Positions & Practice

  • The Camera as Judge and Executioner As I develop the Cambodia Project, the need to research is clear. This volume seems important – the role of photographic archives in the activities of the Khmer Rouge at the infamous Tuol Sleng prison, now the Genocide Museum, in Phnom Penh. Every visitor to the prison is immediately struck by the walls of mug ... ”Read
  • Truth in Photographs 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 a truth in its own right, which we would all accept. We also have generally accepted notions of truth – night follows day; one plus one equals two; the Moon orbits the ... ”Read
  • Memory, Narration and Curation in Photography Reading Roland Barthes‘ Camera Lucida reminded me of a  post I wrote in 2014. Here it is, in full. In recent meetings and photo shoots with friends, I have been attempting to self-appraise my photography – when do I shoot my best work, when do I not? Perhaps a little presumptuously, what is my signature style, when am ... ”Read
  • Roland Barthes – Camera Lucida – An ultimately depressing book Camera Lucida, by Roland Barthes, is an odd book. It has become a classic text on the subject – yet Barthes was not a photographer, and had little time for colour images or ‘clever theories’ from the photographer’s perspective (such as Cartier-Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment’). Barthes notes that an image could be considered from three angles – the ... ”Read
  • The Caged Bird 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” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? in the Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994) “I also see the photographer as a caged bird. One who desperately wishes to convey something, freely ... ”Read
  • Interdisciplinarity 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 Learning (IDEA CETL) at the University of Leeds. In 1985, I was also one of Procter & Gamble’s first General Managers leading a multinational team across Europe, which included multiple disciplines ... ”Read
  • Globalisation – a personal tale 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 commonly used and abused in a variety of contexts. The “global” can be found used as much in corporate strategy documents as in critical literature on the arts, culture, and ... ”Read
  • Landscape 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 book Landscape and Power by WJT Mitchell (University of Chicago Press, 1994). Landscape is not really the centre of my practice, though I am always attracted to the genre, which probably ... ”Read
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