The relation between emotions and the creative process – an advice by Alfred Hitchcock

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS – CREATIVE RESEARCH

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“I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions but when all these are removed and you can look forward, and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something. I think that’s as happy as I would ever want to be.”

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Hitchcock’s definition of Happiness. Source: “A Talk with Alfred Hitchcock”, 1964, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Week 5 Reflections – Ethical considerations

POSITIONS & PRACTICE – AN ETHIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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Image: Migrants, escorted by police, walking from the village of Rigonce, Slovenia to a refugee camp in Brežice on October 23, 2015. Credits: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty.

After analyzing the issues related to Jeff Mitchell’s photograph, I’ve made a research by image on Google, and must be said that the use made by Ukip is only one of the worst examples of how an image can be used out of its context.

As written into The Guardian’s article https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/16/nigel-farage-defends-ukip-breaking-point-poster-queue-of-migrants the parallelism with Nazi Propaganda is quite simple and no further comments are necessary, I think: the use made of these images speaks by itself.

I had also the chance to see that this image has been used to support articles talking about the fear of Immigration in Sweden, Norway and in Italy itself, it has been used as a tool for Propaganda giving a more “international twits” to opinions provided to make the frear of immigrants grow more and more Example: “Swedish Police alert: dangerous going out at night” http://www.mifacciodicultura.it/2016/03/11/polizia-svedese-avverte-le-donne-pericoloso-uscire-di-sera/ and PLEASE, notice that this newspaper is written by a CULTURAL Association. Is this promoting culture?

Must be said, anyway, that since there are no specific rules about how the images can or cannot be used once purchased from Institutions, photographers should be very careful in selling what they create if they don’t want, then, being associated to misconceptions or even something worse.

The role of photographer is documenting, of course, and he should not stop doing it but I think that in some cases he should carefully decide what’s more important to him: getting paid for his work in a more simple and faster way or taking the less easy way and protect his work and/or reputation (because then he could also be wrongly associated to the use made of his work).

As discussed during this week answering the following three questions,

What are your responsibilities? Who are you answerable to? Who should answer to you as an image maker?

I gave myself simple rules:

Do not harm, be honest, be a creative mind, try to create something that matters, think out of schemes, face challenges being a “lateral thinker”, accept failure, learn from failure and create something better out of it.

I think I must answer to my integrity and to my subject, which/who must be portrayed with respect and Observers are the ones who should “respond” to me (and to my subjects). I think images are like a call: if no one answers there is no dialogue.

What I know for sure, is what kind of Image Maker I DON’T want to be:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/11/something-snapped-hungarian-camera-operator-apologises-kicking-refugees

and I am more than glad to see, discussing with my peers, that respecting our subjects is a key point for all of us.

I am actually working on subjects like feelings, anxiety, subjects personal problems, what people see and how and I sense that I have to challenge myself more to respect my rules and create beauty out of what we consider “issues”. I am analyzing my concept from different perspectives in order to deeper understand it and slowly get closer to the concept I want to portray.

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Image: “Closer, come closer” – Rome, Italy.

© Dayana Marconi 2016. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

Do you need humans to portray feelings?

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS – CREATIVE PRACTICE

We consider feelings as something strictly related to human being.

Since I am spending some time analysing feelings from different perspectives to better understand the subjects I am going to portray for my main Project, I started wondering “What if feelings, like love for instance, could be represented by a combination of images portraying statues taken out of their contexts?”

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Images: “Love poems to an angel”, Images 1 and 2 – Rome.

© Dayana Marconi 2016. Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

Week 4: Reflections – Misconceptions in Photography

POSITIONS & PRACTICE – COURSEWORK

I was discussing with Ashley, an American Photographer based in India https://mapreflectionsbyat.wordpress.com/, in relation to some common misconceptions about professional Photographers.

She was explaining to me how in India “to be a professional photographer, you must have a studio”. In Italy only recently people are starting understanding that if you are a Photographer you don’t necessarily need a studio to prove it. Btw, many professionals are still obliged to rent studios or to take in account a studio-sharing option to be taken seriously. If you do not own a studio, for most of people you are just someone who takes photo, not a photographer.

Another common misconception is about equipment. Most of people can’t believe that being a professional could mean NOT NECESSARILY having the last generation of Reflex put on the Market. Must admit that this is a point I never understood: Italy is a Country full of art, you can find art in every single corner of every City, and still many people are not open-minded about what an artist, photographer, designer, painter or whatever could do and with what tools.

A brilliant example is an Italian photographer I love, who takes portraits by composing them with Polaroid photos only, Maurizio Galimberti http://www.mauriziogalimberti.it: it can be a portrait or a landscape or another project, but his work is basically based on Instant Photography only. His work is so different and proves that a tool often considered “as something appropriate only to portray everyday life” can be used to create a piece of art and that there is no need to use a last generation Digital Reflex to do it.

This is, for instance, a portrait of Sofia Coppola he took during 2010 Venice Film Festival:

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Image Credits: “Sofia Coppola” Portrait, Maurizio Galimberti, Venice, 2010.

Moreover, talking taking in account a more international point of view, there are also many other photographers who decided including analog into their work, also when their work seems “not fitting” with analog world anymore!

A good example of what I am saying is Emily Soto, a famous Fashion Photographer http://www.emilysoto.com/ who includes Polaroid images and analog experimentation into her practice but, at the same time, she has been included into the 2016 “Top 20 Photographers on the Web, XXLPix” list, she creates fashion actions to post-produce digital images and she gives lessons and organizes workshops about digital photography.

Hereafter one of her shots for the Impossible Project:

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Image Credits: Emily Soto, Impossible Project/Berlin.

I must admit that these kind of misconceptions have no impact upon how I conduct myself as a photographer and that certainly they don’t influence my practice, since my response in changing in technologies is “Start looking back again”. I started as Analog Photographer and I faced Digital world only because, of course, a person must be flexible in accordance with needs and costs in his work. It’s difficult shooting a wedding in Analog, for instance: most of people want something different to portray “Their Big Day” and Digital also reduces costs we have to face to realize a project. Moreover, I am a person apt to learn everything she possibly can, so I am interested in experimenting all possible techniques, tools, apps and equipments: both analog and digital because, in my opinion, a photograph taken with a Reflex, a Polaroid, a Smartphone or a Lomo Camera have the same value if the content is good.

I think there is no need to compartmentalize everything, art included, tho. I’m afraid that what is missing, talking especially about my Country, is a deeper and stronger education to Art. People here are so lucky to be able to find it at every step they make, but Italians, including myself, should be “enabled” in better understanding Art in all its forms and incite in being open-minded, because what can be applied to art can also be applied to our everyday life: just like a Polaroid photograph.

Week 2 Webinar – Photography, disciplines and contexts

POSITIONS & PRACTICE – CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH

Consider what other disciplines and critical contexts are relevant to your own practice in particular or talk about how your current or previous projects have critically engaged with other disciplines in art and design or completely different fields of research.

In this presentation I’m showing some samples of my practice connecting them to disciplines that lie outside photography itself, but that, basically, could be linked to the photographic world at many levels.

In the meantime, I would like to connect some contents presented during this week, not to my previous practice, but to the direction I would like giving to it: the different paths I would like to undertake.

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OGIVE MOOD INTO AN OVAL, The tapered end of women’s behaviours – New York, USA.

© Dayana Marconi 2014. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

The first two images come from my project “Ogive mood into an oval – The tapered end of women’s behaviours” and it could be connected to SOCIOLOGY.

According to dictionaries’ definition, Sociology is the science or study of the origin, development, organization and functioning of human society and social relationship. It’s subject matter is diverse, from religion to the shared beliefs of a common Culture. It analyses also those topics related to individuals, groups and gender.

Under this point of view, the first presented project is related to how society and common beliefs build prejudices  in relation to women and their moods. Sudden changes of moods are often imagined as typically feminine as seen as something unexpected, but, in reality, they are a tapering process that a person endures until it culminates into a demonstration (mood). It depends on everyday life and personalities, NOT gender. The facts that allows women easily express their feelings and often not to men, is a result of social conditioning and cultural heritage: a good subject for social studies.

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THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, and the pathologies and deviate behaviors that Alice found there – Asti, Italy.

© Dayana Marconi 2014. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

In the project “THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – AND THE PATHOLOGIES AND DEVIATE BEHAVIOURS THAT ALICE FOUND THERE”, I found a relationship with PSYCHOLOGY and LITERATURE represented, in this photo, by the concept of Anxiety.

I portrayed it as a woman playing the White Rabbit, but I didn’t use costumes, because I wanted to show that there’s nothing fictional in anxiety, this is also why it is only suggested by the movement of the camera, by contrasts and the subject itself: to make observers understand we are talking about our everyday life. This is why the Mad Hatter says “We are all mad, here!”, not referring to the fiction, but to the real life.

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ARCHITECTURAL DNA – build, develop, live & reproduce – Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R.

© Dayana Marconi 2015. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

In “ARCHITECTURAL DNA”, as the name says, I’ve been inspired both by ARCHITECTURE and SCIENCE.

The key-words to describe DNA could be “BUILD, DEVELOP, LIVE & REPRODUCE” and this it’s what make us unique. The Architect’s vision, at the same time, has the same function: he is who imagine a structure and choose those elements that will take to the final result. Human body is like a building made of bricks/cells and I wanted to representing this point: this is why I recalled the DNA shape of the stairs on the right and why the structure on the left takes the observer to a human body.

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IMPRESSIONIST LANDSCAPE, analog experiments – double exposures – New York, NY.

© Dayana Marconi 2016. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

In “IMPRESSIONIST LANDSCAPE” I experimented in analog to create a sort of painting effect through a double exposure. I used a Sardine camera and a Lomo X-Pro film, creating a mash-up of images, a landscape and the ocean, to give the photo an effect linked to impressionists’ paintings. I’ve been inspired by Claude Monet body of work, that portrayed bridges as one of his its main subjects.

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THE JOURNEY – Elena Maro, woman, singer,songwriter – Turin, Italy.

© Dayana Marconi 2015-2016. Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Dayana Marconi. Images may not be downloaded without her permission.

At last, music commonly influence photography. To present this singer’s album/project “THE JOURNEY” I analysed the lyrics of her songs for a few days and then I portrayed those images that her words and music pictured in my mind. As previously said, we often create menthal images of places or characters by reading a book and I followed the very same process in this case.

As previously written here on my CRJ, I am still looking for my path in Photography and I often feel misplaced as the image I used represents https://daybydaydayana.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/portfolio-how-to-find-my-path/.

I would like to experiment more, not only at a conceptual level, but also in relation to the instruments used. I’ve been truly fascinated by “Wings of a lantern fly” by Fox Talbot and by “Infra” project by Richard Mosse, and I think I would like to know about how scientific equipment can be used in photography and having a try, portraying what a naked eye could never observe by itself and creating, from scientific images, art.

As time goes by, I want more and more to improve, learning more, not only focusing on a simple direction, but trying as more as I can different fields and paths.

Week 2: Reflection

POSITIONS & PRACTICE – CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH

Since I graduated in Intercultural Science and Techniques presenting a dissertation named “Blog Community as a new Social Group”, I’ve always been interested in Social Psychology and Sociology more broadly and this is surely reflected by my photographic style and by the subject I often decided to represent.

My interest is to examine more in depth this psychological and sociological analysis with my practice, creating more structured projects that could become integral part of Visual Sociology.

At the same time, I would like to approach different contents, such as the interdisciplinary relationship between Photography and Science.

Projects and images like “Wings of a lantern fly”, by W. H. Fox Talbot, 1840

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and “Infra”, by Richard Mosse, 2010-2015

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are both challenging and surprising at the same time. Both photographers use scientific instruments to create photographic images not purely connected to Science, even if they share the used medium.

My interest is finding the way to follow a similar path, creating photographs using new medium and through experimentation.

From the contents examined talking about “Photography, time and motion” and “Photography and the art of Science”, it’s easy to deduce the benefit of the “Lateral thinking” process, stated by the psychologist Edward de Bono, applied to photographic process: observing not a problem but Photography from different angles, is the easiest way to join a predetermined purpose: creating new artistic paths.

Photography and…

POSITIONS & PRACTICE – CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH

Having considered the photograph in relation to some other disciplines, what discipline you feel that photography of any kind has a particularly interesting or relevant relationship to?

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AND SOCIOLOGY.

As previously discussed talking about “The Global Image”, we are all involved into a photographic representation of reality, somehow and this democratization and ubiquity of photography has such a significance to make this medium subject of sociologic investigation, since, as written by Alfredo la Paz in his book “Fotografia e Società” (Photography and Society) Liguori Editore, Italy, 2001, “Photography reproduces reality”.

There is a whole branch of Sociology, born in the United States during 1960s thanks to the contribution of Howard Becker, Arthur Clarke and Douglas Harper  and named “Visual Sociology”, that analyses the relationship between Sociology and Photography (and, more broadly, to all visual arts and digital technology).

This discipline has many different application fields, such as social behaviour, cultural and sub-cultural production, social interaction and groups’ dynamics, use of urban spaces.

Visual Sociology is basically split into two fronts:

  • The analysis of images produced for other purposes (artistic or with documentary intent);
  • The analysis of images specifically produced to analyse social events.

In both cases, images can be both instrument and objective of Visual Sociology and they are used to involve both Scientific Community and a broader audience.

(Further general information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_sociology#References)

Being Photography a field linked to personal (and free) interpretation, especially in absence of specific references, in my opinion the interpretation itself could become object of further sociologic studies; analysing, for instance, observers’ opinions and reactions to images, related to different contexts, he couldn’t have access to without Photography (The Global Image, again).

A good example of sociologic effect of Photography could be its influence on social habits. Let’s take in consideration the creation of the first Kodak camera accessible to all amateurs because its cost and simplicity in 1888. From George Eastman’s quote “You press the button, we do the rest” new phenomenon aroused:  the creation of family albums for instance and, more broadly, the costume of portraying the world culminating, today, with the massive access to smarthphones and digital cameras.

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Image Credits: Kodak, The Eastman Company, Rochester, NY.

Thanks to the preciseness of sociologic studies and to a scientific, a discipline like Sociology became linked to the photographic medium for the first time and new associations have been created to better analyse this brand new relationship,  just as the “International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA), “devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships” (http://visualsociology.org/about.html).

Many photographers’ work could be use for sociologic purposes: some examples could be Sebastião Salgado’s documentation of the Amazonian population (source: “Introducing the Global Image”, Falmouth Uni.), Richard Mosse’s “Infra” project, documenting internal conflicts in Congo (source: “Photography and the art of Science”, Falmouth Uni.), Dorothea Lange and her reportages related to living and working conditions of migrants in USA, Robert Doisneau who portrayed common people and their everyday life into Parisian Banlieues; but also amateurs portraying places and themselves and sharing those images thanks to Social Media.

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Image: “Migrant Mother”, Dorothea Lange, Nipomo, February 1936.

According to a sociological point of view, any kind of photographs could be considered relevant, no matter the original purpose, because they represent and document the history of modern Society using, and providing, different interpretation keys and representing a starting point for new investigations.