Place over Time II

Figure 1: Sebastiano Pomata & Phil Hill (May – June, 2020) Seb’s image taken in Barcelona (left) and my appropriated copy (right)
Figure 2: Sebastiano Pomata & Phil Hill (May – June, 2020) Different version of the figure 1 diptych, leaving Seb’s original as scanned.

During the lock down I asked a number of people to start taking pictures of their experiences. My friend Seb, who lives in Barcelona, shot a roll of film for me and mailed it over to process and scan. I am unsure where I want to use these, if at all, for my research project. For this week’s task however, I decided it would be interesting to see how I could appropriate his images. Using a slide copier, I re-photographed his negatives and the processed the film again creating the above diptych image (Fig: 1 & 2).

On the face of it, both of these images appear to be the same, albeit with different exposures. A fairly straightforward copy, however, it can be argued that Seb’s image is once removed from the concrete world as he originally photographed it.  

In my appropriated version, I have further removed the reality by copying the image onto a new roll of film, creating a positive image onto the filmstrip. My copied version is also based on decisions that I have made during the copying process. As a result, I have created an object that is mine, in the form of the new negative.  I have become quite interested in how a photograph can represent its subject and it can be argued that my version is even less representative than the original. Yet, if seen in isolation, would be considered on similar merit to the original it copies.

Not shown here, but during the copying process, I also made selections and edited the order of the images that Seb took, which further decontextualises them.

I am considering taking this idea into my own images to see how I can create a sense of separation through this kind of implicit abstraction.

Figure 3: Sebastiano Pomata & Phil Hill (May – June, 2020) Another appropriated image from Seb’s Barcelona series.

Place Over Time

I took a number of approaches to this task and have found it quite useful in thinking about my own practice. I think that I have been doing forms of re-photography in quite a lot of then work that I produce.

Image 1
Figure 1: Phil Hill (April & June, 2020) Light on kitchen floor

This is one of the images submitted for the last module (Fig: 1). Although not exactly the same in terms of composition, the light cast onto the floor creates an interesting contrast between the two images. In terms of the passage of time, the first was taken in April when it was much cooler and the kitchen door was closed, compared to the recreation, where the door was open allowing more of the afternoon light come into the space.

Images 2 & 3
Figure 2: Phil Hill & Darius Dabrowski (March – June, 2020) Casiobury Park, Watford
Figure 3: Phil Hill & Darius Dubrowski (March – June, 2020) Watford Town Center

Again, during Informing contexts, one of my aims was to start collaborating with others (Fig: 2 & 3). I gave out cameras to some of the people that I met in my community in order for them to photograph it from their own perspective. Unfortunately, owing to the pandemic, I was unable to truly resolve and develop that approach so had to shelve it. I decided to use them for this task as it felt like a great way to apply the techniques by way of a collaboration. As my research project is about connection to community and idiorythym, I am interested in how other perceive the same space as me.

Images 4 & 5
Figure 4: Phil Hill (April – June, 2020) Window images
Figure 5: Phil Hill (April – June, 2020) Window Images

The final two images are part of the evolution of my research project as a result of having to adapt to the pandemic (Fig: 4&5). I was happy with the way that these abstract images of the windows in my home turned out, however they are also a reaction to a situation and something that I feel need further development if I am going to utilise it for future work. After reading Vilém Flusser during the break, I was interested in the way that he discusses the surface of the photograph and how it abstracts from reality: “traditional images are abstractions of the first order insofar as they abstract from the concrete world” (2000: 14), so I wanted to take this concept and start to purposefully abstract using different processes, including considering the photograph as an object itself. This is the first exploration in this are – the images on the left have been re-photographed using black and white film, which was pushed 5 stops (100 – 3200) beyond its normal capability to increase grain and reduce the resolution of the final negative. This was a useful task to start exploring these ideas.


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