PHO702: Week 2

PHO702: Week 2

This week was a bit of a whirlwind for me with classes starting at Uni here is Spain, taking time out to go shooting after a few weeks of inclement weather.  Either way, I was able to take part in the forum discussions (though I posted my second forum post in the first forum)  and I attended the evening webinar with Sarah and met a few more of the members from other cohorts.  It also seems I’ll be having a caña with Len in the not too distant future, most likely here in Seville.

I also began to reshoot some of the scenes that have been more popular on my IG feed, such as the tree:

and the Church:

My forum post was as follows:

I believe my work is all about authenticating and only beginning to be about representing.  I’ve never had the talent for manipulation (photographic or otherwise) and have always considered myself to be a rather square individual in the sense.  I try to bring this into my photography by making representations of the scenes I encounter.  I have begun to include addresses and coordinates to encourage my viewers to visit the scenes photography virtually and to witness what I have.

However, here is a scene from yesterday (the 1st of Feb):

Evening sky. Plaza Manuel Garrido. C/ Abuyacub 1408. (37.4055140, -5.9808731). 2020

When considering representation I’m brought back to Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalents series.  In a quote from Dorothy Norman’s An American Seer he said: “What is of greatest importance is to hold a moment, to record something so completely that those who see it will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed. I think the idea of representation can be” (p161).

Alfred Stieglitz. Equivalents. 1923

This to me is really the goal, something to strive for, and what Stephen Shore is getting at with the mental level of a photograph, deeper meaning besides the authentication found in the depictive.

References:

NORMAN, DOROTHY. 1973. ALFRED STIEGLITZ : AN AMERICAN SEER. NEW YORK: APERTURE INC.

And in the second discussion we were asked to examine the authenticity of our own work.  Here I was a bit late to the party but I got in before the webinar so that felt like something.

I was also so tired that I posted my response to the second forum in the first one on Thursday before the webinar.  I didn’t quite answer the questions though so here is the post and below I’ll go over those points.

 

So here are two recent images that I’ve posted to the reference image account on instagram:

Seguritat Diret Mata, Jorge de Montemayor 36. Reference image. 17.17CET (37.4050843, -59819596). 2020

Pig People, c/ Santiago 33. Reference image. 13.23CET (37.3911253, -5.9859844). 2020

And I feel that my work authenticates what can be found as of the moment of taking the image, but it represents, some of the social commentary found throughout the city and some of the ideas that locals express.  Pig people is a bad literal translation of the Spanish guarros, and Seguritat Diret Mata, a comment in Catalá, the language of Catalonia, in the news for the past few years, written on the side of a local police station, in small letters and far from the door, in the shade of a reserved parking sign.

And the time and coordinates allow the participants to return to the sites to authenticate it for themselves, or by using their favorite mapping application.

Discussion 2: Further Questions of Authenticity

Think about:

  • Whether photographs are so unlike other sorts of pictures that they require unique methods of interpretation and standards of evaluation
  • Provide visual examples from your own photographic practice to in reference to your ideas
  • Reflect on any aspects of the ‘peculiar’ nature of the photograph that are important for your work
  • Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you consider the content of the presentations

Whether photographs are so unlike other sorts of pictures that they require unique methods of interpretation and standards of evaluation

  • Provide visual examples from your own photographic practice to in reference to your ideas
  • Reflect on any aspects of the ‘peculiar’ nature of the photograph that are important for your work
  • Comment on the posts of your peers throughout the week as you consider the content of the presentations

 

I like to think that what I am working towards is an independent system of verification for the images that I am taking. Where I seem to be going, through the use of GPS coordinates, and the times which I have added since my peer Phil Hill commented in the first discussion, is to give viewers a way to see what I have seen, creating a series of landmarks where there weren’t any previously.

I’m not too sure that my work is peculiar in any sense of the word despite the fact that it seems to focus on the ‘banal’.  I may work towards only photographing what can be independently verified using third party applications and such.

  • Think about any aspects of this week’s sessions that have influenced your own photographic practice
  • Consider the edit of your  photographic practice – how have you photographed the same scene in different ways?
  • Reflect on how the meaning might change given the different visual choices you have made
  • How do you aim for your practice to be received / interpreted in the light of this

I’m still wrapping my head around the concepts of iconic, indexical and symbol.  And I’ve been trying to process how to best work those concepts together with Stephen Shore’s three levels of an image, the physical, the depictive and the mental.

In a sense all of my images are iconic and symbolic, but not always indexical.

This next week I will be working in the office for the majority of my free time to begin processing and to do further research on the concepts of maps.

 

Suggestions for further reading from the webinar were “The Map as Art” by Katherine Horman and “Artists Who Make Maps” .

I have also found two books that I will be looking at over the coming weeks.:

Bertin, Jacques; Berg, Williams. 1983. Seminology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps. California: Esri Press

Cairo, Alberto. 2016. The Truthful Art: Data, Charts and Maps for Communication. Berkely, California. New Riders Press.