Storehouse Submission Photography Information
by Beauchamp Art
Overview of information surrounding a selection of recent photographic images to be submitted for Storehouse magazine, a independent SU publication for NUA.
Overview of Images
In my art practice I frequently experiment with using a range of techniques to abstract the objective, distorting the perception of the subject, using the deconstruction of visual media to posit questions about the intentions and affects of this mediation. A considerable part of this involves repeatedly processing digital imagery, but finding a source of visual material to work with is often an unstable practice, so I find using photography to rapidly capture images in bulk, often in series, to potentially to be reused later, an effective starting point, but often some of the less technically complicated, more playful images are the most rich.
The image of the van, barely illuminated by the outside light of a set of flats in a central-suburban area of the city, draped in a shivering blanket of November Fog, formed the basis for the short series of images taken somewhere around midnight. The area lay still in a restful chill that soaked the ambient light of street-lights, producing a dull haze that graced the environment blankly.
What’s interesting about Norwich, which is especially noticeable a night, unless your by one of the clubs by Prince of Wales Street, is how little movement disturbed the city, detached from the industrial explosions that reverberate around places like London, or Leeds. Its the city for people who do not like cities, an a night away from the city centre bares a great resemblance to the rural market communities dotted around the countryside.
November Fog is a brief glimpse of a quiet place, surrounding new-builds and uneventfulness, cold as it was away from heated homely halls and exchanges the data smog of the indoor, post-Fordist, perpetual work-place for the unmoving vacancy of hanging fog, extending the grasp of obscuring darkness. The van, and the rest of the series, is banal, cliched iconography that conjures no new thoughts into the mind of the viewer; the electric light of pure information reveals nothing of interest, merely shining a light on insubstantial fog.
This image served as documentation to a found optical happening, after noting and observing its spontaneous reoccurring presence; and a manually operated camera obscura produced by manipulating a pair of curtains; opening them more to produce a brighter, bigger image, but one that was less in focus, and closing them to reduce the visual area but increase the sharpness of the image, directed around the room by pivoting the fold in the material.
Curtain Obscura was not intended to produce any great image, merely offer the time to dwell on such optical phenomena. I have experiment with making camera obscuras in the past, though finding it happening without direct intervention, then taming the process was curious; and similar chance occurrences may have played a part in the camera obscura’s development, and subsequent photographic ventures. A basic understanding of the principals and workings of any media is vital for attempting any comprehensive media critique, without an engagement with the simplest facets of a medium, how could the most complex issues be discussed?
You have to walk before you run, and you have to take the time to heal before a broken leg will let you walk again, let alone run. This initial stumbling makes considering the process unavoidable.
I see the outside world inside my room every morning, which is comforting to note before taking the first step out the door.
Photos of the Individual Instability CRT display experiments.
This image came from displaying a short looping video on a CRT featuring various faces of students, distortedly jittering through a semi-linear sequence of detached images, that fell somewhere between photography, animation, and film. The reprocessing of the footage made the faces increasingly disjointed, though there were moments of clarity, when the frames would align forming a singular image. But here, the short length of exposure revealed the TV mechanisms, its process of creating an image in strips, projecting light in bars from the Cathode Ray Tube, forming a phenomenologically material subject from light. The image is half submerged in this process, a shadow of the previous frame remains, to be rectified b the next, the most valuable is the most current, and understanding is further through sequential images events, which here is halted. Verisimilitude is suspended, the figure is half lost in an electric image.
A few years ago I went about photographing a large number of gravestones as part of a project looking at the change in language use in epitaphs, but ended up abandoning the project but held onto the images. I recent was organising files and came across this fairly substantial archive of images, and turned them into a rapid animation, which I then re-processed an multi-layered to produce this lively sequences of metamorphosing colours and shape. This envied a sense of the sublime narrative of cultural lineage, how the people of one generation give way to the next, and should ever person be remembered eternal, it would be chaos. As Susan Sontag pointed out, “too much remembering […] embitters”. Individuals have to have the potential to forget, or at the very least to ‘put out of mind’, or would be forever lost in mourning.
Facebook may become a Domesday of the dead, profiles like auto-biographical epitaphs, carved in the marble of data-mined meta-data, once the generation of digital natives are committed to the earth, an electronic echo; ghosts in the machine – naught but deconstructed bio-chemical data.
Arcadia follows small synthetic figure in a plastic paradise. This, and the rest of the series were fairly lighthearted experiments with orientating the small, Morph-Like anthropomorphic creature, creating artificial animation in stills images, in conduction with artificial grass samples, agains and idilc plastic blue background. The hermit is agonisingly self destructive, tormented by the ridiculousness of his benign being as an ornament in a plastic Garden.
Arcadia stems from Grecian antiquity; an ideal pasture and natural harmony, adopted Romantic landscape artists. This formed the backdrop to a Tom Stoppard’s play of the same name, which dealt with the impossibility of realising the ideal.
The figure is no Adonis, the Astroturf no Arcadia.
A Quiet walk around the village.
Contrasting to most of my photography which has a particularly chaotic and explicitly digital aesthetic, Quiet was meant the antithesis, still suggesting ideas surrounding communication and human interaction, but through the absence of embodiment; a place connected to the rest of the country through its farms and telegraph poles. Muted scenes of human contact, querying the anthropocentric perspective of rural countryside as somehow distant from industry and the information superhighway, yet unavoidably affected by urbanisation.
There is no phone signal in most of the village, besides in one parking space by the village hall, or on top of small hill, Elidor, within the school gates. There are benches at the most idyllic views of the landscape, which are pointless for locals as they have seen the hills fold under the horizon in the same fashion for years.
Communication is spartan, so the already bleak network infrastructure of the place over-clocks. The telegraph poles are sundials of semi-functionality; made from the wood of trees beyond the boundaries of village, counting cop rotations beside blinking street lights. The Citizenlink, a village internet hub is closed, there is one bus a day, and nothing on the noticeboards. It is quiet, the main road remains fairly busy, and the pulse of the place stays steady. Any slight change is bizarre.
Benjamin S. Beauchamp (BA Fine Art, Year 3)