The Artist as Curator
‘Bring together a series of 12 images (a typology)in which a particular motif appears again and again. For this exercise, you may use found images (images you have at home as part of a family archive, for example) or images found online (from photo-sharing sites such as Flickr for example). Select an appropriate way to display your series (as an animated slide presentation, in grid form, as single images, etc.) and present them on your Learning Log.’
For a series of 12 images I have selected some of those typical of the Blackdown Hills where I live. This is to find out how to find out the technique of presentation in one of the suggested formats. The first experiment is a slideshow using my own archived images. The repetitive motif is the beauty of the Hills. I discovered that my WordPress account does not support video and so I need to store it elsewhere and make a link to it.
1 You Tube
Uploaded to YouTube was one option. YouTube formed a video and added its own soundtrack but I have not yet found out how to link to this.
2 Google Drive
I had more control over the making of this film, but also more choices and decisions. I decided to leave it without sound to give a realistic sense of the repetitive link of the quiet in the lanes. I left the image duration long enough for the viewer to feel immersed but not bored and used a page turn to indicate that the events were separate.
4 Contact sheet
The effect here is more immediate.
I have specifically used the same 12 images in these trial presentations for a clearer comparison. In order to make the Imovie film small enough for this presentation, I found, after many trials, that I needed to open the film from Imovie in QuickTime and select the option for iPhone. This reduced the transfer time from 4 hours to 20 minutes. When selecting the images for the presentation, I chose a variety that conveyed the colourfulness of the area and its pastoral qualities. These are the typically consistent themes through the set. However, I think the conceptual content masks the communication of a repetitive motif.
This next set uses feet trampling on nature as a clearer and more tangible use of a repetitive motif. The photographs are a mixture of my own and network images. The colours are more dynamic here and the footprints provide a good contrast. Perhaps the image with text on introduces some inconsistency. The idea of subverting images by combination is not new but conforms to the theory of emergence whereby two objects depend on each other to form a third entity with an emergent meaning. The work of John Heartfield is a strong example of collage being put to political use by creating an emergent third meaning. His work is often harsh and difficult to look at but exhibits an underlying sense of compassion and integrity.
This next set of collaged images is intended to highlight the disconnect between people and nature. On a more superficial level, the spoiling and carelessness of people in the natural environment is obvious. Although the images are unpleasant, they originate from a passion to change what is happening and to concentrate the viewer’s attention on their own actions, as with Heartfield’s evident motivation, Recent TV coverage of plastic in the ocean and the action that has provoked shows that exposure can have an educational value.
I found Sam Taylor-Wood’s time-lapse video of rotting fruit a powerful illustration of death and decay and searched for images that might convey a similar message. This time I have concentrated on dying and added images communicating death and decay.
An interesting observation for me has been the journey from the first collage to the third. The first is static and raises few questions. The second introduces some dynamism but is relatively pedestrian, whereas the third involves the viewers’ interpretation and also caused me to search my feelings of the horror involved in the destruction of the natural world. A movie was the best way to communicate this as I had creative control over the insertion of decaying organic material, the inclusion of human beings, and the timing and transitions for maximum effect. I understand that I could not have arrived at the third without the building blocks of the first two. This could, therefore, be a productive method of working for me.
I could not succeed in creating a link to this video on my GDrive. My forum colleagues suggested embedding this video via Vimeo. This can now be seen by clicking on the play arrow bottom left and a full page option is available. It is more accessible this way than via a link.
Having been inspired by the work of Corinne Vionnet, I trawled through website touristy images in order to find a possible subject. I chose well-known landmarks or objects from the natural world. After experimenting, I discovered that three or four images were enough to work with before risking a confused result. In this first attempt, I chose images of an oak tree and leaves. The result is not satisfactory and looks posterized.
This combination of three images of blossom is an improvement, but still lacks the dreamt quality that Corinne Vionnet has achieved,
The Dover cliffs were my next choice but confusing.
These images of Tower Bridge began to have more of the dreamy look I wanted and so I continued with architecture rather than nature.
These combined images are all of the Wellington Monument near to the town of Wellington in Somerset, and close to where I live. Corinne Vionnet uses mostly vertical lines and in this case, it is a method that has proved useful. The out of focus result may be too exaggerated but is approaching the result I was looking to achieve.
Returning to my theme of choice, I have selected 3 of my own images and tried to make them have the dreamy look that Corinne Vionet has demonstrated. Working with two layers, I enlarged and blurred one and left its original colour. I then inverted the top layer with some thoughts of the natural world being inverted by the people who trample over it, reversing its position from natural beauty to insignificance. The inverted layer hides the reality.