Week 4 – Collaboration

This has been a really busy week and a struggle to keep up. I reviewed several example oral presentations and realize this is going to need a lot of preparation. I made a start on mine which is due November 9th. I hope that with peer review I can get it up to speed and make a decent attempt at meeting the assessed objectives.

This week’s theme encompassed collaboration where we looked at how photographers, even if they consider themselves a solo show, are in fact reliant on many others to realise an endeavour. Whether that is an assistant, a shop developing and printing film or arranging exhibition space; collaboration is necessary to be successful. The better the collaboration, the more likely a successful outcome. Coming from a military background and today working in a global corporation where teams are critical to getting anything done, I can see the benefit and understand how many hands can make light work of complex tasks.

I had not previously been involved in a creative task where we would need to bring together a visual product in a short time. There were many great concepts posted in the forum to team up for a mini project. I posted an image of a part demolished house with the concept of ‘Change’ and joined forces with Roydon and Henry to complete the project by Thursday evening.

A Canvas group was created and a quick plan made on what we wanted to capture and an outline of the project concept created. Over the next couple of days we were busy shooting with quick updates and images gathered so far posted in the group chat. Henry initially planned to use a drone, but this was not possible and he used Google Streetview to create a longitudinal study of his local high street. Roydon had an old book of his local area and made comparative shots while I used recent construction vs. streetview images from a couple of years previously.

Thursday evening we completed the project and the short concept description making use of the Canvas conference facility. Roydon created the final project document and went straight into the webinar to present the outcome.

Overall, very enjoyable if hectic few days, fitting it all in between work, the oral presentation lecture and evening lecture made things very tight. The collaboration went well, there were no problems and the feedback from our peers was positive. There were a couple of remarks that the subtle changes in some images were more engaging than the ones that captured large scale change. This is a very interesting insight, and I wonder if it would be true in a larger statistical survey. Is there something inevitable about large-scale industrial change, are we numb to it?

One aspect of the project that I would like to have explored further and may form part of a future concept along similar lines is active community engagement, posting an article in a local paper inviting people to send in ‘then and now’ images could lead to a fascinating body of work. Geographically separated, different communities, but with a simple idea to record change in their home environment, the places that hold the most memories. I wonder how that would look, where the commonalities would lie, what do people in differing places find important, worthy of recording.

I see a lot of opportunities to make use of Google Streetview imagery and several photographers have made use of it to create unique projects. A series of unfortunate events by Michael Wolf is a well-known project, as is 9 eyes. For sure, an emotion charged appropriation of imagery that is thought provoking in the areas it explores.

Project – Changes

Brief reviews of the great work by the other project groups. I really liked the “Under one sky” where the concept is shared questioning of nationality, nationhood and political borders. The short animation. It just came together really well.

48 hours in Dover, This is based on a timelines project where the team endeavoured to take a photo every hour over one or two days. The result is enhanced by the layout and would make for a great exhibition if laid out full length along a wall. The concept and the presentation combined to make an effective narrative that traced out a person’s daily life. 

Mundane captures exactly that! A close look at the everyday things we take for granted. The dinosaur is great 🙂

The Band, captured the silence now that all live music is on hold due to covid. The images worked really well, and the team came with a really clean look to the series.

Pearblossom Highway, explores local environments around the UK inspired by David Hockneys ‘Pearlblossom highway’. A very well coordinated set of images looks great.

Unprecious, a zany set of images, not sure what’s going on, but I do like them.

THEME: PHOTOGRAPHY & TOURISM, ITS EFFECT ON THE ECONOMY DURING A PANDEMIC, a sober look at a depressing side effect of covid and the drastic downturn in tourism. Grim but true to life images.

Abandoned, lost & lonely locations, captured the stillness of empty places. Well coordinated set of images.

Autumn, I really liked the colors in this project, looks like some of it was shot on film.The supermarket at night shot seems a bit out of place beside the church, minor niggle.

References

RAFMAN, Jon. 2020b. ‘Jon Rafman’. Jon Rafman [online]. Available at: http://jonrafman.com/ [accessed 17 Oct 2020].

RAFMAN, Jon. 2020. ‘9 Eyes’. [online]. Available at: https://9-eyes.com/ [accessed 17 Oct 2020].

CASPAR, Jim. 2020b. ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events – Photographs By Michael Wolf | LensCulture’. LensCulture [online]. Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/articles/michael-wolf-a-series-of-unfortunate-events [accessed 17 Oct 2020].

ROWLAND, Allison L. and Chris INGRAHAM. 2017. ‘How Google Street View Became An Art Form’. Fast Company [online]. Available at: https://www.fastcompany.com/40424079/how-google-street-view-spawned-an-accidental-art-form [accessed 17 Oct 2020].

‘Photographers Using Google Street View – In Pictures’. 2012. The Guardian [online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2012/jul/15/photography-google-street-view [accessed 17 Oct 2020].

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