Guide to Campus; Presentation and Production Workshop.

Its the second week and my first meeting with the Guide to campus team and already I can tell we are going to create something special.

In this meeting and workshop I got to meet everyone on the team and and we had our first workshop on presentation and production with Claire Simmons (CGE) and Becks Stewart (FAH).

Claire talked us through how to appear and act in front of camera like a professional presenter. Each of us had to do a runway walk and talk as if on set, a practice run which was a lot of fun, especially when we had to project our voices, it was a wonderful melody from everyone lol

The important rules on how to present like a professional this include;

  • Chin up
  • Shoulders straight to depict confidence
  • Walk straight
  • Mildly expressive hands makes your presentation less boring, when overdone it distracts the audience
  • and wear a smile that tears your face 🙂

The important thing to consider when presenting is the audience, how is your target audience receiving the message?- how are you as the presenter delivering the message to your target audience?

Becks then went on to talk us through how to produce professional films in the most cost effective way- through our mobile phones. She got us to download the Adobe Premiere mobile app and our first task was to shoot and edit on our phones. I found this very helpful being that I come from a production background and it got me thinking about how i approach my films- mainly with the use of Dslr. but giving that the world is now a very digital mediated culture, our technology has the put the craft of filmmaking all in one place- our mobile phones.

 

check out my Guide to Campus Vlog below;

 

DEATH OF THE AUTHOR?

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My post so far so good on post-photograph have mostly centred around the subject of the image. The author of the image, the machinery mechanism in which photography attempts to create art is where photography has failed. What distincts the photograph from the painting  is that we are able to see the hand, the history, the authority, the authenticity of the image as depicted through the authority of his strokes. As established prior to the production of this images, perspective is the authority of the photographer.

What i have tried to do within this collection of photos is construct pictures in a way that they read as paitings by altering the hue in photoshop to create the sense of the mystical by suggesting the absence of realism, restoring the illusion of the image to the picture.

And so i end by saying to Frederic Jameson, the individual is not dead.

BELIEF IS MY PRACTICE, NOT RELIGION.

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Making this picture took a lot of thinking and careful consideration of how I was represent the 6 word narrative. I thought of the story before i conceived of the image. The meta-narrative of religion as the basis of belief in a Higher being has failed. Religion as an ideology of the faith man has in the supreme being has failed because firstly, God transcends everything that religion is and secondly, what bugs me the most about religion is that they are all saying the same thing. Who gives the fuck about the messenger, did you get the message?! and this message that is the fundamental tenant of life is; love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mistakes are often Misunderstood as Misfortunes.

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THE TITLE TO THIS PICTURE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PICTURES, BUT AT THE SAME TIME EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT. WHAT I AIM TO DEPICT IS THE VULNERABILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL WITHIN THIS PIECE. DOUBT IS A CRUCIAL PART OF LIVING, THIS WE FORGET. TO DOUBT IS TO ENLIGHTEN, DOUBTS MAKE THE FOUNDATION OF KNOWLEDGE. LIKE DOUBTS, MISTAKES ARE THE PILLARS OF KNOWLEDGE. MISTAKES ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD AS MISFORTUNES, THEY ARE NOT MISFORTUNES, ONLY EDUCATION.

A GRAND STORY TELLER; DUANE MICHALS.

‘I had a lot of things on my mind, personal things and psychological things, that I wanted to talk about’ DUANE MICHALS

My admiration for this artist, I think it started from the work ‘fallen angel’, where he tells the story of an angel who had relations with a human woman. The angel loses his wings and awaits her awakening from, but she never wakes up and he leaves. It is not the storytelling that is just interesting to me but more importantly the topics, themes and objects he aims to represent. Duane Michals has said on many occasions that he is not interested in the appearance of thing but rather their philosophy, with this approach he aims to create pictures having the aesthetics of paintings within them.

Duane Michals works usually surround conflicting identities (his heavy use of reflections), sexuality, spirituality and death. He was very interest in the male-female form, but he had no concern with the resolution between them, only the conflict. His creative use of the exposure to create the illusion of the spiritual, or the philosophical, a reading he calls for beyond the appearance of the image.

I am using Duane Michals for a long time I also do have questions and ideas i want to visualise represent and this is why in the first instance the one still image was not enough for me, photography was not enough for me but instead, moving images, video production. For my project I am aiming to replicate the work of Duane Michals. Michals used photography in an exciting way in his time to tell stories and create sequences. For my initial project what i wanted to do was create an affective journey for the spectator by means of a gradual developing shot; in a way that as the shot developed the spectator slowly begins to understand the narrative, i planned (and still plan) to carry my spectator on a rollercoaster of emotions through this developing shot in a that as it zooms out we begin to understand the narrative. BUT I am not a photographer and this idea was informed by my videography experience. After talking to Paul i believe i have found a way to create this sequence, using Duane Michals as a reference point.

MORE ON DUANE MICHALS……

To kick off my project I have likened on of my former video pieces to that of Duane Michals, on of my favourites; This photograph is my proofthis photograph is my proof

I like this work because in a simple image, outside the leading meaning created through the title and writing, we are able to see happiness and comfort through the embrace and her posture, i.e. her head resting on his head, frozen in time. The writing just takes this to another level of satisfaction and deeper level of reading.

Before I continue, I think its noteworthy to mention why Michals writes on his pictures- ‘SEEING WORDS ON A PAGE  PLEASES ME. IT IS LIKE A TRAIL I’VE LEFT BEHIND ME, UNCERTAIN, STRANGE MARKINGS, A PROOF THAT I’VE BEEN THERE’ Michals explained that his photos could be replicated and printed but his hand writing, being his hand writing will always be signifier to his identity, one that cannot be reproduced.

So, continuing, My previous piece called ‘Precious One’ which I made for my then partner whom I loved dearly was to represent her in a way that shows her bringing life to her surroundings by placing her emotions within a beautiful background. Precious One was a tribute to her mother (whose name was Precious) for bringing a ‘gem’ into the world, a tribute to her mother as a tribute to her.

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(click to see video. password- tobeseen.)

What I have done here is to use the words to describe this afternoon, but tweaking it to fit my emotions and what is happening within the frame.

This being one of my submissions as a replication of the work of Duane Michals, a replication I did not aim for in the prior making of this video, but a replication that happened in the understanding of what I had done from the perspective of love from another artist, an inspiration and influence on my work.

 

I will be continuing t0 play around with the aesthetics of Duane Michals, what i am trying to avoid however is falling completely into the trap of pastiche, the failure of the new. I will be suing his aesthetics but telling my own stories, I aim to imprint my authority on my images through the representation of my perspective.

 

Imprisonment in Past, Failure of New.

The birth of the photograph meant we could record history, lives, people, places, societies, culture more accurately, more realistically, in fact more scientifically. As facts and not myth, unlike paintings, we could do more with photos, the camera froze time, we could see more. We can see beyond what the human eye will naturally miss, unlike paintings, the hand was replaced with the eye, perspective. Perspective as the authority of the photographer destroys the myth that the photograph records history, lives, people, places, societies, culture more accurately.

If the essence of Photography is to show the world more clearly, objectively or truthfully as many people still think it is, at least in part I believe photography is only meaningful in how it fails that purpose. The cracks in the mirror reveal not only the artist’s manipulative hand or the magician’s mastery of the machine, but also our own fears and fantasies, projected onto the surface of an ostensibly clear window on the world.

Subjective interpretation and objective vision, the relationship between the gaze and the image, this that is both read and constructed, a relationship that calls for the failure of photography in medium which is apparently efficient is merely a myth, the state of cognitive dissonance we reach suggested by naive realism when we read photography suggests that modernity is an impracticable myth. This is the foundation of post-photography, the foundation of postmodernity.

The great modernisms were, as we have said, predicated on the invention of personal, private style, as unmistakable as your fingerprint, as incomparable as your own body. But this means that the modernist aesthetic is in some way organically linked to the conception of a unique self and private identity, a unique personality and individuality, which can be expected to generate its own unique vision of the world and to forge its own unique, unmistakable style” Fredric Jameson

Jameson suggest that postmodernism is not necessarily a negation of modernity but can also be understood as a continuation, a development of modernity. With that being said, Fredric suggests that the failure of photography, this failure that is paramount to the construct of photography as art, ridicules the ideology of the individual as a practical ideology, rather, it has become a myth. The death of the individual is explained in two positions by Fredric Jameson; the move from competitive capitalism to corporate capitalism; this position suggest that the move from a capitalism that birthed the hegemonic class allowed for such a thing as the individual  but the move to the ‘organization man’ as Fredric terms it, the data collecting man, the understanding of society based on statistics and data, ‘the older bourgeois individual subject no longer exists‘. The second position is one o a cruel optimism that has been sold to us, society, it is the idea that the individual never existed but was rather a negotiation of power that ‘sought to persuade people that they had individual subjects’, after all, there is no power without resistance right.

The implication this has upon the author of an image, the subject as concentric force, is that if the individual is dead, if there is no such thing as a unique vision of the world but rather a ‘cultural production that has been driven back inside the mind, within the monadic subject’, cultural production is based on the ideology of pastiche, an ideology that suggest that we are incapable of representing our present lived experiences (failure of the new), but instead we constantly reproduce the past. The way i see it, I think the past is so important to us because of the novelty of seeing where we came from to where we are. The problem with this which postmodernity points our is that there is no more originality, the author is dead and the only thing that lives, is the objective vision of the image.

THINKING ABOUT MY JOURNEY….

So, Frederic really does believe the individual is dead. You know, the way i see it, the fact that we each have our own subjective experiences means that we each have our own subjective interpretations of experiences, ideology an even imagery. Yes, the individual is a reflection the collective, a product of culture, yes i agree, totally. But this should not negate the fact that we all have our own stories, stories that have made or broken us into the person we now are. Given this thought, my idea of replicating the work of Duane Michals emphasizes my blog title i.e. Imprisonment in Past, failure of New, in that by replicating this work I am adhering to the pastiche nature of postmodernism. Pastiche being blank parody; parody without the humour, just the imitation, is ‘in a wild in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, all that is left is to imitate dead styles

But as established, we all have individual stories that set us apart from the next person. I am very interested in Duane Michals work because I highly relate to his wok but we do no have the same stories, maybe similar but certainly not the same. Let me give an example, Duane Michals circled around authenticity because of the background in which he was named. His mother named him after the child in the house which she worked. For this reason Duane Michals work focuses on the originality of his being. In my Nigerian (Yoruba) tradition, the first child is named by the Father of the Fathers child, basically my grandad and so he named me out of a situation ‘Adetiloyenile’ meaning the crown has a title at home; I was named this because on the day of my naming my grandfather was being honoured with a title which he did not collect. So, though they might be simila themes surrounding our names, we have different stories.

I will be using the aesthetics of Duane Michals to tell my story but will not be replcating his work, only his style. His stories are his stories, mine are mine, we are two different people, two different artist, so with that being said..

I aim to follow the dominating characteristics of Duane Michals; the use of directorial mode, the juxtaposition of old and new art (painting and photography), the use of friends to shoot rather than models. But I will be staying away from natural lightning, I have business with the real, with the norm, I am more inclined to the mystical, just like Duane Michals but I want to represent reality in a hyper real format, this I will attmept to do with the photographs I aim to represent as paintings and also with the lightning of my scenes.

 

 

References

Postmodernism and the consumer society; Federic Jameson

 

 

postmodernism and authenticity- death of the subject