Flatness

Figure 1: Phil Hill (March & April 2020) Diptych from Informing Contexts WIPP.

I have started to experiment with the idea of throwing the focus of my images, which is something that I started initially for my Informing Contexts WIPP (Fig: 1). What I have found in the black and white landscapes that I am applying this to, is there is a kind of flatness to the image. Uta Barth refers to her work being about the image themselves (Barth, 2012), in that her shallow depth of field forces the viewer to consider the surface of the photographer as much as trying to work out the content that Barth has photographed (Fig: 2). In the book ‘Art and Objects,’ Graham Harmon noted this in the chapter ‘The Canvas is the Message’ (2020, pp. 83-110), which is also in reference to Marshall Mcluhan’s ‘Medium is the Message’ (1967) suggesting that it is important to  analyse the medium that the content and ‘message’ is being presented and its impact on the concept. As Harmon discusses on Clement Greenberg: “For the most part, Greenberg was fixated on insisting that content in avant-garde painting must signal awareness of the chief feature of its medium; flatness” (2020, p. 85). And this is an observation that seems to be shared by David Campany when he discusses the work of Robert Rauschenberg (Fig: 3), stating: “here, the flatness of the canvas was emphasised, as opposed to the deep space of realist pictorial illusion” (2020, p. 106).

Figure 2: Uta Barth (1994) Ground #42
Figure 3: Robert Rauschenberg (1963) Scanning.

There is an acknowledgement here that the material has its role to play in first the construction and then the reading of it. By reducing the depth of field and visual information the outcome is as much about the medium as the objects depicted, which in turn can place the photographer into the scene. The awareness that this is a photograph by the image moving further along the spectrum of indexical, which highlights the influence that the medium has over the outcome.

Where I find it useful to experiment with is how I find my connection to this place continually tenuous. It is also a useful method in exploring where the countryside starts to become urban, which is something impossible to photograph as a clearly defined thing. The blur creates its own boundary that I can hang these ideas on.

Throwing Focus Experiment outcome 19/10

Reflection 19/10

I am quite happy with the way that these have turned out. There is a quality created by the blur that makes me want to investigate the contents of the image much more (ignoring that I know already). Although I enjoy these images and like the short series that it presents, I am still unsure on how they might fit into the wider narrative. This is potentially a personal challenge as I still find it hard to remove the iconic element of the image – I just want to focus it. That said, this was shot in a location that I have created work before, and that work might be considered tried, tested, even derivative of imagery seen before, so this is a useful way of breaking that kind of image making.

Additionally, I have just started reading ‘Edgelands’ (Farley & Symmonds Roberts, 2011), which was recommended to me by both Colin and Andy during a couple of my webinars. The book is becoming revelatory to the way that I have been approaching my project and consider what I have been looking for in my landscape work. As a result, I am considering working more with the type of image that I created for the last module wipp, and really refine my approach to look at and explore some of the concepts presented in ‘Edgelands.’

Not to discount the throwing focus experiment however, just that presently there does not seem to me a way of constructing my narrative using these disparate elements, which I am keen to avoid owing to some previous WIPP feedback for Informing Contexts.  

Bibliography

Barth, U., 2012. Light, Looking: Uta Barth [Interview] (22 March 2012).

Campany, D., 2020. On Photographs. 1 ed. London: Thames and Hudson.

Farley, P. & Symmonds Roberts, M., 2011. Edgelands – Journeys into England’s true Wilderness. London: Vintage.

Harmon, G., 2020. Art and Objects. 1st Paperback ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

McLuhan, M., 1967. The Medium is the Massage. Paperback ed. London: Penguin.

Starting to consider the metaphysical landscape & looking at: Awoiska Van Der Molen

Identifying that I need to develop my approach to photographing the land to then create better links between people and place, I have started to consider key terms in how I might begin to interact with the land and the way that I photography differently.

Figure 1: Phil Hill (June, 2020) Garston Nature reserve, Watford.

Much of my recent research has focused away from an anthropocentric interpretation of the object, or at least acknowledging that the object also has an impact on the way that it can be interpreted by humans. Graham Harmon’s view of an object orientated ontology invites us to consider that “All objects must be given equal attention, whether they be human, natural, cultural, real or fictional” (2018: 6). I have given a considerable amount of attention into the way the inanimate has a fundamental impact on the animate reading, without fully appreciating how the conceptual and the metaphysical can also exist in this space (Fig: 1). It has been useful consider ways that the object exists without anthropocentrism thrust upon it however, ultimately my own interpretation will continue to shape the way that I approach anything. Additionally, the idea of giving everything equal attention as Harmon suggests has clearly not been evident in my work up to this point, leading to the feedback on the need for the metaphorical to be more present in my non-portraits – even referring to these images as non-portraits creates the sense for me and for the reader that they are merely secondary to the people I am photographing.

Linking

Roger W. Hepburn notes that any aesthetic appreciation of the landscape can also allow for reflection and more cognitive elements to exist alongside its visual appeal (1996: 191) however, there are also times where representation in art versus the reality of the scene might create dissonance in this appreciation:

“the aesthetic assimilation of human artefacts, industrial objects like pipelines, or a power station on an estuary, or a windfarm on a hilltop – drawing these into the world of his painting […] why is it quite different (for many people) with aesthetic appreciation of nature – revulsion at the slicing of a Down, let us say by a motorway cutting?”

(p. 193)

We seem to value the impact – even when negative – of humans on the landscape as if the art creates space for the aesthetic appreciation of degradation, which in some way might explain the appeal of subjects such the vernacular and the banal.

Wanting to start my exploration in the land within the idea of where the rural becomes urban (Beynon, et al., 2016), I could also start to see how the impact of humans starts to build up and become the city. Of course, the idea of rural has its own human trace and impact, especially in a country like the UK; it is quite a rare thing to discover an area that has be untouched by a human presence – in the south east anyway. Showing how the land changes as you move closer to the more urban elements of this area is something that can be explored in a relative straight forward way, allowing to experiment with methods of recording it. My first shoots therefore will aim to show this change and also the build-up of human traces, which may start to reveal how the community interacts with place.

Awoiska Van Der Molen
Figure 2: Awoiska van der Molen (2014) #245-18.

Awoiska Van Der Molen was suggested in the first webinar with Colin to one of my peers however, I decided to also look up her work and found that it really resonated with me. Molen seems to really utilise the medium of black and white film photography and traditional dark room methods (Fig:2), which is where much of my research led me during the last module; in order to better execute my own research project I felt it important to explore the aspects of the medium that I was using, push its boundaries and embrace its limitations. As I have written before, black and white also provides an established series of readings of a work, it also draws attention to the process of photography, which firmly places the photographer at the centre of the work, something that Molen acknowledges in her process. When referring to her exhibition prints and the “traces that someone was working on it” (Molen in French, 2020), which are formed from the traditional printing process that she uses. This drawing attention to the process of her photography is what separates her work from how Hepburn describes as the “aesthetic appeal” of other works that is without the cognitive recognition or “metaphysical imagination” (1996: 191) that Molen has specifically sought to move away from:

“so I found I was feeling really outside the landscape. Trip after trip this happened, until I decided I had to go deeper. I needed to find something beyond the kind of perspective we have learned from landscape painting and find something more personal”

(2020)

What is interesting about Molen’s comments is in the idea of learned knowledge from established tropes such as painting. I have been openly referencing how black and white draws from a learned knowledge and aim to continue this to a certain degree however, it is important not to fall into the trap of creating work that is a derivative of what already exists. Looking at Molen’s approach, it is possible to continue using the process in a way that still draws the attention to it but also not being a copy if what already exists. My reference to the documentary canon, should now start to develop into part of the process over full emulation.

Figure 3: Awoiska van der Molen (2014) #212-7.

The approach will need investigating. Do I aim to use the qualities of the camera or the qualities of post-production. Molen uses both at different stages to build her outcome (Fig: 3). Not to emulate (as stated above), I do want to see how each of these methods will have an impact on my work.

Bibliography

Beynon, M., Cawley, A. & Munday, M., 2016. Measuring and Understanding the differences between urban and rural areas, a new approach for planners. Environment and Planning B. Urban Analytics and city Science, 43(6).

Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.

Hepburn, R. W., 1996. Landscape and the Metaphysical Imagination. Environmental Values, 5(3), pp. 191-204.

Molen, A. v. d. M., 2020. Blanco: Silent Landscapes [Interview] 2020.

New Materialism & Object Agency – Another ‘Berlin’

During the module break, I aimed to consolidate some of the research that I have been doing on the photographic object and the idea of agency in both animate and inanimate objects, which has become important in the way that I start to include myself into the images that I produce. I wrote an essay that also coincided with a ‘call for papers’ on new materialism from Canadian art journal ‘Esse.’ As a lecturer, I am keen to develop my theoretical underpinning of my art practice and consider writing a fundamental area to support my practice.

Photography & Object Orientated Ontology

When discussing Edmond Husserl, Graham Harmon notes how he believes there can be two Berlins: “One of them a content inside the mind and the other an object outside it” (2020: 15). The meaning of this assertion is to suggest that if I were to describe Berlin to you, assuming that you had never been there, it would be different from the one that you might find if you went there yourself. Not necessarily so different that you wouldn’t recognise it as the Berlin I described, but the way that I perceive a place and then describe it will inevitably abstract certain details. I may skip bits less important to me, which you then find crucial to the way that you experience it. I really like chocolate and there was a pretty good chocolate shop by the Brandenburg gate, or the cool northern district where I bought that t-shirt but can’t remember its name – began with an ‘F’ I think. You will experience and remember a different city to me; you may even remember the name of that district. Husserl acknowledges the negligible difference between these two realities as an “absurd notion” (p. 15) however, shows that human perception of the concrete world is a construction of bias and truth, even if that construction describes that same reality.

Harmon is an advocate of Object Orientated Ontology (OOO), which creates agency in the object that is free from how humans perceive it and removes us from being the central focus of interpretation of the world. The described object has its qualities, which can be interpreted in innumerate ways by us and some of these qualities can be abstracted. The object however, remains as it is, regardless of how it is interpreted by us, as Harmon notes, “we abstract certain features from these objects, which exist in their full and unexhausted plenitude quite apart from all our theoretical, perceptual, or practical encounters with them” (2020: 18). Within the sphere of OOO, Berlin would be considered an ‘object’ like any other: “any ‘thing’ is an object, whether living, non-living, artificial, or conceptual”  (Kerr, 2016). Photography is an act of interpreting objects, albeit narrowly, and when considering Husserl photographically, it can be thought of as a third ‘Berlin’ as it also abstracts, leaving out many of the static features that exist in the object.

Figure 1: Micheal Padilla (2020) From ‘Plague Kids: A 21st Century Photo Diary’

The interpretation of the object is based on how it has been photographed: how the apparatus has been programmed, how it has been lit, how it has been composed. The object has its own immutable qualities, yet the interpretation is closely tied to the qualities of the photograph, which can supersede those of the object. I was struck by a recent example of this from one of my peers, Michael Padilla. In his series, ‘Plague Kids,’ he takes the clean colour digital images from a DSLR and prints them onto previously printed-on paper using a laser printer from the 90s, which completely downgrades any of the perceived ‘clean’ quality of the original image (Fig: 1). However, by doing so, he also creates something far superior with greater meaning, even as it is interpreted as degraded. Padilla has taken the abstraction of the photograph one step further by supplanting the qualities of the photograph with its printed outcome, shifting the context – creating a fourth ‘Berlin’ to continue with Husserl’s analogy.

A more common example of this might be in advertising, where the object is photographed in such a way as to accentuate particular qualities attractive to those who are willing to make a purchase. I have also discussed previously, that some of the best photographic works seem to draw attention to the act of photography, which is another way of saying that they also accentuate particular qualities of the photographic process. It is worth noting that photography would also be considered an ‘object’ by OOO, with agency outside the sphere of our interpretation. As Harmon argues, “the external world exists independently of human awareness” (2018: 10).

Figure 2: Phil Hill (August, 2020) PHO703: Surfaces and Strategies work in progress portfolio submission, titled ‘I hope this finds you safe and well’

When considering the impact of OOO on my research project (Fig: 2), the idea of multiple ‘Berlins’ can just as easily be interpreted as multiple ‘Watfords’ (though not as ‘cool’) in a figurative and literal sense of the word. So far, I have suggested that there are four of these interpretations however, as each of us has a unique learned knowledge of the world, it is argued that there are in fact an infinite amount – even as the concrete existence of Watford and the communities that occupy it remain. OOO encourages a way of removing human interpretation from the object’s own agency and creates an opportunity to analyse the impact of the object’s qualities on the way that it is read by us; first consider the object and then the photographic process acting on it.

What I have aimed to do with my project is to consider the perception of these qualities in terms of how they are photographed and how the qualities of the photograph can overcome the qualities of the object photographed – my community. This has become fundamental to the understanding of how I will photograph my community moving forward and also how I connect with it. If I start to think of the community as an object, I can start to identify its qualities and then consider ways in which I can apply the qualities of photography to create my narrative; connecting with the community by drawing attention to my process of photograph. And this is why analogue has become quite important to my practice. The way that we perceive community in its rose-tinted, better-in-the-past bubble, and the way that black and white documentary photographs have shaped this collective understanding are qualities that can be exploited to create my authorship of the presented work – connecting me as the photographer to the community that I am photographing.

Bibliography

Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.

Harmon, G., 2020. Art and Objects. 1st Paperback ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Kerr, D., 2016. What Is Object-Oriented Ontology?. [Online] Available at: https://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/the_big_idea/a-guide-to-object-oriented-ontology-art-53690 [Accessed 9 August 2020].

Writing as Process

I have been spending time considering the photograph as an object related to my research around Object Orientated Ontology, black and white images and a documentary aesthetic. Source magazine also have a writing prize, so I have put together a short article about the topic as i feel this would be a good way to explore ideas and also use writing as a process to present them:

Drawing Attention to the Photograph
Robert Frank (1955) Elevator, Miami Beach – From ‘The Americans”

When Robert Frank penned his application to the Guggenheim foundation leading to the hugely influential ‘The Americans’ trip, he wanted: “To produce an authentic contemporary document, the visual impact should be such as will nullify explanation” (Frank, 2012). This accomplishment was never in dispute. However, he also did something else: Frank showed the US photographed and by doing so, drew attention to the act of photography in challenging the stiff, formal technical proficiency of traditionalists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and his mentor, Walker Evans (O’Hagan, 2014). Frank broke all the rules with his approach to process, As John Szarkowski points out: “what was being described had to be described because it was there, it didn’t have to be described according to the rules and formulations that were thought of as being good photography” (2013). Frank’s photographs openly display the act of photography by showing you the means of its production (showing you the strings): motion blur, un-level horizons, moving the depth of field from the main subject of the image, shifting attention. Things that are only shown through photographs, and considered mistakes by some, yet they cut through the illusion of perfection, making them relatable and placing Frank into the photograph as the photographer.

This idea of drawing attention to the photographic act might sound pretty obvious to anyone looking at Frank’s photographs, now part of the mythology of a documentary aesthetic: black and white inviting the reader to view the subject nostalgically, for example. These quintessential qualities of the photograph are opposed to the way that we interpret the world and a learned knowledge of their perceived importance, as Vilém Flusser notes: “Many photographers … prefer black-and-white photographs to colour photographs because they more clearly reveal the actual significance of the photograph, i.e. the world of concepts” (2000, p. 43). Of course, for Frank, black and white film was the primary means to photograph, yet it still highlights a contrast of the real world. Contemporary photographers such as Vanessa Winship, choose to utilise this conceptual suggestive power of black and white, clearly recognising the subjective act of photography, or as she puts it best, the area “between chronicle and fiction” (Winship, 2015), drawing attention to her photographs’ contrast of the concrete world and as objects in themselves.

Drawing attention to the act of photography separates it from the sea of images occupying our daily lives, perhaps one of the last bastions of differentiation that the photographer has. It is easy to take a picture, everyone has the means to do it, but the awareness of the photograph as an object remains with those willing to study it and then accentuate its qualities, both conceptual and technical. Photographers do this often with apparatus. For example, Joel Mereowitz considers the theatre of the 10×8 camera in which he captured Provincetown a significant part of that work, where even during the late 70’s and early 80’s must have seemed like apparatus from a distant time (Meyerowitz in Perello, 2020). This idea also led to Alys Tomlinson making a ‘break through’ in pursuit of her seminal project ‘Ex-Voto’ when she switched to large format black and white (Tomlinson in Smith, 2020).

The theatre of apparatus also draws attention to the photographic act, though not necessarily for the viewer. It is more of an interaction between the author and subject as it creates the means to interject the visual associations of candid and vernacular; apparatus invites intrigue, breaking down tension with a curious subject. It should be noted, this reaction may not have happened without its presence bringing up questions of subjectivity and representation as it is more an intervention by the photographer author, as Philip Toledano reminds us, “The art is always about you [the photographer] in some respect, it’s just a question of how visible you are in that photograph; how much you can see yourself or other people can see you” (Toledano, 2020). In our world of images, how does the photographer differentiate themselves from the vernacular and the sea of images? Going back to the example of Robert Frank, who’s subject was the vernacular – you draw attention to the photography within the photograph.

Bibliography

Flusser, V., 2000. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. 2018 reprint ed. London: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Frank, R., 2012. A Statement by Robert Frank (1958). [Online] Available at: https://americansuburbx.com/2012/07/robert-frank-a-statement-1958.html
[Accessed 15 July 2020].

Meyerowitz, J., 2020. The Candid Frame #500 – Joel Meyerowitz [Interview] (26 January 2020).

O’Hagan, S., 2014. Robert Frank at 90: the photographer who revealed America won’t look back. [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/nov/07/robert-frank-americans-photography-influence-shadows [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Szarkowski, J., 2013. John Szarkowski On Robert Frank’s Book ‘The Americans’” (1986). [Online] Available at: https://americansuburbx.com/2013/05/john-szarkowski-on-robert-franks-book-the-americans-1986.html [Accessed 16 July 2020].

Toledano, P., 2020. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers – 132 Phillip Toledano [Interview] (10 June 2020).

Tomlinson, A., 2020. A Small Voice: Conversations with photographers – 123 – Alys Tomlinson [Interview] (5 February 2020).

Winship, V., 2015. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers – 003 Vanessa Winship [Interview] (11 November 2015).

Object Agency – Planning for Surfaces and Strategies

The central focus around which I based my research project was to create a body of work that had portraiture as the main thread running through it. It is where I believed that the strongest stories in photography are; people being at the core of my narrative. Since the outbreak, I have had to evolve this approach and it has forced me to consider different ways of representing the idea of idiorrythym with the community and my connection to it, without people present.

I was fairly happy with the outcomes of the last module’s work in progress portfolio (Fig: 1), however this felt more of a reaction to the situation than of complete intent. There are some clear ideas that came out of the evolved approach together with some concepts that feel like they could have a valuable impact on my project as it moves forward.

Figure 1: Phil Hill (April, 2020) Work in Progress portfolio submission for Informing Contexts.

During the break I have been researching the concept of Object Orientated Ontology, which seeks to consider the agency of the object in the sense of how the qualities of the object impact the outcome of the photograph and ultimately how it is read. For example, Barthes’ discusses the mythology applied to wine, especially in French culture, for his essay ‘wine and milk’ (1993: 58-62). In it he creates a metaphor and symbols by which wine is interpreted, consumed and viewed by our learned culture:

“Other countries drink to get drunk, and this is accepted by everyone; in France, drunkenness is a consequence, never an intention”

(1993: 59)

“Wine is part of society because it provides a basis not only for a morality but also for an environment it is an ornament in the slightest ceremonials of French daily life”

(1993: 60)

Wine for Barthes symbolises quite a lot for French culture and also wider culture. Wine is so crucial to our wider culture that Peter Conrad also included an updated version to discuss the screw-top wine bottle when he created his ‘21st Century Mythologies’ (2014). Much of the way that Barthes’ discusses his mythologies is a way of anthropomorphising the inanimate to create the metaphor, yet these are formed from the qualities of the object and shape the experience of it. Graham Harmon refers to these as sensual qualities (2018), the sun for example is not an object that as humans, we can tangibly verify from its physical qualities, however we are aware of its sensual qualities: the light emitted, the heat it provides.

These qualities also have a fundamental impact on how the photograph is constructed. I can make decisions on how I want to take my photographs, but these are ultimately governed by the sensual qualities of the sun. The time of day to create the most aesthetically pleasing image, also known as the golden hour, is an example of this agency over the photograph. These qualities govern the way that the camera reacts to what it is pointed at.

Areas of exploration during surfaces and strategies

I am aiming to continue exploring the research that I began around the idea of the documentary aesthetic and to extend this by experimenting with the inherent qualities that are inherent in these images, or at least, the qualities that are expected to be seen in these images from our collective awareness of how they should look. These qualities, physical and sensual have important roles in the way that images are read and create impact. As I have started to look at the concept of OOO and how this applies to objects, the art object, and their agency. More specifically, how the photograph is an object in its own right and creates agency.

Initial ideas
FSA Hole Punches:
Figure 2: Paul Carter (1936) Hole punched through – Untitled photo, possibly related to: Tobacco fields devastated by the Connecticut River near Northampton, Massachusetts. Photograph: Library of Congress
  • I have come back to the FSA images a few time during the MA so far, after reading the discussion of Susan Sontag and John Tagg unpick the images as propagandist and complete constructions, with Sontag noting “In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects” (1979: 6), which considers how the photographer acts upon the objects (or subject), however as I have been researching in OOO, those subjects (or objects) can also act on the photographer and the photograph.
  • As I have become interested in a documentary aesthetic, I have been considering how the FSA images have come to define how we expect documentary images to be presented back to us. Sally Stein also noted this in her essay on Dorothea Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’ image, stating: “is often treated as the quintessential 1930s documentary photography” (2020: 59). And goes on to discuss the appropriation of the image, which has little to do with the reality of the situation that she photographed.
  • What really interests me from the vast archive of images was the ones that were ‘killed’ by Roy Stryker by punching holes through them (Fig: 2). I wrote about during the last module and created some experiments based around these, which seemed fairly superficial and I decided to move on fairly quickly so I am keen to look at this again. Instead of creating images that have been ‘Killed’ I want to explore the idea of looking at the punched hole from the image itself. There are many of these ‘killed’ images in the Library of Congress archive, which interests me as although the images were considered rejects, they were still kept for posterity whereas the missing part of these images – the holes – were discarded. Lewis Bush created a zine of this archive (2017), which suggests Stryker’s motives for such a violent rejection was due to any deviation from the official narrative that these images were aiming to portray.
  • The discarded part of the image, which does not fit the narrative, is what intrigues me and really connects to some of my earlier research into the ostracised (Barthes, 2012: 81).
Separation
  • Separation is a theme that has entered into my image making. I want to explore this further by creating separation through image processing. Vilem Flusser discusses that the photographs abstract from reality: “traditional images are abstractions of the first order insofar as they abstract from the concrete world while technical images are abstractions of the third order: They abstract from texts which abstract from traditional images which themselves abstract from the concrete world” (2000: 14), so one of my explorations will be to create levels of abstraction using photographic processes, which is also an area I want to look at in support of the photograph as an object in its own right.
  • Black and White film is a way to begin this. During the module break I began to use film a lot more as I went out on my daily walks. Black and white in itself is an abstraction of the concrete world, and Flusser even highlights the way that black and white infers a theoretical concept into the visual: “Black-and-white photographs embody the magic of theoretical thought since they transform the linear discourse of theory into surfaces. Herein lies their peculiar beauty, which is the beauty of the conceptual universe” (p. 43). Therefore, I want to experiment with its ability to abstract from the concrete and also explore the way it translates the conceptual. Alec Soth used a black and white aesthetic in his series ‘Songbook’ (2014) to reference a nostalgia for such imagery, which the FSA partially created. I also aim to extend this research into black and white use by looking at the work of Alys Tomlinson’s Ex Voto series (Fig: 3) among others.
  • Push processing film beyond its normal working range is something else that I am considering. I have a bulk roll of Fomapan 100 film that I am working through and will shoot some at 3200+ to see how this has an impact on image quality. I have seen people push HP5 to the extremes with interesting result to the grain of the negative, giving an aesthetic similar to that of Fukase’s Ravens (Fig: 4)
Figure 3: Alys Tomlinson (2019) Untitled from ‘Ex Voto
Figure 4: Masahisa Fukase (1986) Image from ‘Ravens’
Bibliography

Barthes, R., 1993. Mythologies. 1st Vintage Edition ed. London: Vintage.

Barthes, R., 2012. How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of some Everyday Spaces. Translation ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Bush, L., 2017. Stryker. London: Lewis Bush.

Conrad, P., 2014. 21st Century Mythologies: Episode 1 – Screw-Top Wine Bottle. London: BBC Radio 4.

Flusser, V., 2000. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. 2018 Reprint ed. London: Reaktion Books.

Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.

Sontag, S., 1979. On Photography. London: Penguin.

Soth, A., 2014. Songbook. 1 ed. London: Mack.

Stein, S., 2020. Migrant Mother Migrant Gender. 1 ed. London: Mack.

Gettier and the Pyramids

I have been continuing to consider the documentary aesthetic and authority that exists in the photograph. If all photographs are constructions, can any of them be considered knowledge by using the epistemological definition of ‘Justified True Belief’ (JTB). In an attempt to explore this, I have been aiming to apply this to photographs by also looking at the Gettier problem (1963), which creates the conditions for knowledge, albeit based on a false premise. Additionally, I have also been researching the idea of object orientated ontology (OOO), which states that the art object can be a form of knowledge drawn from its aesthetic qualities (Harmon, 2018).

The research has been useful to define new ways to consider the photograph as a way to represent and document a subject in its raw form before they are approached from a constructivist learned knowledge of the world. I have written an essay, which can be viewed here:

Bibliography

Gettier, E. L., 1963. Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?. Analysis, pp. 121-123.

Harmon, G., 2018. Object Orientated Ontology – A New Theory of Everything. 1st ed. London: Pelican Books.