Re-watched the documentary on Aaron Siskind. I bought it some time ago. It is one of those films that I can watch over again many times as a source of inspiration. I like the way he talks about his practice of image making with such sense of knowledge, experience and passion. I really listen to what othe artists say, and it is very important for me that I believe what they are saying. From an epistemological standpoint, I understand that reality is the result of my being and experience, that any other artists works and utterances is only a visual and audial concept of their reality.  I am aware of this and understand that difference between mine and theirs, always look for common threads, that I feel validate my own concepts.

I watch and listen very intently in order to pick out bits of information that can aid me in my own practice. I feel that he is real and believable because there is an affinity and similarity between his work and mine, it’s as if we are on the same path and talk the same language.

One of the few practitioners who can dance between the real world and the abstract world with relative ease. Also a great admirer of Franz Kline the painter who inspired a lot of his abstracts.

©Checkerboard Films
©Siskind. Jalapa#7



Image: https://www.artprice.com/marketplace/1576434/aaron-siskind/photography/jalapa-237-28hommage-to-fk-29



Read some excerpts from The Edge of Vision. On Gordon Matta Clark’s film that was made, titled “Splitting” and discovered a new word transmorgrifying. The translation of which means roughly: To transform in a surprising or magical manner.  For some reason, I don’t really care for the sound of the word. The translation of itsounds good, but the actual word portrays a very negative feeling for some reason.

Until the beginning of the MA, I always regarded myself a transformer.But have recently come to terms using the word “creating.”  Not in the sense of bringing into being or forming something out of nothing, but have lessened the demands on the word and am now willing to define it as transforming from an idea or a concept into an image or object.  From the abstract into the concrete in terms of image making. Creation is a far more powerful word, and more beautiful sounding as well.


Reference: Rexer,Lyle. The Edge of Vision,The Rise of Abstraction in Photography.

Week_12_Project Development

This week been been busy working on the assignments attempting to get it done before the deadline. Was successful with the portfolio, that was submitted early same with the oral presentation, had time for fixes and improvement, was not as rushed as it was last module.

Portfolio went through a number of changes. Still working on the CRJ. Been experimenting with different cameras. Digital and film, like the old Canon RC250 a still video v=camera, very old, 1988, but still working. and my Nikkormat 35mm film camera. Quite like the idea old working in 35mm color negative and black and white Ilford HP5+  been using a monolith developer with good results.

Canon RC250 Analogue still video camera.


35mm Nikkormat Film Camera with Tamron zoom lens.


Got my hands on some old Kodak Color Negative film from around 1998. Will be making some images in the modules to come and see how the old film performs after being left to the elements and heat for the past 20 years.

The series in my portfolio was made over numerous visits to Pearblossom HWY-138. Images need to be interpreted, they are not always what they appear to be. As a photo practitioner I am crossing over into the abstract to explore it deeper. This is a visual attempt to make the transition, a mathematical progression towards that aim.
When going beneath the underpass onto the highway, it is like entering another realm.  Because, here the image creating process begins, continues during time spent there and ends long after my return home to process the media.  Image creation, is a lengthy ordeal, not a decisive moment.
These images have culminated from this module. I have contemplated and utilized appropriation, re-photography, metaphor, de-priviliging the sensor, experimentation, fears, uncertainty, chance, luck, experience and creating as part of my methodology.


Spoke with a good group this week with Dr Gary. Felt like a therapy session. Got to a few things that needed attention. Not to be too hard on myself, which I have a tendency to do. So decided to take the advice and just work on putting together the Oral, Portfolio, and the CRJ. Submitted a few days early this time. Was better prepared editing wise with having all the information organised. Some good reminders from Mick, what we had spoken about at the F2F, getting back to why I am doing this. – to make some changes in the photographic domain, which has become very stagnant I feel. Mainly for myself and the work I see out there. Get over the judgement aspect of it and submit my own work out there for criticism.

Also a reminder from Gem to see if my ideas had changed since we last spoke about the state of my practice,  it has not, though had the temptation to do more representational images, but over-came that by sticking to the abstracts. May broaden the term abstract which will include representation, instead of only images that have nothing representational in them.

Still working on the CRJ as I write. Catching up and get it done today.



Continuing to read The Painter and The Photograph. It is interesting to see how many prominent artists of the day used the mechanical image to paint from. This action was far more prevalent than I ever imagined. So as I delve deeper into the course, I become more and more at ease with appropriation. Looking at it from the point of being a catalyst that sparks the creative process, I have become more at ease with it.  Over this module, I have appropriated and the more I did it, I came to realise that it is a very small part of the creative process, and by the end of the work, it is so far removed from my work it’s barely worth mentioning.

The Painter and the Photograph©Amazon

I do love painting, but one of those plastic arts that takes a lot of time, and has to be a vocation of sorts, as is photography and film-making for me. It is in my life daily in one form or another. However, I am interested in making my images painterly, maybe this is my attraction to painting, I am figuring a way to include or incorporate it into my images.

Watched a very interesting video by a photographer’s work I really like. Aaron Siskind. He did a lot of figurative abstract photography, “Find in nature what can be made into a picture.” That is, he used images from the real world and photographed them in such a way that they looked almost other worldly. For a brief time he was also enamoured by painters and incorporated that into his work. Particularly the work of Franz Kline. ‘Broad strokes and overpainting.’  After a while he gave it up and pursued his own work. He also made more aware of ‘looking’ around carefully, also, that the making of an image did not end with taking an image. One point that stood out about Klines work, was that he never experimented with figurative elements and he painted predominantly in black and white.

© Franz Kline Painting
© Aaron Siskind Peru



The Painter and The Photograph. Van Deren, Coke. The University of New Mexico Press.

Franz Kline Painting: https://auction.catawiki.com/


Arron Siskind Photo Peru:  https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2818T/lots/1115

Video of Aaron Siskind: https://www.judithwechsler.com/films/aaron-siskind-making-pictures


Had a good talk with Dr. Gary this week. Again getting down to the essence of the work and get out there photographing, experimenting with the camera. Went out with my old 35mm Nikkormat and +HP5. Going out to-day again. Need to venture past the entrance to HWY 138.  Symbolic of crossing the threshold. Had a good talk about the passion of the image making process. Asked Dr. Gary if for five million dollars he would put down the camera and never have anything to do with image making process again? Said he’s going to anxiously mull it over. Still having course anxiety, feels like information overload, trying to get it all done in the time allowed and not succeeding.

Had a good 1-2-1 with Jesse. Good conversation, but 20 minutes way too short. Much to my dismay session was not recorded. Spoke about some interesting things and would have liked to revisit the recording. Discussed CRJ and contemporary photographers in context of “new to me” as apposed to new to the scene in present day. Suggested I look at the work of Bromberg and Channarin. Who took a piece of photo paper crumpled and exposed it them developed it into an image.

Course is very anxious ridden for me right now on a creative level as well as on a personal level. Creatively, still struggling with making it all into a co-hesive whole, putting the pieces back together after tearing them apart. Much like a puzzle dropped onto the floor, then having to put it back to-gether again if I can use that as an analogy.

Caloric restriction report: Up to Saturday 8/11

Caloric restriction going very well. Lost three pounds. So I am down 12 lbs since I began around 7/09. Walked 5 miles average this week. Bench Pressed 2X this week. No food cravings, average around 1500cal per day sometimes a little more sometimes less. Very happy with progress, Been 5 weeks so far little more than than 2 lbs per week which is what is recommended.

Charts courtesy of:  www.myfitnesspal.com



As the course progresses, instead of the project becoming co-herent, it is becoming di-verganet. Went out this week and photographed HWY138 with my 35mm Nikkormat and developed the film again, it felt just if it wa some “pretty” recorded image of the the HWY entrance. Made about 36 different images. Still toying with the polyptych, but still feel there is more that needs to be done.

This Hwy is a metaphor for a journey, but cannot seem to get past the gate or the entrance. Both physically and mentally. Get to the gateway and the whole things seems to fall flat.

Seems to be some sort of mental block with the image making process. Very difficult week. A lot of time eaten up with other commitments.



The Painter and the Photograph©Amazon

The medium has always been of interest to me, and feel that it much of the process in image making. I have always felt that photography falls short of painting as a means of expression. There is the problem of photographic immediacy that has always bothered me, and at the same time the long time it takes to paint an image on the other.

The booklet: “The painter and the photograph” is an interesting bit of information as it opens up the possibility to make images that are a bit of both. Which I find very interesting. This is not new to me, but somehow the book puts it within a framework that is manageable. I like things to be manageable, or maybe I should really say that I like my ideas to be confirmed.

When I read a book or certain articles, I make judgements whether they feel right, or are useful to me. If I get annoyed by something I read, a lot of the times I know I am reading information that someone puts forward as Logos or method of persuasion. Since we live in different realities, I don’t always agree with what I read. and know that these people are “full of shit.”  Not very academic I know, however, I still like to refer to stuff in a base way once in a while because it’s a language everyone can understand very easily, including myself.  If they one is deconstructing anything. Photography  in particular, they themselves do not have the answer.

I like using various mediums and will start introducing this “mixed media” into my work. deep down, I feel that this may be the answer to a lot of questions. For example, the ubiquity of photography has made me numb to images, in fact I get annoyed by the strait camera image. So maybe this is a way to experiment more with the medium.

As I move forward with the project, I am still stuck between the objective and non objective image, and by objective meaning the recognition of objects in the image as opposed to not recognising anything or even using anything recognisable in the image.

Still  looking into the possibility of mixing painting with my images. Still have the deep down desire to keep my project within the walls of my house and yard.  Whether this means doing the whole project like that or collecting information from the outside and bringing it home to be modified, changed and reformed still remains to be seen.


Coke,Van Deren. The Painter and the Photograph. The University of New Mexico Press.