The Glass we carry. To find and discuss our first ever image taken.
I had to do a real search for this image, being very much a child of the rise of social media I have a variety of archives, which in itself made me question where my photography journey really started. This is from Facebook which is my oldest platform I have available, sadly MySpace is long gone!
This was taken on a train journey from Bangkok to Northern Thailand, I'm fairly sure the time stamp is incorrect as due to my nature, I'm not the best at setting times on devices and it would have been manual unlike todays technology. The train journey was quite eventful, I was travelling with my boyfriend at the time, sipping on Thai Whiskey and looking forward to visiting Chang Mai. The train was wooden as were the tracks which caused one of the carriages to catch fire, there was a brief stop whilst the carriage was removed and left to the side of the tracks before the journey continued.
I'm certain this isn't the first image I've ever taken but its the first I could find. Travelling and eventually moving from Glasgow to Bristol has meant many of my disposable camera type prints have been lost which makes me wonder how many memories have been lost also.
Method = Your choice of Format - your Camera, your Apparatus etc. How I am actually going to do it. The practicalities.
Methodology = A framework that includes lots of research, discussion and presentation/dissemination... all things that will guide you through and help your work/project/images. What and why you are doing things.
*You can put a Method into your Methodology, but not the other way around!*
All the glass we carry:
- Can you describe your methodology in terms of the past, montage and the non-fictive?
My methodology is capturing moments of my non-fictive life. My own lonlines, my own lived experience of going through a seperation, divorce and motherhood as well as my challenges with Bipolar and ADHD.
- How much do you rely upon stories to support your images? I feel my practice as moved on from being more conceptual/story based to capturing real moments. However it is a story, my story. Where I visual emersive myself into the experience.
- What methodological assumptions do you make in your practice that need to be challenged?
That all of my imagery must be taken indoors, must all be self portraits, must have a concept. Also that each photo session has to be posed with a camera.
- Task, redact all text from a magazine and discuss...
Images from Independent Magazine, Hook Magazine. I find the lack of text very interesting as it distracted from the interesting visual layouts of the image. Image 1 is actually a love poem about a long distance relationship but the visual collage comes across as almost clingy in nature and hark back to an era of imagery which women were seen as such or as objects, the magazine is actually a feminist publication. I think images 2 and 3 are personally interesting as even due to the lack of text they still have that "mother earth" and "feminist" feel that the publication sells itself as. In fact it makes the visuals more interesting to look at.
As someone who has used text in my own work, spoken word and music, I do wonder if they detract from the power of my imagery instead of helping getting the message im aiming to get across. Perhaps in my own work, less is more?
- Can you describe your methodology in terms of an expanding present?
My methodolgy began as a discussion about female reclamation but slowly turned into a diary of my divorce journey, each photo session is full of new emotions that have never been experienced, it captures the journey of a divorce but also snapshots of views, objects and moments that myself and my family may never see again in its current form.
- How do your photographs interface with your research subject?
My photographs due to the time and often "real moments" of my divorce journey, less money, childcare and general ups and downs means that I've had to develop methods of capturing images such as typical photo sessions, using my own phone, sketches and also AI technology.
- What temporal biases are inherent in your practice that need to be revisited?
I feel in the past my practice was much more constructed using conceptual ideas and symbolism in my work, taking my time.. now its about capturing "A Journey" but one that has no real tangible ending, that could be seen as just a tiny fraction of my time on earth or a much more complex network of long days and weeks as a process outside of my practice (divorce) and control takes place.
VISIONS TO BE WRITTEN
- Can you account for the effects of your methods / methodology?
Using self portraiture and my own experiences just from my own "gaze" may be seen as introverted however it allows me to keep agency of my own experiences. However I understand there may be positive and negatives to that. My ex-husbands perspective, my childrens perspective I've chosen not to include. I'm hoping this project will be a visual talking point (especially for my children.) when they are older to understand and experience where the world feels like it is falling apart but is in fact small details of a much bigger picture. In a postivie way I would like my honesty to help other women who are in my situation, whether it be going through a breakup, living with mental illness or just looking to develop their own practice.
My use of AI technology in some of my current methods is one from a huge curiosity to my ADHD brain but an exploration of how it can be used to be more innovative for photographers, the "Hope" that is discussed in the video. To stop the stifling and repetitive media we see and to embrace something new.
- How does your practice depart from familiar narratives?
I think it would be egotistical to say it differs hugely. However it is almost like a diary, it embraces new mediums and i'm immersed in the work with the aim to look back on it in the future as a type of archive of a different time.
- What agency do you have in how your work is received and whether it will survive?
I've come to understand that once we share an image online, via instaram etc we lose a lot of Agency, it can be reshared, re interpreted and now even re manipulated with the very same AI technology that I use. Personally I feel that printing and keeping an archive to share with family keeps that agency, however that comes from a place of privilege as even though my life is very much in turmoil I am not displaced, my archive has not been lost to acts of nature.
Visions to be written- Creative writing task
Set 60 years from now.
The children gather around the screen.
“We must pick a photo to upload her fully to the cloud.”
They rifle through files of photographs. Their eyes looking for extra fingers, and odd anomaly here or there, a location that did not feel as familiar as the others. Each image is a version of a happy life, smiles, children bathed in sunlight, a happy mother.
“I managed to reactivate her Instagram, jeez that is an old bit of tech... but I think a lot of them are real. They could be accepted?” Edie said with a hopeful look in her eyes.
“You really think so?” Her brother snorted angrily, “Don't you remember the filters, the fake backdrops, the forced smiles with perfect hair, and special moments? None of it was real, billions of people uploading false moments until the point it ruined humanity.” Edie placed a hand on her grieving brother's shoulder... “They were not to know, Ezra. It was hidden from them on purpose.”
“They were not to know? It was right in front of them! The world was on fire and all they did was document their meals. Now we struggle to eat, no farming, no proper water sources, even the light hurts our eyes!”
“Ezra, SHE was not to know., it offered her what she thought would be a better life for us all, we thought she was happy, and we were happy children, especially after the divorce.”
Ezra stood, with a tear in his eyes, “It wasn’t real, it criminal what they did.”
In 2028 the renamed Conservative Party (Now “The Republic.”) In a move to lower costs of benefits offered those who we unable to work, disabled or mentally ill to upload their consciousness to an AI (Artificial Intelligence) programmed system called “Better Life.” The individuals were then deemed “cured” and appeared to live “a happy existence” and “productive” life alongside their families. The programme was originally successful and soon became popular with the rich and the general population to the point that soon most of the population were part of “Better Life.” The worlds governments did not foresee that the AI created neuro pathways in human brains that made the system addictive and the users blissfully unaware of the rising oceans, loss of food supplies, pollution, and weather change that destroying the planet at an alarming rate. 50 years later the system imploded leaving an ageing population of people who were nonfunctioning. The young were slightly luckier and regained their own thoughts, however living on a planet that was devoid of many resources.
Ezra and Edie were one of many families trying to regain their mother's consciousness, an unproved technique was to upload a single genuine moment from their mother's life in the archive of images made over the last 50 years. Both siblings were dejected.
“It’s never going to work!” Ezra kicked a box from under the screen they were both viewing. Out fell a cardboard book, with paper printed photographs scattering the floor, they were of their mother. Instead of her big smiles and oddly manic eyes. She was in tears, unhappy and clearly struggling. Ezra spotted one of her vaguely smiling holding both her children. He picked it up to examine and there was a handwritten note, (a now forgotten skill) that simply said, “In case we forget.”
The two siblings smiled at each other; they had found her!