Week 3: Reflection

Getting into social media (in particular, Instagram) has been a challenge this week (see post for details). The upshot is, I think, greater clarity about how I might use social media in advancing and promoting my own work, and how it might specifically play a part in elements of my project (for instance, in maintaining momentum amongst participants, and disseminating both the process and outcomes of each component of the work). In relation to my own work, it has made me think more carefully about development of a website where I can bring together the different strands of my work (the artistic, the academic and the community). Whilst Instagram can establish contact with individuals, groups and organisations (the calling card), I need to be able to direct attention to a wider body of more integrated work.

The discussion provided good advice on the use of Instagram, and alerted me to some issues around the holding of personal data (as I will be interviewing people as part of the project) which I need to sort out in relation to GDPR. I was disappointed not to be able to take part in the viral image activity – too much to do whilst travelling between UK, Guyana and USA. But I want to pick up ideas from this activity later in the project development process.

Limited opportunity to shoot work relevant to my project as I’m away from home, but I have been to some great exhibitions in New York (will post about these) and picked up some books at Aperture (and will post about these, too). Practical work on my project has been more concerned, over the past three weeks, with making contacts and developing partnerships. And I’m continuing to stretch myself into portraiture, and thinking about ways of exploring visually the lifeworlds of the residents in relation to the way in which physical space around them is being transformed. As discussed in the webinar, any portraits included in the final project will also have to include references to context, in order for them to make sense with respect to the project and the impact of regeneration on individuals and communities. The juxtaposition of images, as in Sissel Thastum’s work (guest lecture this week), warrants careful consideration in achievement of this contextualisation, and develops my experimentation with triptych form in the previous module. The idea of placing the residents is their ‘urban landscape’, in a way that can give a sense of their intimate engagement and interaction with aspects of this environment (including interior and external space) is challenging. As Sissel discussed, being clear about the interpretative dimension of the work produced is important, both with respect to the images produced and the relationship between the photographer and the ‘subject’.