My current Photobook’s silver gelatin contact prints are taking a bit longer to print than I initially imagined. After about 20 plus hours I’m at the half way mark. Just over 20 prints.
In the interim, between dealing with other aspects of my life, I have been considering the text component of the book. These ideas sometimes come to me while in my darkroom.
So using a pencil, I scrawl them down in a notebook that lives beside my enlarger. After I finish up, I digitise them and then add them to my notes both Apple note and Voodoo Pad . I then digitally transcribe them to make searching them easier later. Some ideas include the idea of the flaneur and by extension ‘The Situationists’ and the idea of the derive. Society of the spectacle by Guy Debord is proving especially fruitful.
I actually ran out of silver gelatin paper and had to wait till the shops opened to buy some more. Adding another delay.
It is going to be a small book, physically and in the number of copies I make. Three and an artists proof.
It will be approximately 42 small silver Gelatin contact prints. Tipped into a 110 gsm cartridge paper book.
Some working titles include:-
[sub] urban gothic,
The map is not the territory
“… the sum or the parts…”
The path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.
The images are drawn from my archive stretching back to 1989. All shot on medium format film. The whole process has been enlightening and made possible in part by Gary’s interview . We collaborated on part 1 and I deep dived into my archive to consider some responses to his questions. Part 2 is going to be forthcoming.
Poking around online I found some interesting links.
The Photogrpaher’s Gallery in London has a faublous resource, called Viewpoints. Viewpoints offer a curated and eclectic set of perspectives inspired by the gallery’s programme and are designed to provoke new thinking around photography’s role in contemporary culture.
Some viewpoints are:- Photography and Landscape a series of essays that examines photography’s role in defining and creating the Landscape genre. Unthinking Photography. Unthinking Photography is an online resource that explores photography’s increasingly automated, networked life. Unthinking Photography is a strand of The Photographers’ Gallery digital programme, an online platform for mapping and responding to photography’s role in contemporary culture.
There were 8 speakers. The event lasted an hour. There were approximately 30 attendees. The attendees were split into small groups of about 10. The speakers worked in small groups also. My group had myself, Suzanne Phoenix, and Dr. Kristian Haggblom. Each presenter was asked to bring one or two books and discuss them. In the end we all had a least 4 books each.
Last weekend I walked from a small carpark west of the CBD to the Yarra river at Spencer Street. A distance of about 2.6 kilometres one way. All up 5.1 kms return.
Upon my return I noticed an electricity tower was partially dismantled. I returned 5 days later and it has been completely removed. This view of the western edge of the CBD now clearly visible from the edge of the Moonee Ponds Creek, only because of the removed tower. I have other pictures in my archive on digital and film from this location.
Beijing Silvermine is an archive of 850 000 negatives salvaged over the last ten years from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing. Assembled by the French collector and artist Thomas Sauvin, Beijing Silvermine offers a unique photographic portrait of the Chinese capital and the life of its inhabitants in the decade following the Cultural Revolution.
Photography often takes a back seat in January for me. Summer photography has been prolific this year for me though.
The weather continues to be overcast in the mornings. This is somewhat unusual here in Melbourne, in January. I decided to get out and exploit this on Saturday. I went looking for spots to make pictures in and around the infrastructure projects going on. Close to home.
This truck holding bay is a favourite of mine due to its location and topography. You can see the CBD easily and in the right conditions make some good pictures of Melbourne.
The blue screens on the Citylink off ramp are the only clue that construction is underway. All the action is behind me here. I wandered west with my ‘Blad and made a few pictures of some of the works going on. As I have yet to process this film it remains to be seen if I was successful.
At least I have some record of the changes that are occurring. This forms a major motivation behind what I am focusing on these days.
This view did not exist in 2019. I can’t remember the last time I drove along Dohertys road.
I am standing on a bridge built for cyclists that forms part of the federation trail. I’m not quite certain when it was completed. Google maps most recent picture of this part of Dohertys road is from 2019. The new bridge forms part of the larger infrastructure works going on around the Westgate. The works are affecting the peripheral and arterial roads that run off it. This trail will allow cyclists to ride from Werribee to the city. It crosses Dohertys’ road a dual carriageway arterial road.
As I had not had a chance to really explore this part of Melbourne since we had spent so much time in lockdown last year. I decided to investigate several areas nearby that I know would have altered radically.
Dohertys road used to be a single lane arterial road. Given the real estate in this part of Laverton there would have been many many large trucks using this road. It is now a dual lane road which no doubt means the numbers will increase. Melbourne’s cyclists can now cross this road safely using this bridge.
The weather on the day I was there proved to be almost perfect for photography. Unusual for Melbourne in January. I suspect this will be a regular location now.
This approach to finding locations underpins my work. Not being able to wander and just follow my nose while we were in lockdown was stifling to say the least. At least it means there will be plenty more surprises waiting for me; all within a 10 minute drive from my house.