26 Jan 2019

renga time

I'm thinking of making a zine with the photographs from my New Europe collection. Why zine? Wouldn't it be an opportunity to add to my fabulous publishing empire? Well I'm seeing this as a punctuation point not an end. This is still very much a work in progress, as is the immigration debate itself of course.
I have to credit my friend Fabrizio from my local LIP group for the inspiration as he has used the zine format to really complement his wonderful work. 
One characteristic of a zine I like is that you can do away with the reverence of the high end reproduction values of a book. For me it's a more accessible way of presenting images and their sequencing in a visceral way that can really engage you. It reminds me of my conscious rejecting of what I called the white gloves school of photography back in the day. For me the word zine recalls the work of Jamie Reid. In no way could I call myself a punk but the DIY ethos of creating art - whether music, design, film or photography - of picking up whoever or whatever is around you and expressing yourself is really vital to the individual and society.
Zine planning
This is also another opportunity to do something different to how I've worked before by collaborating on the selection and flow of my pictures. Typical of my practice it's always been a solitary process. I had a foray into collaborative working thanks to the Ambiguous Book Project which was quite magical so the seeds are there. This time I'm keen to use the process to interrogate my own work.It's taken me time to feel comfortable doing that myself so I'm excited...and a little nervous.
Fabrizio and I have shared our separate experiences of taking photographs in Tokyo and so listening to the radio this week I was caught by the Japanese phrase Renga.  It's a genre of collaborative poetry but for me it captured perfectly what I'm trying to do...and I never miss an opportunity to see serendipity.
Kore wo yarimashou!

8 Jan 2019

selfies and sunsets

I'm fascinated by the role cameras play in reflecting our social relationships at any time. The boom in image making is well documented and I was interested in a recent stat from Google that 10 - 15% of them are of receipts, shopping lists i.e. "practical things" and not just selfies and sunsets. The article describes how this insight drives the thinking behind Google Lens 
...it will help you search what you see, browse the world around you, and get things done. 
It's an arresting statement and got me thinking about how it could be applied to my own practice of browsing the world around me. I went so far as to download the app to see if its powers of identifying the breeds of pets and species of plants could be used on the street to reveal anything. Sinister? Well yes but not so far fetched
London 2019
I'd like to think my motivations are more altruistic. Hey I'm an artist right? I've written about my consciousness of the shadow of history while I'm walking the streets of London. Rather than reveal an individual's personal data - although that's already a risk of using digital - I'd love to make some kind of visual connection between people across time sharing the same space. I know it's all possible in post production but real time is a phrase I'm intrigued by.
The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.   David Bowie