Contextual Research

    Surfaces & Strategies Posts
  • Intimacy August 16, 2018 I wrote a piece on ‘preciousness‘ in art and photography a couple of weeks ago. Now, I want to address something even more important to ... Read more...
  • First They Killed My Father August 16, 2018 In 2017, the movie First They Killed My Father was released. It was directed by Angelina Jolie, and producers included the acclaimed Cambodian filmmaker, Rithy ... Read more...
  • Week Ten Reflections – and WIP August 12, 2018 My reflections this week are about my photographic approach to ‘aftermath’. Christian Schwager, a Swiss photographer, made a series My Lovely Bosnia (2003 – 2005), around the still-present ... Read more...
  • Time, Education & Rephotography August 6, 2018 I am examining the ‘time‘ aspect of my narrative, amongst other things. In an earlier post, I noted that a young boy that started in a ... Read more...
  • Conversation with Lukas Birk July 13, 2018 Following an introduction from Cemre, had a terrific conversation today with Lukas Birk. I explained a little of my background, motivations and the Cambodia project itself. These ... Read more...
  • The Public Image July 13, 2018 Notes on Robert Hariman & John Louis Lucaites, 2016, Chicago: Univ Chicago Press ‘Photography is a small language about vernacular life in a public world. Each ... Read more...
  • Dark Tourism July 12, 2018 To me, ‘Dark Tourism‘ is rather inevitable. Places like Tuol Sleng in Cambodia seem to do a better job of earning tourist dollars than in ... Read more...
  • Cambodian Photography – Part 2 July 12, 2018 As noted in the previous post, Cambodian photography is developing, though it’s clear that the hiatus of the Khmer Rouge years and subsequent Vietnamese administration ... Read more...
  • Preciousness July 11, 2018 Two things happened in the last 24 hours, which I would like to connect. First, I saw Sian Davey‘s guest lecture. Second, I had a conversation ... Read more...
  • Cambodian Photography – Part 1 July 5, 2018 Arguably, Dith Pran (1942 – 2008) is the most famous of Cambodian photographers. His story, working with foreign journalists, before the Khmer Rouge takeover, and subsequent ... Read more...
  • Ideas, Ideas, Ideas – Opening the Curtain July 3, 2018 An interesting conjunction of events. First, it’s been made clear that we need to consider mounting an ‘Exhibition’ (‘Landings’, online or otherwise), giving a Workshop, and ... Read more...
  • Philosophy and Post-Industrial Opium Dens – Vilém Flusser June 28, 2018 I love this quote, for all sorts of reasons. ‘Amateur photographers’ clubs are places where one gets high on the structural complexities of cameras, where one ... Read more...
  • Ghosts, Traces & Stories June 9, 2018 I am looking for ways to tell today’s story whilst also bringing yesterday’s in front of the viewer. Anyone who has visited a Genocide Museum, anywhere ... Read more...
  • Vinyl Records and Photography June 7, 2018 This book reads like a history of photography … Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Saul Leiter, Andy Warhol, Berenice Abbott, Herb Ritts, Jeff Wall, William Eggleston, W. Eugene ... Read more...
  • The Work for Surfaces & Strategies June 5, 2018 Very helpful webinar with Gary today. As background, one of my ‘issues’ is the limited time I can be in Cambodia, and how I will develop ... Read more...
  • Curationism – David Balzer June 4, 2018 Notes from David Balzer’s  How Curation took over the Art World and Everything Else. He tracks the development of curation, both as an act and then as ... Read more...
    Positions & Practice Posts
  • The Beetle in a Box – and Critical Theory April 19, 2018 Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) might just be the most influential philosopher of the 20th century.  At Cambridge he was under Bertrand Russell‘s tutelage, essentially being ... Read more...
  • Oral Presentation – Final April 1, 2018  YouTube Original April 17th, 1975, after years of war, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh. Within twenty-four hours they emptied the city of 2 million people, and ... Read more...
  • Martha Rosler, Decoys and Disruptions March 20, 2018 Martha Rosler, Decoys and Disruptions (2004) Lookers, Buyers, Dealers And Makers: Thoughts On Audience (1979) ‘More and more clearly the subject of art has become the self ... Read more...
  • Some notes on Ariella Azoulay’s writing March 10, 2018 These notes are not a full book review – more the key points that struck me, appropriate to my project work. On ‘The Civil Contract of ... Read more...
  • Constructs and Seeing February 24, 2018 In talking with Steph Cosgrove about my documentary work at the recent Falmouth ‘Face 2 Face’, she was good enough to share some videos about the image ... Read more...
  • The Camera as Judge and Executioner February 15, 2018 As I develop the Cambodia Project for my MA, the need to research is clear. Archiving the Unspeakable, by Michelle Caswell, is a fascinating read. ... Read more...
  • Truth in Photographs February 13, 2018 There are many different philosophical theories of truth – pragmatism, coherence, realism, correspondence, language etc. That said, it is indeed TRUE that there are many theories. That is ... Read more...
  • Roland Barthes – Camera Lucida – An ultimately depressing book February 10, 2018 Camera Lucida, by Roland Barthes, is an odd book. It has become a classic text on the subject – yet Barthes was not a photographer, ... Read more...
  • Joseph Wright of Derby February 7, 2018 Several of my fellow students have noted painters such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt as inspirations, with their mastery of both light and compositions, delivering works ... Read more...
  • The Caged Bird February 5, 2018 Was very taken by this from Joel Saarda, writing about his inspiration for photography as part of Week 2, Interdisciplinary. Joel was referring to Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird” ... Read more...
  • Interdisciplinarity February 3, 2018 The theme of Week Two is close to my heart, as I am Visiting Professor at the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre of Excellence for Teaching and ... Read more...
  • Globalisation – a personal tale January 26, 2018 Week One reading includes ‘Global Photography‘, by David Bate, in Photography: The Key Concepts (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016). Bate starts his chapter with: “Globalization” is a term now ... Read more...
  • Landscape January 25, 2018 I have been studying the materials for Positions and Practices, and was quite taken with the chapter on Territorial Photography by Joel Snyder, in the ... Read more...