When I met Dr.Steph Cosgrove at the beginning of the MA, her advice was READ,READ, READ. Dr. Wendy advice is RE-READ. It has been amazing to reference old material from the past. It seems to help with information popping up almost magically as needed when rereading!
The work of Frutiger I found particularly helpful, Although it came up while writing the CRoP, I found parallels in my thinking to his actual work. This may stem from the fact that he was a theoretician, as well as a practical designer of typeface. He worked from the mechanical era all the way through the digital age and what I like about his work is that the theory and the practical become one The blending of the mental abstract(idea) to the physical object(type block) something I have been trying to attempt with my own photography, and just recently succeeded at.
In Signs and Symbols, Adrian Frutiger positions himself ‘closer’ by (show and tell) He writes. ‘We live in an age when there are many ways of converting what is a thought into visible form’ he goes on to tell and show how it’s done: ‘by placing one-colored ink on white paper.’
(Frutiger, 1928, p. 21.)
Frutigertakes abstract forms (blue ink) and creates a new visible form by through idea of changing their proximity. Clearly his idea produced a created image with an adumbration of the idea remaining, albeit highly abstract. The problem I encounter here, is that the imagebeing almost pure abstraction provokes no feelings even if the idea it self, can be regarded as beautiful. As I look at this work, I realize that some pictorial or representational elements in the image needs remain, or be additionally applied, if one is to actually ‘feel’.Ideas transformed into feeling and beauty are elements that are vital to my reach.
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Adrian Frutiger. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Frutiger [Accessed 1 Dec. 2019].
With my pop up exhibition behind me. I have to think about the next one. I am very happy to haven had an abstract exhibition, and finally cross that fence that has been a barrier in my work for decades. I feel that my exhibition has opened new roads, to new projects, it has freed me up in a way and set me on a new course: The open road. A new journey begins.
I am a great advocate of Kurt Gödel * who proved mathematically that 2+2≠4, it has a tendency towards 4, and therefore not absolute. Between the tendency and the absolute, infinite variations exist (right that the very approach of 4)
This information can be applied to almost everything in life where one expects an absolute. I thought that abstraction is the absolute, but as a result of the MA and my FMP, I have finally come to the realization that abstraction is not and absolute but a tendency. I have therefore changed my final image title from “The Dream” (absolute) to “Approaching the Dream” (a tendancy) in honor of Gödel.
My dream to exploiting abstraction as a means to communicate ideas and beauty at will, was aided by work of the mathematician Kurt Gödel.Gödel, in with his Incompleteness Theorem (Plato.stanford.edu, 2019) showed that the absolute and closure is not possible; there are only tendencies. Therefore, if I presented my theory on the actual cause of (Fig.11) Encountering the Muse as an absolute or closed system, I could not prove it. However, there is enough information and reference to speculate its tendency to be ‘possible.’ The truth that perception and vision are largely dependent upon past experiences, has been recognized for centuries.” (Huxley, p.104)
As a result of Gödel (and other information) my living for closure [in life and art] began to cessate, and hereby decided to explore incompletenessand tendency in my own work. My “artists equation” on ideas as an approach or tendency towards beauty in abstraction hypothesizes:[i+ i + c+(p+t)(e)±o] + m + x + ∆+ i ±ßƒ≃athat an idea can be asymptotically equal to abstraction(≃) bythe addition or subtraction of representational/objective information (±o) to an existing image ( i ) at will.Theconstructed abstraction (a) can be edged towards or away from feeling (ƒ) and beauty (ß) by this means.If hypothetically, an idea ( i ) occursto remove the shadow and line(-o) on the sand dune, this change (∆) to what already exists as an accidental simulacrum of the muses breast and arm,the womanhood and beauty of that image would disappear completely. (ß=0) and instead of being the muse, or the form of a woman, the image would approach another ordinary meaningless abstract image without feeling (ƒ=0) and without beauty (ß=0).
Looking at the possibility of working on a documentary on the homeless of Los Angeles after the MA. I will be revisiting the work of Richard Avadon. I really like the way he photographed the people’s portraits. The homeless situation has been documented to death, but I feel there is always a new angle to approach the situation. I will be approaching Sarah Levy to see what the opportunities are to do a photo series. I would love to do the series in black and white either on 6×6 with my Hasselblad. The square format is very representative of the box, and once again, these homeless individuals are in a box that they need to get out of or be rescued from.
This week I looked at the work of Keith Carter * American photographer. Keith has had many solo shows in many countries around the world. I find his images very attractive, as he ‘manipulates’ the images in the camera. He is known for ‘playing’ with the focus plane, causing some part of the image to be out of focus, which has the quality of drawing attention to that part of the image.
I find that most photographers have a central point to which the eye goes. My work on the other hand is created by in camera double exposures, multiple printing onto paper, and the use of some photoshop. This technique is not new and historically has been used by photographers since the beginning on the mediums invention. I attempt to do most of the work in camera or in the darkroom, but do not discard the advantages of the digital era. Keith said something I found very interesting: “In the history of photography, one process has always replaced another process, and the irony of it is, hardly any of them has dissapeared. There is more interest today, in antequarian processes, than ever before.”
I think that the ubiquitousness of the digital revolution has made the medium more challenging, but feel, this is the best time for art in the medium to emerge, especially with the analogue format which can be used by artists who have a good technical knowledge of the medium. Keith Carter is one of those artists who uses the medium as an art form, and I find his work very inspiring through his use and dis-use of focus. Carter’s technique, causes one to hold the gaze. This is a very important characteristic of image making – to hold the viewers attention –
I visit many galleries and museums, and have looked at consumers looking at paintings and photographs. In general people spend a lot more time gazing at paintings than photographs, and there are many reasons for this, one being that paintings are one of a kind. With Carters work, I spend time expoloring the image and I extend this characteristic to my own work likewise, se uses simplicity, I use complexity in the image making process. Essentially his work is constructed, not just a Henri Cartier Bresson ‘decisive moment’ Carter spends time with his images, as a painter would with a canvass. I really like this about his work, and in turn, extand it to my own.
*Keith Carter: Amazon.com. (2019). Watch The Art of Photography Artist Series | Prime Video. [online] Available at: https://www.amazon.com/The-Artist-Series-Trailer/dp/B01FTEEOK8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 [Accessed 28 Oct. 2019].
**Howard Greenberg Gallery: Howardgreenberg.com. (2009). Keith Carter – Artists – Howard Greenberg Gallery. [online] Available at: http://www.howardgreenberg.com/artists/keith-carter?view=slider#2 [Accessed 30 Oct. 2019].
I have done a series of images and finally roughed them down to 16. I was hoping to come in at 10, but think the minumum requirement is 12. It is quite a challenge getting them into an order, but as my series follows a mythical journey and I applied my script writing skills to the order, in terms of story, plot, characterizarion, key events, intiating incident, turningpoints, climax and denouemont.
I finished up the series in Adobe Lightroom and fine tuned the B+W images. They will be my reference refernce of what I would like them to look like when I print them in the dark room.
During the MA it was stressed to make cheap prints of the images, hang them on a wall or board, study them, then arrange in order and work order till happy with the series order.
As I built and constructed each image, I thought my order was selected. My beginning, middle and ending is firmly in place. I made a new collection for 705 (16 images) and arranged them in order on Lightroom’s Filmstrip (E) below. E for Filmstrip, go Eigure. I was content with the order and was tempted, albeit briefly, to skip the printing/sticking on wall method.
However, I decided I would follow the suggestion of the professors and print out the images and stick them on the wall/board and arrange accordingly. I made some B+W prints on plain paper and hung them in the order I had them in my Light Room film strip (E) in the collection I had made. I really thought the paper on wall a waste of time while P R I N T I N G. I am capapble of thinking abstractly, why did I have to go through all this???.
However, I made myself a promise at the very beginning of the MA; If I found myself resisting anything during the course, I would muster up and embrace it with all my ability. This has paid off handsomely in the past, so I applied that experience and promise to my present resistance not print out the images physically, and to just go with the film strip edited in Light Room.
I printed the 16 images, and began to write down the titles of the images, thinking about the captions as I write. I am past (at least for now) of not giving the images titles and or captions, I want my viewers to be informed, however, they will be informed by myth and poetry, and hopefully bring this together with their own knowledge and experience, they will not be force fed. Hopefully will have some background in Greek Mythology and Biblical knowledge.
I stuck them to the wall and mediated on the series briefly and within a few minutes, I thought one image would be better upside down, so I inverted it. Then I thought the encounter of the poet with the challenges should be re-written so I changed that, then I changed the beginning of the series, then made some changes in the middle.
I made three re-arragements, caption modifications and one image flip. These ideas would not have manifested themselves had I not printed them out and stuck them on the wall. I am very glad I went against my intellect and went with my promise and past experience.
Fukase Mashisa (The Solitude of Ravens) had his work edited by: It was after seeing this series at FOAM in Amsterdam, that the realization of editing came to full power.
I decided to re-read my Provoke Series 1, 2, and 3. The collection of Japanese photographers form the 1960’s Fukase’s influence on my work has been monumental. I use grain, contrast, soft focus now with joy. I have always loved it, but seeing the work of Fukase and Moriyama over the MA just re-inforced my passion for it, and now I incorporate it in my practice.
I re-watched Solitude of Ravens on youtube. The book is thumbed through showing all the images of the book. I do not have it in my collection, but will purchase a copy of it at some point. The editing in this book is monumental, it was Solitude of Ravens that made me realize how powerful image editing can be.
In addition to the editing of my images, are the captions. The series is my mythical journey in search of the Divine Lodestone. It took me a long time to come to terms with what I am looking for in my life as a person and an artist.
The Divine Lodestone is the compass that points the way. Word choices are difficult. In PROVOKE issue 2, They chose the word EROS as the theme of the book, and the editor mentions that they had a difficult time and struggled with the vast expanse and semantics of the word. I can relate, a word can mean so many things, and at the same time it can mean nothing (if not fully understood) Words are difficult to concretize, and like images they remain abstracts, no matter how well understood or explained. I am going to capitalize off this in my own work, in other words I will give a title and a caption, and hopefully the reader (word and image) can understand it, at least to some degree. This is all I can hope for at this stage of the game.
Listening to the Audio bytes of Joshua Cooper, forwarded to me by Dr. Wendy, about the journey of photographer Josuha Cooper. I find the work interesting from the point of someone doing a physical journey around the globe and making images of it.
What intersted me most was how long it took to do this project. Thirty two years from idea to manifestation. I will go next week to LACMA to see the exhibition. He also most died numerous times. Sometimes I wonder to what degree of hyperbole is used here. I think everyone like to ‘dramatize’ the events to make them more interesting. I have learned from my studies with the MA question everything. With an artpiece, where is the provenance? With experience, where is the proof? (sinking into a sinkhole audio commentary 4) (Machine gun bullets at his feet; audio commentary 12)
It is nice being able to listen to the podcast and read the audio commentary below. This direct account is very informative and gives one the ability to scan material quickly without having to re-listen to the podcasts if I want to reference something.
Also discovered that LACMA has ‘LACMA In Your Neighborhood‘ community arts programs, that my be interesting to get involved with. So this was a nice byproduct of watching this podcast.
This week I watched a film on the Cubism of Picasso and Braque. I find Picasso to be an artist whose mind I like more than his art. I enjoy cubism, but never felt that his art was classified correctly, as there are little to no ‘cubes’ in his work.
I was doing bit of research on papier colle, which is a type of collage that both Braque and Picasso produced. What interested me is the use of stenciled words on the pantings. I have decided to have information out of my images for my FMP, unless of course I can find an artist who does it well enough for me to consider writing on or in my images.
The name of the documentary is: Willian S. Rubin on Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism. It comes free with my Amazon Prime membership. I like painting myself, and always find the ideas of painters useful to me as a photographer, because they are dealing with one image at a time, as opposed to photographers who have to produce a series of works, and thus tend to give very accurate and appropriate descriptions or titles to their works.
William S Rubin is the narrator. He states that Cubism is a misnomer. He comes from a more informed position than I do, and says the reason is: “it gives the impression that the style is, first of all, more geometric than it really is, and there are in fact no cubes in cubism.” Cubism also suggests volume and dimentinality, which is what both Braque and Picasso were attempting to remove from painting.
I some respects, the images I am constructing for my FMP, are also having their perspective removed by my double exposing in camera images and or compositing them in photoshop. Using this technique, I find that the images are also being brought to the foreground, with very little, to no depth perspective in the images
I love flat space, and try as much as I can to avoid depth cues and perspective as much as possible for my FMP. With the little time that I have left to photograph, I may consider using parts of words, titles or numbers embedded in the image much like Braque and Picasso both did [they used parts of words and parts of names in their papier colle’s] I find this very attractive.
This week I attended the following galleries: The TAG gallery on Wilshire and the Steve Turner Gallery on Santa Monica Blvd.
Both Galleries were interesting in thier own respects. The TAG gallery is run by an artists co-op. There is a group or artists, who pool in and pay for the space that way. Here their work is exhibited and sold, and the prices are very affordable stating at around $400 and up. It was a big change compared to the rest of the galleries where art works start at the $10,000 mark, so the beginner collector/investor would not be able to afford a lot of work at those prices but at $500 to start, it is very affordable. One can become a memeber of the co-op from what I understand, but have to be voted in by the group. Never the less it is possible to get ones own work shown and exhibited in a very nice area along Wilshire Blvd.
The Gallery exhibits paintings as well as photography, They had an exhibit of Tom Wheeler who has a studio at the gallery. Attending all these galleries has given me good ideas how to possibly exhibit my own work.
I received an email from the Von Lintel gallery to attend an opening of Mark Sheinkman. It was nice to see how the work was presented. The artist, patrons of the arts, dealers, buyers and art lovers attended. As I have to have an opening for my own work, I will attend as many openings as I can, to get acclimated to the scene.
Located in the Bendix Building in the Fashion District of Los Angeles, I was glad to have visited the Bendix with my UCLA contemporary art class, and also went to Von Lintel’s so felt good that I knew a little bit about the gallery.
What I like about Marks work is that there is a co-hesiveness to his work, all the paintings can immediately be identified as being by the same artist. He works with very limited materials. This seems to be what happens to most artists in the end, they get to the bones of the work. No fat, no muscle, no frills. Say what can be said as frugally as possible. In my own practice, pairing down has become of my soul focus, hence the abstracting of my photography, which is in fact what abstraction is. It is a refinemnt of the communication, which happens after decades of tuning.
After leaving Von Lintels, I wondered about the darkened streets with my camera (my old trusty Canon 7D) it was nice to wander alone at night photographing. No people, no noise, just me an my thoughts. Some ideas came to mind for my next series, post MA.
Attended the PAC-LA tour of the Getty Research Institute yesterday. An exhibit of articles from the Bauhaus. Since I am printing my own images and working with materials to frame my images, I enjoy anything to do with Bauhaus. I took my camera with me, and made quite a few new images for my FMP portfolio. I will be taking these images and constructing more works in the coming weeks.
I found these types of exercises that were performed by students of the day very interesting. With these simple forms it can be seen that placement in infinite.
One of my fellow classmates in the UCLA Contemporary Art Class, gave me a card of a painter/phtographer who sells his images at Venice Beach. I had mentioned that I was consideraring having my exhibition on the broad walk and she gave me his information. I gave him a call. He sells watercolurs and photo art on the weekends. He mentioned just to go down there and set up, but be prepared for some annoyances from the vagrants that frequent the beach boardwalk. I will go down to Venice when I do my printing refresher this coming weekend at SMC.
This week I will be researching photography as conceptual art. My practice is finally over the representational ‘fence’ The final question is if my FMP will be abstract/representional or completely abstract, without any recognizable imagery of fences and its denotations. ie. completely abstracted. My tendency is to go completely abstract. This was my goal at the beginning of the MA and I am at the point now in my practice where I can do it (and want to do it). I am very happy about having to make new work each module. This has been difficult and challenging because I fell in love with some of my images, but the danger there was that when one id ‘in love’ once cannot let go, and when one cannot let go, there is no chance of a better (or worse) encounter. I am pushing that concept very hard in this module, in fact I am entertaining the thought of scrapping or burning all the images made the first half of this module some of which I absolutely love.
Like these two images above: I made them mural size but they have recogniseable forms in them, the black bird, the locks, the barbwire. I may use reuse the images of the backgrounds and rework them more abstractly.
Now that I am writing some verse to go along with my images, it is making it easier because the words with the images will give some insight into the work. The title of my show will be: Fences; Divisions and Integrations. I have decided to shorten my definition and keep it in the realm of the abstract and what it connotes. Fences are apparitions and thoughts that divide and unify. Because what started out as a barrier at the begining of the MA, actually led me to be able to ovecome it.
So when I think of those imagined barriers: fear, insecurity about my work, depression, failure and other connotations of a mental fence, I now had to be able to transorm and transmute those thoughts into images. I had to return with a manifestation of the abstraction what ever it was to be able to take a hold of it.
So when I could not sleep at night, I have to show it, when I felt I was going no-where with my art, I have to show it. Paul Klee writes: ‘Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.’ This is true in painting as well as photography. both mediums can allow the artist to make visible what ever they want, provided they have the skills, discipline and the courage to do it. Of the three courage is the most difficult to muster up for me, because I have the tendancy to judge my own work and ideas before the work is even competed. And thus it dies, never even being born. The masters has been very influential to get me over that fence, I have been wrestling with my project ‘Fences’ from day one, before it even had a name. Once it got a name, I thought it would be tamed. (to name is to tame) but I was wrong. The representational would just not go to bed.
My research has been on the work of: Ralph Eugene Meatyard, who lived from 1928 to 1972. He was an optician by profession with an interest in photography.
Meatyards approach was to take the background of the image and give it precedence over the foreground. Most photographers make something in the foreground promenant and allow to the background to fall off, be out of focus, or use other photographic techniques to make the foreground image satnd out and the background image fall off, or away. That is make it of secondry importance. This is what I found attractive about his work, 99% of all other phtographers focus on the foreground, Meatyard focussed on the background.
Maybe it’s a result of his profession (optometry) that deals with focus of the eye that lead him to see this way? It is interesting to me that there may well be a connection between his optical practice and his photography that lead him to make or consider such a form of image making.
I have considered playing with the focus of the printed image, during projection on the paper, this is quite easily done by titling the lens board or the easel, but this would just be another technique. Meatyards approach seem a lot depeer to me than just mere ‘tricks’
Im my work the foreground and the backgound are one, they are bridged. Because actually there in no foreground and background, they are both one and the same, because one cannot exist without the other. There are techniques whereby one can accentuate one of the other, tricking the eye or the brain to focus on one ‘or’ the other, but in my work, because there is no front and back, foreground or background, by images need to be explored as a whole.
As a result of attending the Von Lintel gallery and seeing the work of Klea McKenna.
I am happier, not worrying about fibre base paper and its vagaries. When I saw the work of Klea hanging in the gallery, the warp and paper distortions took an a new kind of beauty for me that I have not been able to enjoy until that moment.
As the work hung on the wall, encased in its floating frame, the work took on a feeling of mystery and beauty that I had not seen in other photographs. (Klea does not actually photograph, she works with Ray-O-Graphs/Photograms a camera less method of making images. In her work she incorporates texture into the image, and by using a very thin single weight paper, which is very prone to curling, bending. Through forming she is able to record texture. Klea uses those “weaknesses” as strengths. It to give her images the texture it requires.
My interest is not physical textures, or photograms. I’m instersted in the obscure and unusal images, seen every day but go unnoticed. I do like using the camera and enlarger coupled with digital and making analogue prints. The paper vagaries of fibre have now been put to rest, thanks to Tarrah Von Lintel and seeing Klea’s work.
Dr. Wendy mentioned that I should start writing. I presume this is to stimulate the thought process and to manifest the ideas, words are tools of thought. Researching I come across the artist/photographer T. Pasha Turley, and in her work: Infrared with Verse.
She uses verse to help describe her images. She has a way with words that really stimulates me. I generally don’t like titles and captions that are too denotive. I prefer themes and connotations. I find the work of T. Pasha very stimualting in this arena. Her verse is ethereal and abstract and connotive, which I really enjoy and will apply to my own work.
So I printed a few images in the darkroom, This one below: Fig 1, was made on Ilford Multigrade Fiberbase Glossy Warmtone and I wrote my thoughts down at the bottom of the image as a stream of conciseness (automatic writing) I went to bed loving it, but woke up the next morning with a change of heart. It’s not the prose or the automatic writing, it’s the way I did it. I wrote directly on the paper with the image on it, (maybe the writing is too big) then it becomes too overpowering.
The words take away from the image, so I have decided to write a bit of prose, type it up, and have it alongside the image. Separate, thus giving them their own space. Words are images, albeit black squiggly lines on white paper, they are still images, and I just have to be careful the the writing does not over power the photographic image, which in my case I feel it did. I will do some more tests with seperatly typed cations/prose and see how it works.
I have to be careful though, Martha Rossler: ‘ The Bowery In Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems.”
did typed words next to the photographs. I’ve still some thinking to do about this. Im’ more prone at this point to give a little write up about the series at the head of the exhibition then let the audience fly with their thoughts, experiences, and perceptions.
This week I am looking at photographers work, who are also poets. Poets who’s writings stimulate/inspire me to write. I have my image methodology down for my FMP; now I have to write poetry for the images. I want the audience to understand what I am attemting to communicate with out being denotative, I would like the images to be though provoking and stimulate the consumer in a way that they can relate their own lives, thus may be a little easier.
The book of Stephen Gill arrived: ‘Best Before End.’ He publishes his own books, and this one is very beautifully constructed. It is about 10″ x 14″ so almost the size of one standard of phtographic paper [11×14] The book has a canvas cover with numbers, letters and words written and printed on it. The title ‘Best Before End is displayed on the back cover, not the front. I found this refreshing.
The words and numbers give the impression of his possible calculations and writings that may have surfaced during the photography and printing of the book. The predominat color of the cover is black, with use of white blue and red in retrained amounts, and the texture of the canvas has a nice feeling in the hands, it feels like one is holding a painting. I will definitely consider covering mine in canvas, jute, cotton or some other natural fibre. I like painting on jute and canvas, partly because it has a very nice feeling in the hands, and I am tactile by nature.
The book opens up to the title page, then to a big 10 x 12 inch image titled: ‘React’ It looks like some sort of chemigram, mostly tints of blue, with a shade of blue in the top left hand corner. The shapes and forms created by the process are mainly circles and spheres of various sizes ranging from pure white to dark shades of blue, with very tiny species of magenta formed in the center. The eyes follow broad line in the center to a broad line below it, this stimulates the eye to search and find other formas and shapes throughout the image.
I am very partial to blue, it is one of my favorite colors, so when I see it used in paintings and photography, I have the tendency to linger on the image. The image has a very calming effect. This could be as it alludes to the feeling of soap bubbles or bubbles in sparkling water, and it stimulated audio in my head that has a fizzy sound, which for me is very refreshing.
The title: ‘React’ I presume is the result of Gill’s processing the film in energy drinks. These kinds of processes are not new. Film and paper can be processed in many liquids that can produce an image, ranging all the way from coffee to rose petals, so processing in energy drinks does not offer me any surprises.
Overall, I like the image, I respect and admire that he does a lot of interesting work, and that he publishes his own books. A very interesting and creative photographer. I enjoyed reading how he came to the point of using energy drinks to process the work. His poetry is definitely visual, and the words are well written by Will Self.
I like the fact that the words are distilled to two pages, and upfront. Then followed by two images side by side. (not a double page spread) they are two separate images. One titled: Blue Bolt, the other Pink Bolt. One gets to the essence of the information rapidly. (ideal for SASTP like myself)* I read, it gives me insight to the work, then I get on with looking at the images. This is why I prefer this format, as opposed to discourse on every page. I will most definitely consider this format for making my book.
The rest of the images are printed side by side, or single image on a page, the other left blank. All titles are below the image, and not on the blank page. This really allows one’s full concentration on the image and words, not being pulled by discourse on the blank page (which would not leave it blank).
It appears that all the images are composed for portrait, this may be the reason the the book is tall and thin. 14″ high x 10″ wide. The images have a theme, [Developed in energy drink] the images are made interesting by this fact. The book was designed by Malanie Mues, and it was interesting to note that the book was edited, sequenced and produced by Gill.
Very enjoyable look and read. Stimulates some ideas for my own book. (I am tempted to make my own, so looking into that possibility.) A very prolific photographer, interesting work, a good selection of his own books for sale. A very inspiring individual