As with the other visiting practitioners, David Rule stayed in the university to give a series of group tutorials, I signed up for the first one and the rest of the class had discussions around the production of our degree show. Having conducted a few experiments with the anonymous online culture, researching various practices and in the middle of reading various books I was in a better position to talk to David about my project despite not having any photographic content to show. He agreed with many of the ideas from the previous tutors and gave some research avenues of his own:
- John Rafman ‘Second Life’ – investigating the dynamics of a stable online communities, which offers an environment where 3D Avatars move and communicate
- Moira Davey – makes films and is a writer, her mediated experience on topics, research her technique and how she approaches everything
- There is the idea of an encounter – instant, limited and never to repeat
- Idea of communities – transient yet intimate
- The motivation behind the need for conversation
- Considering an interview type approach – could replicate the 5000 feet is the best and withhold the questions from the viewer, only show the reactions (to the inappropriate questions)
- The area is very wide at the moment, decide where to focus down on whether it is the encounter, motivation, community, anonymity and textual communication
This was an extremely helpful tutorial as it helped me consider and identify how broad my subject area had become through my research, however as David said this is a natural part of the process all I needed to do was to focus down and decide which part I wanted to focus on specifically.
I was particularly taken by David’s use of text in his work and how text can challenge, provide context, compliment or even have the potential to replace the image. I was drawn to this idea of text and the process of typing in relating to the concept’s I’m typing, I had ideas around the transcripts from the online conversations I had been having such as is the content/style an indicator of culture, identity and environment (a personality can be fabricated in text as well as in an image, the experience of representation is mediated in online culture, especially typing) – is there a believability in text that the image has lost now?
With all these ideas in mind I am setting myself the task of pushing forward to try and create some content, even if it is just a case of ruling out options that won’t be as effective.