Tutorials with David Moore

TUTORIAL ONE

After giving a talk to the group, David Moore stayed in the university to give several group tutorials through the rest of the day, I signed down for a later one so I could prepare and continue my blogging process for the symposium module. When in the tutorial I explained my concept to him with the help of the description from my proposal and he gave me some feedback and areas to research.

  • Partway through your photographic process start thinking about format, body, installation, material
  • Look at the essay ‘War Porn’ which looks at the effects on the body of looking at terrible images, think about the access to these images
  • Paul Virillio ‘Open Skies’ – French philosopher who talked about that the body is the last urban frontier, being ‘telepresent’
  • Hito Steyerl – The Wretched Screen (about new technology)
  • Consider performative aspects?
  • Look at Moore’s own film ‘Monitor’ examines work culture, post industrial work, static nature to work flow
  • Also consider David Chandler in relation to post industrial work
  • Get rid of the ‘audience’ aspect in your own work, don’t produce work for the audience, make it an exploration

 

Reflection:

I was particularly interested in the ‘War Porn’ and the possible biological and psychological effects of anonymity and pseudonym activity on the user and whether a possible adrenaline rush or a deep need being fulfilled is the motivation behind this activity.

However considering a performative response is also interesting, as this is a concept Anthony also addressed, our online representation is a highly performative act so this would definitely be an avenue to consider.

In addition, Moore recommending I forgot about creating a piece for the audience and concentrate on exploring a concept was really helpful. When writing the proposal there is a focus on the topic and also the audience it is intended for, the project is ultimately about examining a specific topic photographically.

I’m continuing to be extremely positive about my project however I’m really not sure on what form the project will take, at the moment I am more focused on the reading and researching around the topic.

 

TUTORIAL TWO

After weeks into the module David Moore revisited the class to provide additional tutorials, at this point I had shot my street photography photographs and put the ‘ASL’ text over the top of them. It was these images that I brought to the tutorial to get feedback on from David Moore. We discussed where my ideas had progressed and I introduced him to the idea of ASL and the strange dynamics of an online encounter. I explained that my intention behind the images was to take the representation of a physical encounter and introduce the digital element in order to reflect the distortion of communication in an online space. Moore looked at my images and was concerned about combining the physical encounter with the digital, he explained that by putting the two together in an image I wasn’t contrasting them as I had hoped but rather merging the boundaries between them. The images weren’t exactly doing what I intended them to so he suggested I continue experimenting and ‘making’.

David Moore left me with some more research avenues to pursue to try and find a way of realising my concept:

  • Delueze & Guattari
  • Desiring Machines (essay)
  • Giorgio Aggmben – Homosacer
  • Hito Steyerl

David also left me with some ideas to think about and research which would compliment my project:

  • Think about determinism
  • The notion of an individual in society
  • Freedom is advertised but essentially we are still using brands
  • Neoliberalist capitalist society
  • Concept of escapism
  • We are profiled, constructed
  • Identity is becoming constructed

 

Reflection:

Moore’s use of the word ‘making’ I interpreted to mean I should try to use the images in a different way. Perhaps seeking to change an original image into a different form would better reflect my concept. I was reminded of the State of Photography Symposium which I attended where Broomberg and Chanarin spoke about their project War Primer and the book New Fotoscapes which discussed Mishka Henner and his alternative approach to art and image-making. Both examples involved a process of image-making using appropriated or found photography, a practice which I believe could take my project in a new direction. It also links back to my Phonar work where I attempted to reverse-engineer a portrait using the ‘metadata’ of the individual, their personal data which is scattered across the Internet, free for anyone to harvest. Using found photography definitely appears to be an appropriate decision for my project as it builds on the concepts I have been previously exploring in my practice.

In the discussion with David Moore, he really asked me to consider whether I was more interested in the communication itself, or the presentation of the individual and their identity. I came to the conclusion that identity was a really interesting concept which is explored through the process of communication. Moore suggested that the idea of identity through communication was perhaps a better concept to explore rather than the act of communication itself. Identity is easier to represent visually than communication, because interaction can’t actually be seen unless I actually just put the words that people typed to each other down and used them. Communication is a connection an inward process, identity is also a concept formed on the inside, however it is represented externally in the decisions we make about how we are perceived by others.

I came away from this tutorial filled with lots of ideas which would push my project further and make my work more effective. David Moore gave me several new research avenues and different ideas to think about including using the idea of identity presented through communication rather than the act of communication itself. In reflection I have been able to make some good links back to my previous piece of work for Phonar which I can draw on in order to make my practice informed and continuous. I definitely would appear I have found the area in which I want to specialise in and I should definitely consider pursuing this idea further if I do start my Masters course.

 

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