Artist’s statement for Technical Images of Flux
2017 - ongoing
Prompted (in part) by:
- Flusser’s (1983) observation that the popular conception of photographs "leads whoever looks at them to see them not as images but as windows",
- Arbus’s (1972) observation that "You don’t put into a photograph what’s going to come out. Or what comes out is not what you put in”, and
- Winogrand’s (1973) observations that "The photograph isn’t what was photographed, it’s something else; I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed”
This project tests the popular assumptions that photographs are an "accurate and objective record” (Genoni 2002: 137) and "a truthful account” (Fosdick and Fahmy, 2007: 1) of things "as they really were” (Ross 1982: 12) which constrain our ability to conceive of – and therefore devise – alternative ways of thinking about and working with the medium.
Instead, by approaching photography as an active – or, more accurately, an act of – collaboration between medium and practitioner, we have begun to create photographic records of scenes, moments and tableaux that did not exist in the world ‘out there’ (and so were not ‘there’ to be ‘taken’) – but were instead created by the act of photographing them.
These are all 'straight' photographs. In some cases, I have increased brightness and/or contrast, and in a couple, I have also increased colour saturation, but I have not otherwise manipulated (Photoshopped) the results.
This alternative model of photography is considered in my article Is This Photograph Taken? published (July 2018) in the Journal of Visual Art Practice