Refection

Sustainable Prospects // Next Chapter

As we start Sustainable Prospects, I am excited to take a new approach to my work. In both method and presentation.

At the end of Surfaces and Strategies, I felt that my work was not really where I wanted it and was not feeling very inspired by it. I think that the work I produced was fine, but laked in depth and style, partly because I was not shooting or approaching the project truly how I wanted to and that led me to overlook a look a lot of details.

Over our time off I took time to rethink my approach and asked myself what I really want from this project.

  • Do I want to be looking beyond digital photography and what are the pros and cons of doing that?

Yes. I think working with film, both 35mm and 120 will not only allow me to obtain the image style and quality I want, but It will make me slow down and truly think about my shortlist, my approach to my subjects and allow me to have more ways outside of the camera and computer to experiment and create - which I very much need.

  • How do incorporate more of a physical aspect into my work?

    I think by using film, producing prints and finding different ways of printing and utilizing a sketchbook will help me produce a clear sense of narrative, help with my photo selections, give me a better sense of what I should be shooting, which will then allow me to have a clear idea of how this project will best be presented and consumed my an audience.

  • How many locations do I want to shoot at? Will focusing on just one or two allow me to build better relationships in these chosen communities?

Now we are coming into winter months and travel is not as easy cost-effective, I have decided to focus on two locations in Colorado, One being, my current hometown of Jamestown, an old mining town up in the mountains and Alpen Glow Cohousing in Ridgway CO. I also plan to head back Arcosanti in the spring with a refined approach and direction.

I also feel like I need to include more visuals of the land of these locations, to help tell the full story of the connection of land and people in these places.

I did shoot a roll of film while I was at Arcosanti focusing on just that, without really meaning to and liked the outcome of the photos, but did not include them in my WIP, as they did not align with the aesthetic.

Seeing these made me realize, that if I had put more thought and direction into shooting this way I would, but have been satisfied with the overall outcome of my where my project was at the end of Surfaces and Strategies.

I did get out a few times with this new approach in mind and I am really pleased with the results. I focused on shooting landscape that has been added to or changed by people in some way.

I then developed (and scanned) my film at home, by hand which gave some interesting results as my tanks were not completely clean I got some bubble marks on the negatives, not something I would want moving forward, but I am not disappointed it happened.

Overall I’m happy with how these turned out and excited to move forward with this approach. It has definitely given me fresh inspiration and confidence in moving forward with my project.



Surfaces & Strategies // W. Seven // Thinking about pages //

Louis Reith

I originally saw this work as a serious of photos published in a beautifully simple bound book. However the more I think of my work displayed beyond a single or series of framed images, the more I want to book to relate to how my work is presented. Louis Reith was the first to grab my attention. His monochrome Décor - made from old book pages and assembled to function as a new visual story that he wants to represent. I don't feel the need to do that, I am more drawn to the collage style and printing methods he uses. I like the very basic approach of the printing, that allows there to be more freedom when creating the layout and images, without it being too overwhelming and messy.

Though I have not had much of a chance to start putting a book, I intend to experiment in the next few modules.

reference : http://shelter-press.org/louis-reith-decor-sp071/

I have also started to think about layering and using different page sizes and papers for my publication. I think by combining different, sizes and paper, it will give the book a unique feel to it, and possibly a very direct extension of certain buildings and Land I visit.

Reference: Grant-Harder


Surfaces & Strategies // Contextual research // Reflection

"I think of my life’s work as a celebration of all of nature, an orchestra that plays not the sounds of one musician, the music of one species, but rather an expression of all of nature’s songs."

- Gregory Colbert

Gregory Colbert's’ Ashes to Snow exhibitions, has long been an inspiration, mostly because they are so immersive.

The work that he creates is very intimate, bold and moving, and I think that allowing people to really feel the full expression of his work an immersive experience is the only way to really do so. I also feel that when you create such an experience, it opens up the work to more people and a wider audience, as there is a draw not just to the work, but to the event its self.

When I come to producing my own work and creating an experience, realistically I will not be producing a show on such a scale as Ashes to Snow, but I want to take elements from it. I want to be able to create spaces that are intriguing, intimate and open to a verity of people.

Creating small structures that could be placed almost anywhere, at this stage would be very doable.

Have something small with minimal materials will be easy enough to construct and place in a public space, where it would be accessible to a number of different people.

I have been thinking about producing a small exhibit with 3-4 images printed and presenting them in some sort of fashion such as the examples below.

Surfaces and Strategies // Project Development

Arcosanti:

My last two trips I have been keeping a visual travel journal, (That I post to my instagram highlights) with photos mostly taken with my phone. I find that it helps me think about how I want to approach the space and the people within it and when using a phone, especially when I first get to a new location I find that it is less intrusive and a little more discrete.

Full WIP gallery can be found here.

Surfaces & Strategies // W. Four course work // Hands Off! // Refection

This week was one of the more refreshing and inspiring weeks so far. 

I am always drawn to the work of Mike and Doug Starn, two twin brothers that have been together since their teenage years. They have a very conceptual approach to photography. Over the years they have worked with silver gelatin papers and a number of toning and bleaching methods, they tape together fragments of torn and distressed prints together and use other materials such as wood and metal to create beautifully crafted images that go beyond a simple print. 

I very much admire their approach and the way they challenge the idea of photography.

More recently I have come across Peter Calderwood & Lena Gustafson of Night Dier Press a small print press in California. They create and publish prints, books, zines, and monotypes using a number of different processes and alternative printing techniques.

The cyanotype prints caught my eye especially and I was considering trying cyanotype for this weeks activity as I have never done it before.

Not having a lot of time to create more in-depth images and layering for the cyanotypes, I used found objects, mostly from the garden, and overall, I like the results, but more so I enjoyed the precesses, and it has made me consider possibly adding cyanotype prints to my work.

Surfaces & Strategies // W. Three Strategies of Sharing// Course work // Making a Zine

This week I started working within a group to produce a zine.

We have decided to focus on the theme of Social Documentary, and each of us submitting a number of images from around the world.

https://www.flipsnack.com/nickmurrayphoto/pho703-zine.html

One of the reasons I have always been drawn to photography personally and professionally is that there is always some form of collaboration, whether it be with a subject, client, a team and even the viewer. I find it a way to constantly learn, not only about myself but about my practice, others, and it helps me be aware of how to communicate with others.

Surfaces & Strategies // W. Two // Refection

This past week I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my project and how I want to approach it, and what I really want from it.

The idea of High Desert came about after the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument, and all that has been happening with the North Dakota pipeline in 2015/2016 and in genal our disregard not only for climate change but also the cultures and communities that have lived on the land long before the demand for the earth's resources.

I was invited to contribute to 85for85 to help raise money to fund The Wilderness Society lawsuit to fight this administration's illegal step to reduce Bears Ears, for the first edition, and the second edition money was raised and donated to the newly opened Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, Utah.

After that, I wanted to continue to work on projects that would highlight the land and the people within in it. The people that are reimaging how we Build on and use the land while encouraging and educating others to do the same.

A new location of interest: Paradise Valley, Arizona - The location of Arcosanti, where since the 1970s has been an arcology prototype and I feel that is very relevant and a productive environment that very much reflects the statement above. I hope to explore how this has made an impact on the area and the people that live there.

“The problem I am confronting is the present design of cities only a few stories high, stretching outward in unwieldy sprawl for miles. As a result, they literally transform the earth, turn farms into parking lots, wasting enormous amounts of time and energy transporting people, goods, & services over their expanses. My solution is urban implosion rather than explosion.” –Paolo Soleri, 1977

Surfaces & Strategies // W. One Strategies of looking // Where are You At? // Reflection

After my first trip out to Twentynine Palms, CA I left feeling inspired by the land and the people I met while I was there. It helped me see the reality of the romanticized lifestyle and landscape that is the essence of the High Desert and life in the American West.

My observations and thoughts about my trip that I want to be present in my project

The high desert brings people together.

The high desert is about opening up to an inventive and creative life that gives back to the community and land.

It’s a vast and expansive environment, which makes you feel that there is endless potential and adventure waiting.

My main focus will be to continue to develop this project and concentrate on how people used the land in the past to how they are building a life in high desert areas now. I will explore how individuals and communities have reclaimed and repurposed the structures and the land its self.

Will be exploring the world Arcology.

I also made a trip to Blue Mesa Reservoir, and after spending a few days there I came to realise that this location will not be a good fit for this project. Though the location is convenient, it would be harder to connect with communities in the area for this specific project.

Blue Mesa May 2019

Blue Mesa May 2019