This shroud of brightness envelops all things that are built as a defense, both the physical barriers and the light barriers.
The islands of light are US Navy housing complexes and structures located in the dark and silent countryside throughout Italy. They are confined and isolated "towns" that are built for American soldiers and their families. Similar towns exist all around the world.

Hannah Guy-Staccato°

Hannah Guy’s new body of work consists of animations constructed from still images and a series of composite photographs made with a large-format camera.The animations derive from a need to engage the viewer more intensely and are a response to a sense of the still photograph’s inadequacy in depicting the experience of the landscape

Hannah Guy’s new body of work consists of animations constructed from still images and a series of composite photographs made with a large-format camera. . Each series revolves, quite literally, around the tree.The work creates a reality in continual reassessment, removing the comfort of a fixed reality.The animations derive from a need to engage the viewer more intensely and are a response to a sense of the still photograph’s inadequacy in depicting the experience of the landscape.
The animation series, Staccato° (Sketches 1-4), 2006, poignantly considers our relationship with the natural world, as well as our relationship with the still photograph. The animations call us to consider our view and experience of nature. The cyclical nature of the animation and perpetual succession of images explore an experience of time that mirrors nature’s cycle. As winter follows summer, summer follows winter; as death succeeds birth, birth will succeed death. The emblem of the tree and the ghost of the once vast forests that spread across Europe evoke a primeval world when most of the planet was covered by impenetrable forests. In the context of current anxieties about nature’s uncertain future, a certain melancholy is unavoidable.

The differing methods of representation seek to present different experiences of nature, experimenting with and moving beyond the impact of the traditional still photograph. By looping a succession of still images, the animations create the illusion of the tree in perpetual movement. Slowly the subtle nuances of the landscape are revealed as the audience is placed at different points around the tree. Through the amalgamated images a new vision of the landscape is created, as the form, texture and visual architecture appear, a sense of space emerges from the two dimensional photograph.

View the animation, revolving, quite literally, around four trees, one tree at a time. 120 still images circumnavigating each tree in a field, stitched together like a poetic film.
You can also view the still photographs in more detail as a large-format slide show in a new window.

Ellie Davies- Smoke and Mirrors

This series is made in remote areas of The New Forest and Dartmoor in the UK, far from pathways and seldom visited by the public.
From an early age the notion of the forest is given a sinister and threatening personality in the form of fairy tales and children’s stories. Stepping inside the dense forest feels like entering another world.
These sensory experiences often lead to the forest being used as metaphor. The wild and impenetrable forest has long symbolized the dark, hidden world of the unconscious.
These magical, fantasy golden trees, transported to the hearts of mature, dark forests, allude to this, whilst also evoking a sense of the fairytale.
– Ellie Davies