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.


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


Looked at the work of photographer Vineta Cook. She does landscapes that appear to be modifications of real images, by soft focus and/or color manipulation. I like the fact that she has her work selling and has her work displayed on tv shows, commercials and in a lot of commercial settings. I will be looking at the way she markets her work. Can’t say that there is anything particularly insightful into the images itself, other that there is some recognisable    style or pattern to her work. I do like the way that she markets her product.

Femina D2 ©Vineta Cook

Continue reading Week_9_Contextual_Research



Humpty-Dumpty was PUSHED!

Watched an interesting film this week. “Certified Copy” by director Abbas Kiarostami. “A gallery owner living in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a British author on authenticity and fakery in art.” This film came up while doing research on art/directing/photography, reality and actuality. The above synopsis is what peaked my interest. Continue reading Week_8_Contextual_Research


Looking for some ideas how to put my FMP together in a logical as well as a creative way and while reading this weeks publication suggestions, I read considerations for publication and watched guest lecture by Victoria Forest.https://falmouthflexible.instructure.com/courses/249/pages/guest-lecture-victoria-forrest-june-18?module_item_id=12753

She is very bright and knowledgeable about design and format. Everything she spoke about made sense. When the opportunity comes my way, I would work with her in a heartbeat. Her video gave me some ideas how to format a publication, but also leads me to believe that I need a way to format my FMP. I will be going out to-morrow to scout the entrance of HWY 138 East to do some preliminary shots.

I also watched the talk by Annie Leibowitz. A few teeny bits of information was gleaned, but not very much.  She is not very good at answering questions, nor is she proficient talking about her craft and practice. I say this because very shortly after talking, she switched to the audience questions. She did not have much confidence answering questions either, to which she alluded a few times. Not my kind of photographer or photography in any way shape of form. There is ‘zero’ connection there with anything she had to say or show.

This week I looked at the work looked of Hans Hofmann Artist/Teacher, I find him to be a very interesting man for a number of reasons. Firstly, he managed to elevate himself from teacher to artist very late in his life after teaching for some twenty years.


His philosophy was: “Experiment, explore and dare.” I like this approach very much, as it leads to discovery by the unexpected, and goes hand in hand with my belief that true art is inspired, and from the outside, and by the help of a transcendental other. So, be it from a muse or by accident, the essence of it is, it from from without. Real art, true art, the real and only new.  All the rest is a copy.

Something still drives me to search deeper, I have had a brush with it, scratched the surface, of the transcendental other, so I know how it feels, and know that it exists on a personal level.  Or, as the old adage goes, it only takes ONE miracle to know that a hundred exist. Once this experience has occurred, compared to appropriation, or building on the past or the back and sweat of others, it is like a sighted person seeing the colour red as opposed to a blind person having the color red explained to them.  The gap or the chasm is so deep, and so wide, that without that experience, that gap can never be crossed.

But for now, it’s going to have to incubate for a while. Even if it means waiting another decade, that’s okay by me. The one who’s name is mentioned here, has cut the path, has set prescience. From this I can deduce that it is possible. He invented is own painting theory of ‘Push and Pull.’ Perspective by colour. That the space is as important, if not more important than the object.  Through line and if one has the ability to “Look” at something the right way, it is possible to see all kinds of form. That may not be apparent to everyone looking at an image.  These theories and practices are very applicable to the photographer.  Learning how to see and how to look is more than just going to a place and looking around, one has got to be able to see the invisible, and make it visible for the enjoyment of the viewer, by transforming  a metaphor into a visual emotion.

Annie Leibowitz https://falmouthflexible.instructure.com/courses/249/pages/presentation-annie-leibowitz?module_item_id=7980

Hans Hofmann. Reference: Amazon.com Hans Hofman: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist.


I have watched two video’s on David Hockney’s Pearblossom HWY138. The first on youtube. https://youtu.be/sD123svCFHQ  The second was from KCET, but cannot seem to locate it again. From the first video I managed to figure out the exact location where he photographed the collage, and to get some idea how he photographed it. When I got to the location, it was a bit disappointing because it had changed so much. None of the elements David used where there anymore. This motivated me to think of a different way to make an image and came up with the Polyptych of five vertical separate elements, in addition, after remembering Ed Ruschas ‘Every Building on Sunset Strip-1966’

The idea came to mind to explore the entire Pearblossom Highway to see what it offered. Along the way I have discover some very interesting things. The location of and old socialist colony from 1914. very close to Hockney’s location. Maybe a half mile away. That Aldous Huxley lived out there for a brief period, also very close by.

So with a location and a concept, I am considering making a series of images and videos&films along Pearblossom Highway  and title the piece ‘Pearblossom Highway HWY 138 Start to Finish.’ I have a collection of camera both motion and still and am entertaining the idea of making the  series using different formats in motion and still for the project.


This week I read the paper by Stella Baraklianou titled Pixel. It was interesting to read that it does necessarily relate to the current digital photographic practice. That already as far back as  1927 with the invention of television they were using a mosaic of light points of varying illuminance to describe the image elements. For me the interest lies in how the image is formed. In analogue silver halide film, the sensitised silver becomes darkened when exposed to light and developed then fixed.

The one advantage that comes to mind with pixel technology is that the image can be manipulated at a the pixel level, in terms of color, contrast, and imperfections, which was not as easy in the analogue system.

I also discussed the perceived problem of failure, or the fear of failing and Stella recommended a book titled: ‘Failure – Documents of Contemporary Art’ Edited by Lisa Le Feuve. In which success is deemed to be regarded as something great. That between the positive and the negative if success and failure, can even be regarded as that, but more importantly, it is a place where one can begin to produce. I will be looking at this book and see what insights it has to offer.


Failure-Documents of Contemporary Art, Edited by Lisa Le Feuvre, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-0-262-51477-4


In terms of the my assignment on Pearblossom Highway.  I was particularly inspired by the work of David Hockney http://www.davidhockney.co/works/photos/photographic-collages and Ed Ruscha. https://www.artsy.net/artwork/ed-ruscha-hollywood-14

I was fortunate enough to go to one of David’s recent exhibitions here in Los Angeles at the  The L.A. Louvre in Venice CA. It was nice to see and reflect on some original works. And I made a few “Art Images” myself while at the exhibition. http://www.lalouver.com/exhibition.cfm?tExhibition_id=1699



This week I looked at the work of Barbara Kasten. She is a contemporary studio artist who lives and works in Chicago. I saw a documentary on her life and work. What I liked was the definition of herself as an artist and why she is an artist.  She defined it as: Because she likes making things, likes to express herself and making a mark that was her own.

I liked the fact that she brought up the subject of belief and believing what’s inside of yourself. This is a great challenge believing that what you are doing has value, not only in the fiscal sense but in the creative sense. That what you are doing will be appreciated by others.

Barbara Kasten: Collision 6E.

She came from a very ordinary non creative background, her father was a policeman and her mother a sales clerk. She was influenced by the Bauhaus Movement and particularly by Laszlo Maholy Nagy.

My response to her work is mixed. Even thought I like her work I feel it is too close to Maholy’s work in form and content. Can I learn anything from her? Yes, she’s doing it! She has her shows and exhibitions and is established as an artist. Also that she ‘makes’ images in front of the camera.  I do not use the word ‘create’ I use made, because they are transformed from one thing into another. The synthesis of camera, film, light,filters and plexiglass (all already exist)

I think that making is the closest a human can come to creating.  True creating, is bringing into being, or forming something out of nothing. As a mere mortal, for me that is not possible.

Laszlo Moholy Nagy: “Composition Z VIII” (1924)


Art21 – Art in the 21st Century – Amazon Prime. PBS.