3. Surfaces & Strategies

Module Review

This module has been far tougher than I had expected although very much more rewarding in terms of how I can now position myself and my practise in a wider photographic conversation. 

There are areas I feel very content with and others I feel with more time I would have been able to develop further to where I wanted to be. Whilst on the topic of time, this is the first module where I have felt that it was more of a full time course than part time. The various surfaces and strategies seem to take up more time than activities on other modules and for this I was very disappointed that I wasn't able to complete my physical exhibition due to not having enough time. 

Thinking about where I have got to in the way of critical thinking, my biggest floor is still my inability to retain information that I read. This has been having a big impact on where I can position myself critically and with few hours left with my DA to help with my processing I feel I have struggled a great deal. 

As I mentioned in my Oral Presentation, reading 'in conversations with' has been far more beneficial as has writing up ideas and reflections as if in conversation format. This is a working strategy I shall continue to develop for my FMP and for future research and project work. 


Thinking now about my WIP portfolio. I new I wanted to make a news paper since early in the module although I had never thought of using it as my WIP Portfolio submission. The feeling of only handing in a video has left me in quite an anxious state, as I had planned on submitting the pages form the newspaper design as individual images. On reflection however, the video gives the newspaper a little context, as well as skirting around re photography in the intro scene. I wanted the newspaper to be a numbered edition to give it a little more weight than a newspaper that is read and then discarded, in the hopes that people will send me some feedback using the email address I set up. As far as the content of the newspaper goes, I am pleased with the results, although again due to time constraints I feel that working from a wider edit would have been far more beneficial for me. Experimenting with memories and imagination as a combination has been interesting, but I don't feel I really delved deep enough into either sphere, and that perhaps both ideas suffered in the publication because of that. The newspaper would have been a far stronger piece of work had it sat beside the reward of the physical exhibition which sadly I didn't have time to conduct, not did I complete the workshop. 

The physical exhibition ideas can be read about here, but with a few notes to follow on the public viewer and on feedback of work. With peer feedback it is very hard to know whether it is genuine or whether people are either being polite or not giving you their full thoughts on the work.  Tutor feedback is there to push you forwards but I am always left with more questions than answers which when trying to resolve a piece of work isn't always as helpful as it could be. I have been left now with lots of ways I could have improved the resolution of this module work but also with a relatively large amount of doubt as to the wight of my work and whether I have reached the objectives I wished for. I think for these reasons I would have really benefited from doing toe public exhibition in my home. This would have brought in people who firstly I didn't know and who would make their own genuine assumptions on my project but also that I may have then received some different ideas of feedback or even other ideas of where to take my work next. 

The workshop sadly didn't happen either, which I am less disappointed about at this stage as I hadn't realised the full schedule for it nor actually what it was I wanted to take away from it. I had originally planned a zine making workshop, which for the participants would have been a fun activity in which they would have learnt about shooting, editing and making something and would have had a tangible object to take away form it. I however wouldn't really have learnt much from it other than for the experience of workshopping. Having secured a space for the workshop through Four Corners, an EU funded Photography centre, I didn't want to waste that space on a workshop that wouldn't give me a bigger outcome in my work progression. This is on hold for now and I shall use the space offered to me and the support of Four Corners as part of my final Major Project Idea when I can properly research and think about the workshop and how best to weave it into my practise. 

The main areas I have developed this module are my digital skills. Being nominated as one fo the exhibition designers meant I had to very quickly learn the basics of InDesign which I have found incredibly rewarding and something I now use in my daily photography workflow for work. I now look at text in a different way through he introduction of 'tracking' and 'kerning'.

The other piece of software I have now started to get to grips with is Adobe Premier the moving image editing software. I only really touched the surfaces of what it can do whilst putting together my newspaper video, but with the basics now I want to learn more about how I can use it in my FMP and would like to experiment with the use of sound and moving image together. This could be in the form of interviews or my own 'in conversations' with other practitioners. 

Storyboard for Video Production of my final Newspaper outcome

As it is so late in the day and not long before submission, I have only just received the final printed newspapers as there was a delay at the printers so I thought it would be a good idea to storyboard the video production of my newspaper for submission as my WIP portfolio. 

Storyboard Page 1

Storyboard Page 1

Storyboard page 2   

Storyboard page 2


Unfortunately there were a couple of elements of the video I would have like to add but time and video editing skills prevented. However I am really pleased with the resulting video.


Immemory - Chris Marker

Thinking of our memory as a kind of 'history book', or thinking about our fragments of memory in terms of 'geography'. We map our own paths collecting memorandum along the way. These paths can the be organised through the photographs made, the postcards collected and stored in an archive. 

This idea of memory being related to geography reminds me of the Chinese Tradition 'memory Palace'. Items of memory are placed along a path known well to the person and the path is then travelled along passing past items of recollection. 

This idea of geography, of recollecting the paths once travelled and also the objects of memory are all things I wish to integrate into my practise in the future - perhaps through landscape works or through physical travel to obtain a deeper understanding of what I understand to be my own methodology in memory work. 


Marker, C. (2018). Immemory. [online] Chris Marker. Available at: https://chrismarker.org/?s=immemory [Accessed 19 Aug. 2018].


A Graphic Element

I have been a fan and close follower of Wolfgang Tillmans' work both commercial, personal and artwork. He was one of the first photographers I looked at and saw the real relationship between text and image and was a big inspiration form final newspaper design. 

Since working on the Landings exhibition I have found that I am far more confident in working with page design and think that this is something I cam going to continue to work with in future projects. It gives me almost an extra surface to use in my work and I think up to now I have felt quite restrained by what I could produce because I didn't have that knowledge of how to construct images on a page properly. 

Graphics working with photography is of great interest to me as is how Tillmans's created the Betweenbridges anti brexit campaign. 

23rd June 2016 - Anti Brexit Campaign, Wolfgang Tillmans -  https://bit.ly/2M2l6K2

23rd June 2016 - Anti Brexit Campaign, Wolfgang Tillmans - https://bit.ly/2M2l6K2

The Memory of Photography: Photographies - Some notes

Below, Freud compares alike that of natural memory and artificial memory, being the various devices invented by man to aid the natural memory. These ideas drew me to think about how we use memory, how we use the devices we rely on for memory and how I can work with these devices in my practise ie The Archive, Digital Archives and mass consumption of the image. This reminded me also of Eric Kessels installation of images where he printed all the images submitted to Flickr in one day. 

If I distrust my memory – neurotics, as we know, do so to a remarkable extent, but normal people have every reason for doing so as well – I am able to supplement and guarantee its working by making a note in writing. In that case the surface upon which this note is preserved, the pocket-book or sheet of paper, is as it were a materialized portion of my mnemic apparatus, which I otherwise carry about with me invisibly. I have only to bear in mind the place where this “memory” has been deposited and I can then “reproduce” it at any time I like, with the certainty that it will have remained unaltered and so have escaped the possible distortions to which it might have been subjected in my actual memory. (The ‘Mystic Writing-pad 429)



Bate, D. (2018). The Memory of Photography. [online] Tandfonline.com. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17540763.2010.499609 [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].

LANDINGS 2018 Exhibition design:

I was luck enough to be selected as one of the LANDINGS:2018 exhibition designers.

We first met to discuss a course of action and to divide jobs between the three of us. 

I offered to create three varying posters for the exhibition. On a practical level I have now learnt the basics of InDesign which is new to me, as well as how to output files in various formats. These skills will help me to design my newspaper later in this module. 

LANDINGS:2018 Poster designs - Anthony Prothero

LANDINGS:2018 Poster designs - Anthony Prothero

We also had the task of designing a webpage for the website. To start with we wanted to come up with a colour palette for the design of the exhibition. Andrew showed us this fantastic video of Wes Anderson colour palettes from his films titled "Wes Andersons Color". 

We each watched this a few times and decides on a particular colour palette from one of the scenes. The below was to be the colour theme for LANDINGS:2018. 

Colour swatch selected for the LANDINGS:2018 exhibition.

Colour swatch selected for the LANDINGS:2018 exhibition.

I have certainly gained valuable experience around the topic of collaboration and working in a design team. From the start of this design/curatorial task we made decisions quickly and efficiently throughout the process. 

I have started to understand the positives and negatives of collaborative practise and when certain collaborations should and shouldn't take place. We all as artists have very different methodologies which sometimes work well in unison and sometimes I feel will clash or prevent each other from fulfilling their potential creative output. 

The Design element I took on as part of the exhibition team has benefited my own practise far more than I would have expected, and has added a graphic and design element to my own practise looking at ways to incorporate and explore the relationship between text and image. 


Looking for inspiration for the video production of my newsprint

A few examples of how people have recorded their publication. 

Otsukas video above is one of my favourites so far. Many videos arelocked off on a tripod from above and then either speeded up or slowed down as someone turns the pages. I too did this for my mock dummy publication earlier in the module. This is a great way to shoe literally what is on the pages of your publication but there isn't any context given or anything tot all the viewer how or in what way the work is supposed to be viewed.  

Ive been trying to think of some other ways to video my work, so far with little success. I like the way there are macro shots of details on the page which is something I am going to try and do my self. I also had the idea of using the end of the video to show me numbering /50 to show the edition and that it is hand written. 

Sentence was a limited edition (1000) newsprint zine created by YouWorkForThem. The zine was concepted and created by means of distant collaboration between the Minneapolis studio and the Bangkok studio. The zine can be read from two different viewpoints. Page through it like a book, or unfold to reveal compositions in full poster-like pages. Text written by: Grant Leuning, Featuring designs by: Eric Carlson, Michael Cina, Emily Darnell, Taechit Jiropaskosol, Thun Puchpen, Travis Stearns, Lee Suetorsak, Michael Paul Young.


HIROSHI OKAMOTO’S ARTIST BOOK “We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly.” PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW. http://reminders-project.org/rps/wedonotneedyouhereificouldonlyflysale/ 岡本裕志 写真集「We do not need you, here./ If I could only fly.」オンラインご予約受付開始(104部限定、受注生産) http://reminders-project.org/rps/wedonotneedyouhereificouldonlyflysalejp/
現在、ギャラリーにて販売中。 一部600円。 Julie Glassberg's newsprint is now available at the Reminders Photography Stronghold gallery. 600 JPY a copy. Video production by Hiroshi Okamoto BGM by Ryo Kamizuru 動画制作:岡本 裕志 背景音楽:上水流 諒
SOLD OUT NOW! This edition of the critically acclaimed Red String includes new, never before seen photographs and is available with two different cover images. All pre-ordered books include: • Signature • Choice of cover picture: Japanese or Western Please note: If you particularly favor the cover image, please place your order before January 31st. • RPS exclusive offer – All orders come with a special complimentary tote bag. The author, Yoshikatsu will sew the photo and title on the bag. There is no photo selection for the bag, only Japanese wedding kimono. Handmade soft cover Weight: 380 gr. Size: 16 x 22,5 cm. / 6.2″ x 8.85″ 96 pages, 90 photographs Edition of 500, Ceiba Printed: Grafiche dell’Artiere, Italy ISBN 978-1-941781-02-9 **The book will officially be launched on March 5th so you’ll get a copy sometime mid March or so. 藤井ヨシカツ写真集RED STRING 売り切れました。

Newspaper layout: Captions

Just looking at various ways of including the captions to my newspaper design. I initially thought that I wanted them to be like actual captions you would find in the newspaper so would be relatively small underneath each image. Then I tried a few different size fonts and placing in different places. Still no clearer as to whats the best course of action. 

Font size 12 - My favourite one I think. Links closely to real newspaper print. 

Font size 12 - My favourite one I think. Links closely to real newspaper print. 

Font size 14

Font size 14

Font size 18 - More of a headline. Perhaps there should be a mixture..?

Font size 18 - More of a headline. Perhaps there should be a mixture..?

Font size 12 but randomly placed rather than underneath image where it would be expected to sit. 

Font size 12 but randomly placed rather than underneath image where it would be expected to sit. 

Cover example_2.jpg
Cover example_1.jpg

Memory: A Dummy Book (Continued)

After experimenting with the saddle stitches and also the relationship between my images and text, I want to make something a little more accomplished. Using the same saddle stitch and physically sticking images into the book I made another version of my dummy book.

To bring all my ideas together I wanted to make something that still had the feel of a handmade book, similarly tot he family archive albums/books made at home to keep photographs of family holidays and special events in. 

“So You Speak Russian” Documents a Photographer’s Uneasy Homecoming

Taking place between New York City, New Jersey, and Ukraine, So You Speak Russian is an exploration of photographer Jules Slütsky’s conflicted feelings about returning to her family’s home country. Through images of relatives, sites of memory, and artefacts of family history, Slütsky seeks to explore not only her own personal heritage but also that of Ukraine. Here, she discusses the process and inspiration behind the series. - Jules Slütsky
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Although aesthetically very beautiful photographs in this series, there is however something that detracts from the personality in this work for me personally. I felt that the ideas of returning home and of the sites of memory and relatives very nice but they were exactly as I had expected if that makes sense?

I had the same issue when making the work for My Grandmothers Cabinet of Curiosities as part of the first module I did on this MA programme. I felt the images said exactly what they were supposed to say and nothing more. When looking and thinking about work relating to memory, I feel there needs to be something else, something to link to that particular person on more than an aesthetic level or one of family value. In this series by Slutsky I don't see that. I see as she rightly explains still life images that have been selected and moved and placed xactly how she wanted them. I would have preferred to see more of what was found or something that showed why this selection in the frame had been made.

On the other hand a beautiful edit and a series I think this project would very much suite a hand made book project to add a little more personality and a connection to the memories retreived through the process of this project.

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