I intend to take some of the concepts that we looked at during the last module forward to create a starting structure to my initial shoots whilst I am building the relationships that I need to further develop my ideas. I want to look at my own community much more closely and will use the psychogeography approach to provide a boundary to this first shoot. I will use the postcode area of where I live to provide this, with the intention of staying as close to it as possible and photographing along the way (Fig. 1).
To support my initial approach, I have also been reading the FSA shooting scripts on a ‘Small Town’ (Stryker, 1939) that provide a very comprehensive list of things that I could potentially photograph and also outlined as good inspiration by Todd Hido (Hido, 2014, p. 123). Although I do not intend to follow the list to the letter, I will use this as a guide and inspiration of areas to consider and look for along the way (Fig. 2).
This is beginning to tie in to a number of my recent reading and investigations, leading me to plan a shoot around the environment of community, having been drawn more a more to the idea of those that are excluded from society. I first started to consider this as an idea after reading what Roland Barthes discussed in ‘How to Live Together’ where he suggests that it is important to consider those that have been excluded by a society. As people group together and form communities, there would inevitably be those that are left out, stating that community can’t exist without integrated rejection (Barthes, 2012, p. 96). Being ostracized from society is something that I have also come across in ‘Ten Types of Human’ (Dias, 2017) where he discusses that groups that have cast out members often become a closer knit community, however for those that have been ostracized, prospects of survival are limiting (Dias, 2017, p. 127), which is in reference to much of the animal kingdom and for me this concept feels quite libertarian in the sense that we have the ability to take care of those we might seek to ostracize. However, in a counterpoint to Barthes assertions that there is no contradiction that we can live together and separately (Barthes, 2012, pp. 4-5), Dias considers that there might not be a benefit form living together, a ‘dilemma of social life’ (Dias, 2017, p. 107). What I find the most interesting from Dias’s writing is the identification that we, as humans, have an innate need to from tribes, even if this is in essence an irrational behavior, we for groups, sub groups, societies, and all the way up to nations, are all forms of groups in one way or another (Dias, 2017, p. 285). This is fundamental to some of my aims and an area that I wish to explore.
Barthes, R., 2012. How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of some Everyday Spaces. Translation ed. New York: Columbia University Press.
Dias, D., 2017. The Ten Types of Human. 1st paperback ed. London: Penguin Random House.
Google Maps, 2020. WD24 Watford Postcode Prefix, Viewed 23 January 2020. Available at: https://goo.gl/maps/AFydFXCLWC6evRJ86
Hido, T., 2014. Todd Hido on Landscapes, Interiors, and the Nude. New York: Aperture.
Stryker, R., 1939. Shooting script on the Small Town, Washington DC: Library of Congress.