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 open-ended. 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?
As this is a new blog I’m putting a list of some of my online projects here. I use flickr and tumblr as my two main digital folio display tools.
Every Saturday at 17:17 I make a picture, it’s a project about time and photography’s unique ability to preserve it.
Four days a week at work I make this picture, again it’s a project about time and photography’s unique ability to preserve it.
I have lived in Sunshine now since 2000. At some point around 2017 I realised that I was sitting on a vast archive of images. These were of things and scenes that have changed or disappeared. I decided then to start looking at other parts and places of Sunshine and record them. This is an ongoing project like the other two predominantly digital but I do use film as well.
I have many ideas and projects that tick away on flickr, this list details some them.
Psychogeography, this project has its roots in my use of phone cameras, the underlying concept comes from an art movement active in the late 1960s early 1970s. The movement was called the Situationists and extolled the idea that walking and observing in the city was an act of creation and rebellion itself.
C roads & other adventures this project is like the Psychogeography however it involves me driving in a manner that is spontaneous and intuitive. It too is an going project.
Doors/Doorways Inspired by Egene Atget’s work I find that the shape and form of a door is very interesting.
Concrete as canvas as a surface most people look at concrete as a bland and uninteresting surface/object. Under the right conditions though the surface can become quite beautiful.
Abstractions. This work is about the how surfaces can becomes an abstration unto themselves. What really makes these pictures interesting for me is the fact that they are also ephemeral and disappear very quickly.
A lone walker is both present and detached, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.” – Rebecca Solnit, from Wanderlust: A History of Walking.
There is something therapeutic about going on walks and taking pictures – sometimes aimless, sometimes with calculated, project-based parameters in mind. It’s a road trip on foot. It’s about pause, introspection, mindfulness, and maybe some visual mile-marking.
In today’s socially distant, quarantined world, walking (safely!) can be a form of personal liberation – one of the few things we can do outside.
For Humble’s next online exhibition, we’d like to see your images related to walking.
Interpret this however you like. This will be co-curated by Bryan Formhals and Humble’s co-founder Jon Feinstein.