2 Informing Contexts

Module 2 – PHO702

Week One – Photography the Shape Shifter
Week Two – The Index and the Icon
Week Three – Constructed Realities
Week Four – Into the Image World
Week Five – Gazing at Photographs
Week Six – A Sea of Images
Week Seven – Tutorials
Week Eight – Responses & Responsibilities
Week Nine – Enter, The Academy?
Week Ten – Speaking Photograpically
Week Eleven – Peer Reviews
Week Twelve – Goodbye’s and Hello’s

Webinars

Coursework

Contextual Research

Project Development

Number of posts: Informing Contexts 75

All Posts
  • Jungle Guard April 23, 2019 Jungle Guard, directed by Makara Ouch, in his work with the Cambodian Sleuk Rith Institute (founded by Youk Chhang, of DC-Cam), will be released in ... Read more...
  • Allan Sekula – Fish Story, and Critical Realism April 22, 2019 Allan Sekula was one of the most influential documentarians working in the late 20th Century. An incisive critic, he also was part of the re-imagining ... Read more...
  • Realism and Imagination April 20, 2019 This week has been focused on completing the Critical Review. The recent Oral Presentation was well received, although I knew that for the CR, I ... Read more...
  • Afterwards April 16, 2019 I thought that I had posted about Afterwards before, but somehow it got missed. It was one of the first books that I bought, early ... Read more...
  • Notre Dame Fire April 16, 2019 Most of us will have got the news about the terrible fire via video. On Twitter, my usual source for breaking news, citizen journalist pictures ... Read more...
  • Infrared in Colour April 15, 2019 I am finally getting around to looking at the colour versions of the images I took on my the last Cambodia trip. In an earlier post, ... Read more...
  • Week Eleven Reflections – Pictures at an Exhibition April 14, 2019 The past couple of weeks have been full of gallery visits – Don McCullin, Vincent Van Gogh and Diane Arbus. Dave Heath was at the ... Read more...
  • Webinar – Michelle, Andrew and colours April 11, 2019 Quick but very productive webinar today. I noted the feedback on my Oral Presentation, suggesting less on the background and more on the critical thinking behind ... Read more...
  • Coleridge, Imagination and Fancy April 11, 2019 In thinking through the upcoming critical review, I realise that I have been working in two parallel directions. First, my photography has become increasingly abstract, traces of what ... Read more...
  • Susan Sontag – Quotes from ‘On Photography’ April 10, 2019 Quite frankly, I am not a fan of Susan Sontag. I find here work lacking in academic rigour, and very prone to deeply personal judgment ... Read more...
  • John Berger – Notes April 10, 2019 Chapter 1 .. seeing ‘Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak’. (pg. 7). ‘The way we see things is affected by ... Read more...
  • Towards a Critical Review April 9, 2019 I am collecting some of the most inspirational and appropriate quotes from my research, as used in various CRJ posts over the past 15 months, with the references or ... Read more...
  • Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept April 9, 2019 ‘Helmut Newton finally saw Cartier-Bresson again last year, when Vanity Fair asked Cartier-Bresson to shoot a portrait of Newton for a portfolio by photographers older ... Read more...
  • Informing Contexts – Oral Presentation – Feedback April 9, 2019 From Pierre: Well done video Mick. Good to see your journey from where it began to where it is now.  The painterly influence never goes away, it ... Read more...
  • Marx and Aesthetics April 8, 2019 Karl Marx (1818-1883) has continued to be influential in many schools of philosophy, including aesthetics – even though he did not publish a specific treatise ... Read more...
  • Week Ten Reflections April 7, 2019 Several days were taken up ‘looking’ at art and photography, this past week. I separately posted about the McCullin show – just brilliant. I won’t ... Read more...
  • Setting Sun – Quotes – Part Two April 7, 2019 MEDIA Introduction ‘In postwar Japan, the photograph in its truest form is widely understood to be a reproduction imprint. It might almost be said that the fine-art ... Read more...
  • Setting Sun – Quotes – Part One April 7, 2019 Quotes and notes: INTRODUCTION Anne Wilkes Tucker Daido Moriyama states that photography is ‘ .. not a social business, but personal work’. (pg 18) Tucker comments: ‘There is no separation ... Read more...
  • Informing Contexts – Oral Presentation April 7, 2019  Partly because of some misguided feedback at the Falmouth F2F, and partly because I felt a need to ‘go back the beginning’ to explain my ... Read more...
  • Don McCullin April 5, 2019 Ingrid and I have seen a lot of exhibitions over the years, but the current Don McCullin show at Tate Britain really rates as one ... Read more...
  • Week Nine Reflections – The Two Headed Monster March 31, 2019 There has always been at least two Micks. There is the artist, the poet, the dreamer. And there is the logician, the business-person, the practical problem solver. Where ... Read more...
  • Interview with Mak Remissa March 31, 2019 Mak Remissa is arguably the most successful and important photographer working in Cambodia today. He is a working photojournalist, and is heavily involved in the ... Read more...
  • My Artistic Practice vs. My Photographic Practice March 30, 2019 Right from the beginning of the MA, in fact even a bit before it started, I wrote about Landscape. Given the way that my Cambodian ... Read more...
  • Baudrillard and Simulacrum March 29, 2019 Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) wrote: ‘Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin ... Read more...
  • Feeling a little frustrated March 28, 2019 There is some kind of irony in the fact that, just as I (and others) feel that I am making some real breakthroughs in the ... Read more...
  • Charles Baudelaire March 27, 2019 Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) was a French poet, essayist, art critic, and a translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His work reflected the changing ... Read more...
  • Edward Kienholz – The Beanery March 26, 2019 Edward Kienholz (1927-1994) is one of my favourite artists, any media. The Beanery is a life size, walk-in assemblage, and it is often considered his ... Read more...
  • Week Eight Reflections March 25, 2019 There is much to be said for clearing the cobwebs from the mind. There is even more to be said for getting away from the ... Read more...
  • The University of Leeds March 21, 2019 I have been a Visiting Professor at Leeds, my Alma Mater, for the last 8 years, working with the Leeds University Business School (LUBS) and ... Read more...
  • Sebastião Salgado March 19, 2019 A couple of years ago, the PhotoBath collective, of which I am a member, mounted a successful exhibition of Sebastião Salgado’s work. It featured 8 ... Read more...
  • Pictures and Words March 17, 2019 Robert Frank said, ‘Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference, and it is important to see what is invisible to others’. (cited ... Read more...
  • Book Design March 17, 2019 From the beginning of this project, I have been planned a book capturing the ‘Unfinished Stories’ of Sarath and family. Whether this is actually my ... Read more...
  • Week Seven Reflections – Webinar with Michelle March 16, 2019 In the critical reviews at the F2F, Michelle made several comments on the work I presented. On the colour work, she noticed some potential typologies – ... Read more...
  • Responses & Responsibilities March 16, 2019 James Elkins, in What Photography Is (2011), analyses photographs from 1905 of Lingqi, the Chinese ‘death by a thousand cuts’. (chapter 6, pg 177-220). I ... Read more...
  • And When I am Formulated, Sprawling on a Pin March 14, 2019 And I have known the eyes already, known them all, The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a ... Read more...
  • Week Six Reflections March 12, 2019 The Face-to-Face was, of course, both the highlight and the majority of the week. I really enjoyed the event – ‘The Living Image‘ content, group critiques, ... Read more...
  • Week Five Reflections March 3, 2019 I have two kinds of reflections this week. First, what happened on the last days of my Cambodian trip. And, second, where I stand with ... Read more...
  • The Vernacular Landscape – and Intention March 2, 2019 I do not consider landscape central to my practice, though like many others who started in photography with a lot of travel images, the genre ... Read more...
  • Colour, Black & White or Infrared March 1, 2019 On this last Cambodia trip, I was experimenting with infrared, being intrigued with its ‘ghost like’ properties. I shared a few quick images at the ... Read more...
  • Ministry of Education February 27, 2019 Beng Simeth, who was at Save the Children in Phnom Penh when we first started the program, has been the education program leader for the ... Read more...
  • Week Four Reflections February 27, 2019 This is a rather delayed post on last week’s reflections, as it has been a busy (thankfully, productive) trip, so these comments are in the ... Read more...
  • The Explicit and the Implicit Gaze February 23, 2019 Ansel Adams famously said ‘There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.’ (Sheff Interview, 1983) There are always two gazes for every photograph, ... Read more...
  • Webinar February 22, 2019 It was an interesting webinar yesterday with Michelle. Clive, Vincent and Peng were in the group. I shared two (early) sets of work from this trip. ... Read more...
  • The Advertising Idea February 20, 2019 Katherine Frith likens reading adverts to peeling an onion. She pinpoints three stages in reading adverts: The surface meaning The advertiser’s intended meaning and The cultural meaning. She concludes ... Read more...
  • Week Three Reflections February 17, 2019 As I write this, I am on Day 3 of a two week Cambodia trip, so most of my thought processes are focused on the ... Read more...
  • Photographing the Holocaust – Janina Struk February 16, 2019 I have just finished Janina Struk’s Photographing The Holocaust. Michelle Caswell’s Archiving the Unspeakable was ‘book of the year’ for me last year, Struk’s might ... Read more...
  • Traces, Spaces, Faces, Places February 16, 2019 With your peers, discuss whether you think the constructed photographs included in this session ‘lie’, the extent these photographs are fictional, and the methods you use to ‘interpret’ ... Read more...
  • Facts and Ethics February 12, 2019 Was chatting yesterday about Wittgenstein with a friend of mine who is a Professor of Inter-Disciplinary Applied Ethics at Leeds. Wittgenstein wrote, in the Tractatus, that ‘The ... Read more...
  • Week Two Reflections February 10, 2019 Whilst I am enjoying the research and writing, I admit to an increasing unease with some of the academic theories of photography. Hence my posts ... Read more...
  • Congruence February 9, 2019 In my post on Index and Icon, I noted the idea of congruence – defined when two things are in agreement, have harmony, conformity, or correspondence ... Read more...
  • The Index and the Icon February 8, 2019 Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) was an early semiotician. His work was based on the pursuit of scientific and logical truth, and he developed his semiotics ... Read more...
  • Olympus Infrared Experiments February 7, 2019 I have just received the converted Olympus OM-D 10, converted to 720nm, as previously noted.  Here is a reference set of images. First, a straight colour ... Read more...
  • A Question of Authenticity February 6, 2019 In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes states that ‘From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation‘. (Camera Lucida: pg 89) In ... Read more...
  • Las Meninas February 4, 2019 I am intrigued by the way that Velazquez’ Las Meninas has been used as inspiration through the years. The painting itself seems to meet most of ... Read more...
  • Walter Benjamin – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction February 3, 2019 Walter Benjamin’s work is refreshing, in his attempt to deal with photography as a unique medium, rather than transpose the traditions of painting and sculpture ... Read more...
  • Photography, Photographies February 3, 2019 This week’s task: Post a brief commentary below that identifies the inherent characteristics and contexts of the ‘photographic’ nature of your own practice. Specifically refer to ... Read more...
  • IC Week One Reflections February 2, 2019 It has been a good start to the new module, with a good range of intellectual content, and helpful first online discussions with Michelle and ... Read more...
  • David Goldblatt February 2, 2019 ‘I suppose at best, I had hoped we might see ourselves revealed, as it were, by a mirror held up to ourselves’ David Goldblatt, 2017. I was ... Read more...
  • Soviet Holocaust Photography January 29, 2019 I have just been reading a paper written by David Shneer, in the Humanity Journal, 2014, University of Pennsylvania. Shneer discusses the approach taken by ... Read more...
  • Reflections on my Photographic Practice January 22, 2019 Robert Frank said, “Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference”. I provided  a reasonably thorough review of my photography in my ... Read more...
  • Provoke January 22, 2019 The Japanese photo magazine ‘Provoke’ only published three issues, in 1968 and 1969. It was a rejection of many of the then-prevailing ‘global’ photographic norms. ... Read more...
  • Nobuo Ina – Return to Photography January 21, 2019 I have just been reading Return to Photography, by Nobuo Ina (1898-1978). Ina was influenced by thinking on photography emanating from Germany (Bauhaus et al). ... Read more...
  • A Book Brief January 18, 2019 In 2019, I plan to publish a book in Cambodia, about Sarath and family’s ‘Unfinished Stories’. Printing capability is competent but not sophisticated in the ... Read more...
  • Infrared Photography January 17, 2019 As referenced in my last Oral Presentation, I want to develop my ‘negative traces’ work using different photographic techniques. For the Sustainable Prospects Work in ... Read more...
  • The Photographic Message – Roland Barthes January 16, 2019 I wrote about Camera Lucida at the beginning of the MA. As I concluded then, I found it rather depressing. The Photographic Message, an essay in Image ... Read more...
  • Nine Inspirations January 13, 2019 One of the vacation exercises is to comment on nine inspirations. So, here goes. 1. Annemarie Prins. I have only recently discovered her work, through conversations ... Read more...
  • Cultural Context January 13, 2019 Almost all of this MA program to date uses a European / American ‘gaze’, in its choice of reading and referenced photographers – even the ... Read more...
  • Offering Critique January 13, 2019 Last autumn I decided to join the local Frome Wessex Camera Club, something I had not done before, as I am not a ‘competition’ person, ... Read more...
  • Cindy Sherman January 6, 2019 As part of the pre-work for Informing Contexts, we were asked to look at Cindy Sherman’s work, and answer 8 questions. I cannot recall exactly when ... Read more...
  • What is Street Photography? January 2, 2019 I have an ongoing project to digitise my film archives, which has been a bit interrupted by the MA. So a 2019 resolution is to ... Read more...
  • The Best of 2018 December 30, 2018 In the Sustainable Prospects module, we covered the power of social media, within which I assessed my current position and conducted some Instagram promotional experiments. As I ... Read more...
  • Artist’s Statements – Part Two December 30, 2018 I have written an earlier post on Artist’s Statements. I then posted links to this on Facebook, and asked for input, the ‘wisdom of the ... Read more...
  • Ain’t no Shame in my Game December 29, 2018 I used to do a lot of street photography, although most recently I have been a little bored by it – in the sense that ... Read more...
  • Artist’s Statements December 29, 2018 Arty Bollocks has an ‘Instant Artists Statement Generator‘ … and here is an example: ‘My work explores the relationship between postmodern discourse and vegetarian ethics. With ... Read more...
  • Dorothea Lange December 19, 2018 A while back I was asked to make a short presentation to the PhotoBath group on an image that has always inspired me. It actually didn’t ... Read more...
  • How John Berger changed our way of seeing art – Yasmin Gunaratnam & Vikki Bell December 16, 2018 Berger considered how through history and visual representation the male gaze has constrained women. John Berger’s Ways of Seeing Yasmin Gunaratnam, Goldsmiths, University of London and Vikki ... Read more...