I’ve now been through part 1 of the course and had some time to digest and reflect on it. I’m having a first call with my tutor (Jayne) next week, so this post will inform that as well as allow me to take stock of things.
Assignment 1 – I’ve done this in the recommended spirit of going out and making some work without over thinking it. However, given the absence of portrait work (through an absence of people in the area I photographed), I’m not sure that I will get the most of feedback by submitting it as-is. I’m inclined to do another shoot in a more populous area and to then include portraits in the submission to benefit from Jayne’s take on these.
Genre – while not becoming too invested in the notion of genres as reliable indicators of where work might belong, I appreciate that it could be a useful starting point for a discussion of work. The difficulty is I’m drawn to the genre of psychogeography, which I suspect is generally useless as a label to the majority of people. Also, my work is broader than ‘geography’ as it touches identity in the context of place. Though increasingly, landscape practices involve the inclusion of people, so I suppose psychogeography needn’t exclude them – the meeting of other wanderers during a wander? I need to give more thought to a useful label for my work.
Connected to the idea of psychogeography is the idea of mindful photography – being completely in the moment and not being occupied by analysis and conceptual thinking while making work. An analogy for me is improvisation on a musical instrument – all the theory and conceptual work has been done, and it should get out of the way when playing, trusting the subconscious. John Blakemore said that what is happening in a photographers mind is more important than technique (once the basics are mastered). I wonder if this is theme worth pursuing within contextual studies. We’ve had the inner game of tennis and the inner game of music, but I’m not yet sure if the inner game of photography has been considered.