Week 2 – Interdisciplinary Practice

Looking at my work and how it relates to interdisciplinary practice has been thought provoking. I have several personal projects running where there is a definite focus on environmental issues, but I have not previously given much thought to a broader definition or considered its relevance in other contexts.

The forum topics and posts have been very informative and the breadth of themes and contexts covered was wide, an advantage I’m sure of such a large cohort.

Having not tackled Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes before, I enjoyed the extracts from the resources list. Cameras are clocks for seeing; I found this an evocative and wonderful description. The definition of the punctum, was new, and I had previously only come across the Cartier-Bresson ‘Decisive moment’, this is quite different and I now realise why some images can hold your attention, or at least I have the vocabulary to describe why an image works the way it does sometimes. Although it was Susan Sontag who said ‘All photographs are memento mori’ it would seem more fitting to this book from Barthes and his difficulty in coming to terms with the loss of his mother.

I find that photography and sound have a close relationship and through the use of sound a photograph or narrative series can be enhanced and the viewer brought closer to the experience the creator wants to convey. Whether the viewer has the same understanding is another thing. I posted work by Mario Cipriano on the forum as an example of this relationship. A further example was pointed out from Tanya Habjouqa and her series “Tomorrow, There will be Apricots”. You quickly get drawn into the narrative and connected to the families coping with what could be a permanent separation from their immediate family.

Syria via Whatsapp, from the series “Tomorrow, There will be Apricots” | Tanya Habjouqa / NOOR

Cosmic Ray by Bruce Conner is a rowdy 4 minutes of flashing imagery, abstraction, a rocking soundtrack and tons of energy. I really like this work on many levels and would like to explore and experiment with the still image, sound and maybe video mashups.

  • What has challenged you?
    A lot of new material in a short space of time, reading all the resource material which is quite a handful, but I already find this is very useful, firstly I have ready marked up notes for the CRJ post and these will for sure be helpful later on when I need to prepare for assignment work.
  • What has surprised you?
    The breadth and scope of interdisciplinary photography, this was a very light look at a huge topic.
  • What do you feel you have learned?
    Introduced to a lot of new practitioners through both the forum and the webinar, I really like looking at and analysing the work of others, so this is great information. The presentations and resource reading have been very helpful and I can now better evaluate the context of my work and where it crosses into other disciplines. Roland Barthes is new and I need more time to read the complete book and think further on his ideas, ‘cameras are clocks for seeing’ is stuck in my mind.

References

SONTAG, Susan. 1977. On Photography. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux. p.14

BARTHES, Roland. 2010. Camera Lucida. New York: Hill and Wang.

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