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  • Writer's pictureEllie Rankin


On Thursday the 26th march, we conducted our second virtual group tutorial on Zoom. Again, similarly to the previous week, we discussed our initial ideas, thoughts and feelings about both the current situation and work we are creating. I felt it very helpful, supportive and reassuring to have this accessibility and opportunity to speak to other peers that are in the same position, and to see how others are approaching and dealing with it as each day comes and goes.

We spoke more on the collective group aspects this week that are still relevant despite not being able to organise and curate a physical exhibition. These included discussing ideas and thoughts on using a digital platform to make our exhibition on. Alana had said that she had been playing around with 'Art steps' which was easy and straightforward program to use. We were discussing elements such as whether we wanted to attempt to recreate the physical space and environment of Antwerp Mansion itself, as we were so keen to use this space prior to the current situation, or whether we wanted a more simple and straightforward space to work with. I feel as though these finer details will start to become clearer and more evident once we all get into the swing and rhythm of creating work and seeing what our final outcomes will take form as. I am aware however, that as this has been such a drastic change of circumstance, we may need extra time to adapt and learn new skills in order to work digitally. This for me is a considerably big learning curve, as I am not a very technical creator, and rely more on physical resources to create work.


Rough notes from tutorial :


My tutor suggested for me to read this extract from 'Photography Theory' by James Elkins in order to inform and inspire my work...[notes from each pages to follow underneath]

-Photography attracts definition?

-Looking/questioning camera as object/apparatus through three components LENS, SHUTTER, LIGHT SENSITIVE MATERIAL

-Lens related to 'depiction of space', 'conventions of realism'

-Shutter is invoked, its in relation to 'time and duration'

-Light sensitive surface invoked, its in relation to 'indexicalitly'

-Between 20's and 70's shutter considered important component when considering 'what photography is'...decicive moment...cutting out a fragment of time

-Decisive moment in relation to contemporary 'staged photography' in 70's

-Cindy Sherman/Jeff Wall

-Now we prefer the 'stoicism of the lens' to the 'ecstasy of shutter'

-Questioning photography indexicality...different relevance now, as being in age of Digital

-Arts conception of photography in 70's, described by Rosalind Krauss

-Photographs status as a physical record

-Lenses remained the same throughout history of the camera.

-Shutter's have remained the same

-Its the light sensitive material that's gone through drastic change...move from paper, metal and celluloid coated with chemicals, to the electronic.

-Photography and subject does this look when photographed

-'Subject matter affects what we think photography is'

-Different elements make it seem different things

-Subject matter depicting how each photograph is 'felt'

-Indexicality..Barthes..having been there..?

-How does subject matter conceptualise photography for us

-Subject matter in relation to apparatus(camera and components) ???? Is it part of it? or simply part of the process of making the image?

-Phrase 'magic of photography' ...object that does all the work? where does the operator come into it?

-'The joy of photography is an objective delight' ...(read Joy before the light- Albert Renger Patzsch, 1928)

-Imagine then mater an art of selflessness

-'The further photography moves from known objects, the less reliable its description of the world'

-universal tool for communication .. only at the level of obvious and already understood ... cliches that bind us ...everyday photography ? relating to my work?

-'Global language of photography?' ...images of hamburgers, carbonated drinks, cars, celebrities (people-objects), and SUNSETS

-The ugly seems more real than the beautiful: the flawed seems more real than the perfect ('cleaning' an image on photoshop makes it look less real)

-How can an object be indexed when a lens comes between it and a light sensitive surface?

-indication of the presence of a vantage point'

-Photography and subject matter define each other in both directions, and our conceptions of photography emerge from this. .

-Both techniancal and cultural reading of the medium

-'Is what is is' & 'Is what we do with it'

-Photography telling us about the world, or the world telling us about photography

(going round in circles)

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