Back in 2004 when I first signed up for a free flickr account I had no idea what I was doing with the service. I did know that the volume of digital files I was creating with both cameras and smartphones needed to be seen and shared. Flickr’s initial offering allowed users to create sets as they were called then and also join groups. Groups could have an obvious common theme or be rearlly obscure. JG Ballard is an obscure group, whereas Paths we walk is more obvious. These seemed to be a great way to share my work.
Outside of these ideas albums allows me to interconnect images. Historically an exhibition has an overarching idea, the work on the walls expressses this. The viewer can choose to walk through the space and engage anyway they see fit.
Albums on a site like flickr are a far more web like experience, non linear and openened. Each picture I post can have multiple ideas runnng though it. I achieve this by putting images in mutiple albums from a simple time based one, for the year the image was made for example, to other ideas that constantly run though my work. Some of those ideas have their roots in the Situationists and their ideas about the derive. Others explore the added metadata that can add a layer of context or meaning to an image.
Lastly, each image I choose to upload needs to speak to the preceding image in some way. This forms an angoing process that has me dippig into my archive regularly. The connections may be obvious, subject matter or location for example, or subtle like line, shape or composition. I treat my feed as a permanent 24/7/365 gallery. Available for all the world to see.
Deep down this does not really answer why I photograph the places I do, or even what drives me to pick up a camera. Perhaps that idea is for another day?
I have begun working on a new photobook idea. It is nothing novel. Just pictures of the 14 or so public phones that are situated throughout Sunshine. This screen grab from Lightroom showing 11 that I have already photographed.
The idea has sprung from a larger project I am working on about Sunshine, the place I live. I have repeatedly returned to several places around the suburb. At one point I noticed the phone box on the corner of Station Place and Sun Crescent which I photographed. I then found a website that lists all the public phones in Sunshine, and in one afternoon photographed 11 of them.
My research has turned up some interesting information. I will add some of this to the final book. At this point I’m unclear if I will use film or digital to make the pictures for the final book.
This morning in my in-box was an email from Photoshelter. It had a link to a projects at home idea document, within that document a link to John Baldessari’s tasks he set for his own students. I am really like Baldessari’s you can download it from SFMOMA’s site the Photoshelter one was good too, access it here.
Here’s a quick a taster of Baldessari’s:-
“Using photography, prove a point as in a science fair diorama, display, tableau, such as: ‘How quickly does bread mold under certain conditions?’, ‘Is plant growth hampered by use of conditioned water?’, ‘What is the effect of colored lights on plants?’” He goes on to suggest a few more ideas, but you get the picture: use your camera to conduct a “scientific” inquiry into something that makes you curious.