Week 9 Reflection

I usually work through the materials and make initial postings over the weekend, but unfortunately the Amy Simmons video wouldn’t run, so I missed that activity (I’ll revisit another time now that the problem with the video has been fixed). I am, though, working on the website and social media challenge that has been set for the three coming weeks. This fits well with the development of my project.

The Simon Roberts seminar this week was terrific. The breath and diversity of his work is impressive. Much to learn from the singularity of his vision and the way in which he integrates participation, dissemination and commercialisation with the production of the work. For instance, the Election Project has a very clear method for production of the images: just one day with each candidate, taking an elevated position on the roof of his van, use of 4×5 (10 to 20 shots a day, making it clear to everyone that he is there to photograph, but not aware of exactly when the shot is made). A website is set up for the members of the public to upload images and make comments (over 1700 images ultimately). Large (4 per image) and smaller prints are produced for gallery sales. An exhibition is arranged for the Houses of Parliament (24 images, one for each day of the campaign). A newspaper is produced for further dissemination and engagement. Also notable that he thinks carefully about how his archives are used (selling into the future) and how projects build on and related to each other. Also that he does extensive preliminary work, both in terms of contact with participants and exploration of related images (for instance, the relationship between Turner’s images of the Thames and the photographs of the Olympics (both similarities and differences – Roberts’ work particularly emphasizes the activities of people ‘in the landscape’ rather than images of the landscape, which relates closely to his background in human geography, and informs his use of an elevated viewpoint in making images).

The webinar to discuss work in progress provided useful feedback, and I need to work further on the format of the portfolio. I hope to have further images to add over the next two weeks.

Monday’s visit to V&A Prints and Drawings Study Room is discussed elsewhere. Likewise my meeting with Newham Partnership for Complementary Education on Thursday and Thames Ward Community Project (TWCP) at Barking Riverside on Friday, and visit to the Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. Busy week.

I have revised my presentation to incorporate feedback and add some new material, and have posted the final version for assessment.