Currently working on the first project for PHOT3210: Photography Beyond the Frame.

The first assignment is worth 15% of my overall final mark in the six credit class so I really want to explore the project and create a piece of work I am proud of!

Course Description: “This Course examines the contemporary applications and theories of an interdisciplinary practice in photography. The use of photography in installation art, image/text construction and site-specific contexts will form a significant part  of the course.”

Assignment #1:

“The project for Thursday September 24.
Using the last chapter of Susan Sontag¹s book ³On Photography² that I
distributed in class chose five quotations from the list and make at least
five photographs that respond to the texts that you have chosen.

The work that you bring to class should consider the formal and creative
potential of creating photo-based art that explores the relationship that
the photograph has to documents, texts and statements. The form that your
work takes is entirely up to you. Be attentive to how the form and content
of the work relates as well the crafting of the work.

Last week we looked at examples from the history of photography and
contemporary art where photographs, used as a documents, were utilized to
illustrate scientific assumptions (psychiatry and physiology), organize an
archive (the mug-shot), reveal what is invisible to the human eye (Muybridge
and Marey), redefine what we call art through gallery intervention and
documentation (the Stieglitz photograph of Marcel Duchamp¹s ³Fountain²
1917), authenticate conceptual and performance art (Vito Acconci and Douglas
Huebler¹s work), creation of multiples in the form of printed matter (the
photo-book projects by Ed Ruscha), construct narratives (Sophie Calle¹s
surveillance piece) and expand the visual and conceptual relationship that
photography has to art, sculpture and the archive (the typologies of
industrial architecture by Hilla and Bernd Becher).

The work of Hamish Fulton is significant to these traditions of photography
and text. His career is an important link between lived experience,
photography, conceptual art and, more recently, the emergence of what has
been defined as relational aesthetics in contemporary art making.”

– Bob

There were a lot of supurb sayings from the greatest photographers in history, which made the choice that much harder. These are my top five so far….

1.] “Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people’s ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will have eventually to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzsche meant when he said,”I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him.” He knew how insidious other people’s ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own vision.” – Paul Strand

2.] “Photography is a system of visual editing. At bottom, it is a matter of surrounding with a frame a portion of one’s cone of vision, while standing in the right place at the right time. Like chess, or writing, it is a matter of choosing from among given possibilities, but in the case of photography the number of possibilities is not finite but infinite.” – John Szarkowski

3.] “I attempt, through much of my work, to animate all things – even so called “inanimate” objects – with the spirit of man. I have come, by degrees, to realize that this extremely animistic projection rises, ultimately, from my profound fear and disquiet over the accelerating mechanization of man’s life, and the resulting attempts to stamp out individuality in all the spheres of man’s activity – this whole process being one of the dominant expressions of our military-industrial society… The creative photographer sets free the human contents of objects; and imparts humanity to the inhuman world around him.” – Clarence John Laughlin

4.] “An object that tells of the loss, destruction, disappearance of objects. Does not speak of itself. Tells of others. Will it include them?” – Jasper Johns

5.] “Most of my photographs are compassionate, gentle, and personal. They tend to let the viewer see himself. They tend not to preach. And they tend not to pose as art.”  – Bruce Davidson

So far I am considering the qualifications of a ‘document’ and how I can bring all five quotes together into one photograph or a series of almost identical images. What I am currently experimenting with is a documentation of sleep.

A few murmurings from my brain……

The traces of sleep. What is left behind by the process of reviving ones mind, body and soul. The connection between the unconcious uncontrolled wandering of the mind during sleep. Dreams, and dream catchers. Capturing the passage a daily and lengthy portion of time that is confined to a solitary 6′ x 4′ space. What remains in this space is always unique, like a fingerprint. A process that is re-created every day. Leaves an imprint of the person, shows movement , animates lifeless objects [sheets]. All that remains from those past hours. The disconect you experience during the time of sleep, you feel what you dream, you believe that what you experience in your unconcious is real. The repetition of taking a bed apart to put yourself ‘back together again’. Proof that I was there but am no longer.

How I am attempting to create these thoughts visually is by taking a single photograph as soon as I get out of bed of the wrinkles and positioning of my sheets, pillows and comforters as a direct reflection from the avg. seven to eight hours that have elapsed. I have also been keeping a written document of the dates and times these ‘sleeps’ have occured. 

I am considering different titles for the work as well as a way to incorporate text elements into the final presentation. I am also considering ways to present the work as a whole. The final piece should total around 14 images.




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