Out Of Your Head
Step 1: Choose an assignment from the Finding Workshop.
— #phonar2017 (@CU_phonar) March 17, 2017
In the Out Of Your Head assignment I rolled the dice and received the instructions;
– Walk in a North-East direction
– Walk past 6 people wearing hats
– Make 4 images
My instructions lead me to the outside of a restaurant in Coventry City centre, while I was mulling over the task at hand which stated “this is not about objects and things. This is about strategy and visual design”, I was staring at the ground where I noticed the interesting and visually striking design on the pavement, and thats what I made my 4 images on.
Step 2: Selected images from assignment.
Step 3: Expanded body of work.
Step 4: Critical Rationale.
From my initial images in response to the Out Of Your Head assignment I asked my fellow course friends of what they thought the content of my images were, without given any information except for the image. Some said it looked like geographical map drawings of mountains, others thought it was fine-art oil paintings, marble, and other students guessed it was a pavement. This lead me to think about how unreliable an image can be when you are not given all the information. In Susan Sontag’s On Photography she states “Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we’re shown a photograph of it” (1973:157). Therefore I wanted to push this concept further by creating a fictional document of mountain drawings with a mixture of sourced geographical drawings, my original pavement images, sourced oil paintings and marble images. I decided to put this in the form of a photobook, with the logic that the physical document is more trust-worthy than a digital one. With my pavement images being put in context with other images, and being labeled as different mountains, this allowed the images to be read in an entirely different narrative, changing the concept and encouraging the reader to believe that the images are ‘drawings’ of mountains.
This assignment completely took me out of my head. By taking images of something from such a random set of instructions, to then focusing on design rather than content really opened up my creative choices. This eventually lead to something much more conceptually interesting than the original pavement images; commenting on the reliability of images and how the form can further support the falsehood.
Sontag, S (1973) On Photography. London: Penguin Books.