A Poet not a Logician

mickyatesArt, Cambodia, Critical Research Journal, Ethics, History, Ideas, Insight, Photography, Plans & Notes, Poetry, PositionsPractice, PPWeek2, Practice, Project Development 1 Comment

I am a rather ‘logical’ person. My BA is in Mathematics and Philosophy. I have an MSc in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC. I have spent over 40 years in business, most of it at General Manager or Board level, where logic prevails. Within that career, I spent 10 years in the realm of ‘Big Data’ – and now both teach and consult on the subject.

That includes my role as Visiting Professor at the Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (IDEA CETL)  at the University of Leeds (what a mouthful!).

Logic, logic, logic.

Yet, as a teenager I was a poet and a painter, and I first wanted to go to Art College. I was persuaded otherwise, and the result was a successful career in business. Yet, I still wrote and painted. The image above is from my very early years, ink on paper, a product of the 60s. And from the early 90’s …

I am also a photographer, to varying degrees of seriousness, and have been my entire adult life. Technically, I believe I can do proficient work, and I am finding myself in demand locally.

Yet somehow I feel I am observing, documenting, rather than treating what I see as art or poetry.

Something I wrote in 1998:

Raw Manifesto, No Zen

I need depth, texture and release from self-imposed geometrics.

I need mind, exchange, challenge and stillness.

I need listeners, followers, engagement, where the symbiosis is complete.

I need art, technology, freedom, and I need it all now.

There is always more.

There is now, and then there is then.

Then yesterday doesn’t exist.

I need anger, life, change, and the chase.

I need love, and the energy to create.

I need need.

As I am considering my Final Major Project, I want to revisit and re-examine our Cambodian story. There are many, logical options for how to do this, set out in that post. I believe the best is to tell the story through the eyes of others, and especially Sarath.

But I think I am missing something. At lunch today, Ingrid made it totally clear. I am delivering my photography by looking through the viewfinder. In a way, I am treating it as I would a business. Looking at the angles, the options and not necessarily the subject.

I said in my Week One reflections that I have studied the history of photography, even taught a bit on the subject – but I want to move beyond the facts to the feeling of it all.

Why don’t I treat this project as a poet would? That puts me way out of my comfort zone in photography, which I know is the point!

I have just booked to fly to Cambodia to meet Sarath, the first week of March, to jointly consider how to approach this.

I want to re-eaxmine the way I take pictures, and the feelings associated with that. And, whilst the earlier stills work was a good start, I also want to examine using other media – movies, words and possibly poetry.

I already know that an end point must be a book and an exhibition.

I also know that this must be a story with the people of Cambodia, not just about them. It must share their history.

More anon.

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