Note to PHO2008 & DIS2601

siology is a collection of thoughts, inspirations and creative processes which have contributed to my practice in first, second, and now third year studying photomedia and art.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

DIS2601 artist statement Project 2

My video for project two explores childhood memory and ritual, the scenes and senses which are familiar to us through repetition and déjà vu. I returned to the area where I was raised and filmed familiar places such as my first house and its surrounding bush land, the walk to school from the train station, shelves of books I was raised on and scenes such as my grandparents sitting on their veranda or my mother’s hands slicing a mango. I chose scenes like these because I wanted the resulting video montage to be both personal to my own memories and universally nostalgic, so the viewer could also take a trip down memory lane. The presentation of this video montage, as a projection onto my own body, makes a comment on the way in which early life experiences can shape us as people. I am intrigued by the question of nature versus nurture and this project examines the latter, conveying the idea that we become the stories that we tell and the memories that we hold. Inspired by Chris Marker’s Le Jetee and Everynone’s video montages, I have used an aesthetic style which reflects the fragmented and broken nature of memory, and the feeling that comes when you can’t quite place a feeling of nostalgia or yearning. The abstraction of the original footage once they were projected onto my body is reminiscent of this sensation.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Memories Lost and Broken

Artist Statement
Memories Lost and Broken is a series that draws on the fragmented nature of memory, and the feeling of nostalgia that is often associated with a frustration at not being able to clearly grasp a passed moment in its entirety. There are always gaps, blank spaces and shadows in our subconscious that may be irretrievable, and for this reason these photographs are drenched in darkness and the solid, impenetrable black of forgetfulness. The six objects have been selected by each of the six people photographed, as representation of a time or memory personal to them. The viewer may sense a vague familiarity in relating to the objects, but cannot quite access their true meaning or correctly match them to the face to which they belong. In this sense, Memories Lost and Broken also makes a comment on photographic representation. No matter how perfectly a surface may be transcribed by the camera, true understanding of a person's history or an object's personal importance will always drop away into the gap between real and representation. A viewer’s inclination is to invent these unknown histories, and so they too become an active part of the artwork. Perhaps it is best to be satisfied with the beauty in not knowing, and to allow the familiar yet inaccessible sense of nostalgia and Déjà vu wash over you as darkness washes over these fragmented memories.

Image Selection

Here are some photographs I've been taking in the studio, there are hundreds of them so I've only chosen a small selection. For my finals I will be choosing 12 to print: 6 people and 6 objects which will be paired but them shuffled around like our memories often are. I want the connections between each pair to be unclear to the viewer - they may try to guess at which memory belongs to which face but in the end a photography can only tell us so much about a person's emotion, history, thoughts etc. This is what I wish to outline.

Some photos like the two shown here (headphones and dvd) are very clearly photographed with quite a high exposure compared to some others. Though these are perhaps better photos is the formal sense, I think they lose a lot of the nostalgia and mystery which some other objects hold in their shadows and the dropping out of focus which sometimes occurs as objects disappear into the black. I probably won't be using these two photos for this reason and also because although they were chosen by two models I photographed, their associations with technology and the future might overwhelm the nostalgic mood I am trying to create, diverting the themes of my final series down an unintended path!

This photo exemplifies the fading into darkness I was speaking of - though the features which are lit are clearly that of a face, you lose a lot of the person to darkness and I think this is reminiscent of the confusion often associated with memory: we can never remember the entire thing but only fragments. To create this effect I have used a few light sources: window light and tungsten as this was not shot in the studio. However all light sources were positioned on the one side of the model's face and so although there is dimension in the lighting there is also that blacking out of the left side.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Martin Parr

Small World series 1995

"Martin Parr sensitises our subconcious and once we've seen his photographs, we keep on discovering these images over and over again in our daily lives and recognising ourselveswithin them. The humour in these photographs makes us laugh at ourselves, with a sense of recognition and release." - Thomas Weski

Katy Grannan

Charlie White

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Fragmentation and Nostalgia

Two photos I have taken for photomedia Project 2 (a and possibly b)
looking at the brokenness of memory, the impossibility of truth in memory, and in photography. Difficulties in language and art to fully capture the essence of a memory or a thought. The assumptions we make of objects' surfaces, of the photographic 'mask'.
I want to test the 'truth' of photographic reality by encouraging the viewer to connect each fragmented portrait with a fragmented memory - which memory belongs to which person? How can we possibly know that?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A simple site but just lovely when I'm stuck for inspiration & ideas
The featured artists section is super handy!
These images are by Mike Karnell

Edited Footage for Projection

This is a cut from the finished footage I plan to project onto my body - it would have taken ages to upload the whole half hour of video, but you get the idea re: editing, style etc. excuse the terrible web quality!

Memory and Familiarity

These are a selection of stills from the footage I've taken of things that are familiar to me from either my childhood or from mundane repetition/ritual. The footage will be edited fairly simply in final cut pro to overlap and mix together (i will set opacity at about 50%) to create a sort of dreamlike montage of disjointed memories and sensations.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Kenneth Anger

Puce Moment 1941

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pop Culture Overload

Some examples of youtube footage (click see more, below) I might like to rip into a very quick montage, as a sort of bombardment of pop culture/media influence. I could either project this onto a wall behind the performer, or onto the performer's body. I'm inclined toward the former because I'd like to identify the differences gap between these influences and the real world/person. I'm thinking of shooting my own footage of things directly familiar to me, like a close up of my bedsheets or the hands of my mother, and projecting these onto the performer's (my) body.
The pop culture montage could easily be a separate project to this, I'm not sure how much would be too much for a single video performance piece. But I intend to confuse and overload the audience with footage to some extent, as this is what I believe the media does.

Chunky Move

Assembly 2011

Went to see the world premiere of Gideon Obarzanek's final work with Chunky Move. I'll let him do the talking! (it was brilliant, hypnotising)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sebastiao Salgado

Matthew Sleeth

Red China


Robert Rooney

Ed Ruscha

Christien Meindertsma

Checked Baggage 2003

Anna Gaskell



Rineke Dijkstra

I Can See a Woman Crying

Picasso's Weeping Woman

Sunday, 18 September 2011

David Maisel

"Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. The patients died at the hospital between 1883 (the year the facility opened, when it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) and the 1970’s; their bodies have remained unclaimed by their families."

Arlo Mountford

 Return to Point, 2006
mixed media installation, animation
"A black circle ransacks art history. Appropriating works and ideas, taking aesthetic cues to shift from one idea to the next, Return to Point uses the simple shape to disregard the chronological art canon and instead determine its own."

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Rod McNicol

Discovered Rod McNicol's photography after completing Project 1, but the similarities are too obvious to let lie! These two people were suffering terminal illness at the time of the photograph, and died 2 weeks later. They hold a photograph of themselves as children, as my models did for my sequence on generation and age. The composition of the childhood photo has been mimicked in the more recent one.

Simon Terril

The Balfron Project

Filip Dujardin

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

All in a Day

A study of colour temperature and light throughout the day, I've taken photographs on the same camera (white balance) settings, every hour for 12 hours in a day. You can see a gradual change in colour temperature: growing colder toward the evening. Obviously exposure, shadows and the angle of light alter as well.