Research & Development
To reference how the degraded images were made I have included images of the steps either side of the physical process of photographing and dark room developing and printing. Which then went onto be scanned using a Xerox style scanner. Returning to the theory of Walter Benjamin and 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'. by reproducing the images multiple times and in multiple ways in an effort to stifle the quality of the final image and its "Aura".
Warren Cariou- Petrography
Using a bi-product of the oil production process, Bitumen to make photographs print them onto aluminium sheets and then allow to soak in a bath bitumen and lavender oil after heating the plate and creating a transparency to stain the aluminium plates.
Working in this way creates a negative image however, it is the play with light and shadow which is really interesting about this process. When light passes over the Aluminium plate, it creates a positive on the plate without having to make any further alterations to the already complex process of production.
In conversation about the work, Cariou says that all bitumen’s have a photosensitive property, which is what allows them to create such interesting imagery.
Edward Burtynsky- Oil
This body of work is something that really got me thinking about humanities dependence on oil, the way that Burtynsky uses the sheer scale, both in the images and in the way the images are exhibited. That is really what inspires not only my decision to follow projects like this but also to make work around similar themes to this, because of what i feel is a need to change the way we perceive the methods of power production that were developed at a time when science and technology were not as advanced as they are now.
Melinda Gibson’s primary interests lie within the shifting boundaries of the photographic medium and how imagery is received and understood within its contextual surroundings. Using experimental techniques, she explores, examines and questions existing theories and codes of practice, pushing the boundaries of what really constitutes ‘seeing.’
Gibson’s work is something that is of interest to me due to her work with both the negative and the image in print, it is the way that she contextualises her work to achieve outcomes such as these, which invariably will be fundamentally invaluable to that of my own, the images she produces through cutting and layering negatives to produce almost a third combined photograph from two separate and relatively unrelated images that is of distinct interest to me within my own practice and take what she is doing and applying similar techniques to my own which will allow me to produce visually intriguing images from a relatively mundane subject matter.
Stephen Gill-Hackney Flowers
Hackney flowers is a body of work comprised of original photographs overlaid with flowers and other general elements of the flora of hackney in London, the work strives to be a representation of the local area, an attempt to make something beautiful and arresting out of the natural aspects of an area known for its depravity and dilapidation.
Edward Ruscha- 26 Gasoline stations
The work of Edward Ruscha was probably the first I saw and one of the most inspirational to the production of my own body of work, I feel that in 26 Gasoline stations he touches on something quite interesting surrounding the Fuel (Gas) Station, and that is that they are solitary places designed for brief visits and the supply of fuel. Although there is something beautiful in the accessibility of their design.
Tobias Zielony- Tankstelle
This project again centred around the petrol station is more focused on how the space is used by a select group of friends. The majority of Zielony’s work is centred around the theme of people on the fringes of society and a wider theme of boredom something scarcely seen and more feared in the modern day. However, at the time of making this project it was still very present in everyday life.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction- Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin’s seminal work aims to question the over saturation of imagery in the mechanical age, the ease of reproduction and what comes next for the photograph and moving image after the paradigm shift, that is happening with the rapid developments in image making technology and the involved practitioners.
Bending the Frame- Fred Ritchin
Bending the frame builds on Walter Benjamin’s theory of ‘Aura’ again looking at the saturation of the digital image, mass representation and the near future of the modern photographic image. Connecting to my work in the way the artist works with the image to deliberately change it and separate it from other representations. Also writing around the idea that way that the artist works with their imagery and how that might change as we transition from a mechanical age to that of a more digitized one.
Society of the Spectacle- Guy Debord
This book talks about society from a position of Marxist theory and cultural philosophy, but also talks quite widely about how capitalism and the capitalist mode separates the worker from what they sell. In this case it would be petrochemicals. The workers are isolated, working mostly independently and due to their long shifts at all hours of the day. They incur further isolation only having any outside interaction for short periods sporadically. Connecting to my work through these ideas and