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September 8, 2006

MGA photography Exhibition

Currently showing at the MGA, is The Inaugural William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize. I recently visited with this show with a group of photography students from work, a fine cross section of the current state of photographic art in Australia at the moment.

For once I was caught out and didn't have either a pen OR a notebook with me, thankfully I managed to scrounge up a piece of paper and a pen from a student, thanks Kirstie. I scratched a few thoughts down on the piece of paper, and if you were thinking of visiting this photography exhibition perhaps my observations maybe of some interest to both of you?

Firstly the notes or more to the point the 'words' I scribbled down in no particular order.

  • Unanswered Questions
  • Size
  • Type C [no non silver, bar one]
  • Metallic Paper
  • POMO death of magic
  • CRAFT
  • Art History References

Unanswered questions:-
all the images had a plaque, describing the artist's intentions, some using as much as two A4 sheets other using barely a line. Many though pose questions that they either refused to answer or were unable to answer leaving me wondering if the work was an investigation or a rhetorical question.

Size:-
85% of the work was huge, the rest large, bar one piece, a beautiful set of polaroids taken using a special macro/medical camera. Why does contemporary art need to be so fucking large?

Metallic paper:-
There several images that were printed on this paper, most of which worked well, again though I don't understand this choice, after all it is hard and smooth and cold, not attributes I would want accredited to my work.

POMO death of magic:-
Postmodernism has to my mind been a too intellectual for it's own good, much of today's art has all sorts of ideas attached to it, once you get the idea what is left?

Craft:-
call me old fashioned but whilst craft should be invisible, bad craft should be as invisible.

Art History:-
Several pieces had art history references, so if you had no knowledge of art history then, you would not understand the pieces at all see my last point about POMO and magic.

'The Passions of Light' by Emmanuel Santos

Also on at the MGA, generated a whole list of names of Angels, which piqued my interest, the images themselves however were by and large somewhat twee, which surprised me because Mr Santos has a long history in the Melbourne Photography scene, as a Photo-Journalist documentary photographer.

Still a great survey of contemporary photographic art in Australia at the moment and real swimming pool of ideas and approaches.

October 19, 2006

Christmas Has Come Early This Year

Tom Waits is about to release a new album in November, according to Anti-Records, WOOT!

EDIT

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a wide-ranging collection of 54 songs - including 30 new recordings – equaling over three hours of rare and never-before heard music. The set comes complete with a 94-page booklet.

Each of the three CDs is separately grouped and sub-titled – ‘Brawlers’, ‘Bawlers’ and ‘Bastards’ – to capture the full spectrum of Waits’ ranging and roving musical styles. ‘Brawlers’ is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke joint stomp; ‘Bawlers’ comprises Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano and classic lyrical Waits’ songs while ‘Bastards’ is filled with experimental music and strange tales.

In addition to the new work, Orphans features a number of songs originally recorded for the cinema, the theatre and other projects but which now find a home on a Waits’ album for the first time. They include his unique interpretations of songs by such extraordinarily diverse talents as The Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, Leadbelly, Sparklehorse, Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac.

"Orphans are rough and tender tunes. Rhumbas about mermaids, shuffles about trainwrecks, tarantellas about insects, madrigrals about drowning,” says Waits. “Scared, mean orphan songs of rapture and melancholy. Songs that grew up hard. Songs of dubious origin rescued from cruel fate".

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (Anti Records) is Waits’ first release since 2004’s much-lauded Real Gone. The album was written and produced by Waits with his wife and long-time collaborator Kathleen Brennan and is released on Tuesday 21th November 2006.

Next week is the beginning of Folio assessment at work, this is how I stay sane, by leaning on the fence and just staring out into the distance.

melbourne panorama [the calm before the storm]

May 16, 2007

Education & Software Corporations

As we gear up to purchase the next version of Photoshop. I can't help but wonder, is Photoshop really worth teaching?

From where I sit, education is about helping people to develop into free thinking and creative individuals. Photoshop is one of the areas I teach.

I've wondered about this before.

Photoshop has been around for 10 plus years. In the interim it, Photoshop, has become the dominant photo editing application. Dominant but not necessarily the best, fastest or cheapest.

This places me as an educator, between a rock and a hard place. While Photoshop is a powerful tool, any professional photographer knows that up to 80% of it's functions are not of any real studio/commercial use. Look at Lightroom and Aperture for example. The breadth and depth of photo editing tools and raw processing tools out there, is astounding, and probably ever growing.

Do I teach the students how to use photoshop, well, a time consuming task and skill, and risk them being curious about to how to do the job cheaper, faster and easier, or show them how to use and evaluate software that may give them more options at some point in the future, but only give them a fleeting understanding of photoshop?

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November 12, 2007

Bureaucratic Overload

It's that time of year where contemplating photography takes a back seat over other issues, like results and forward planning. I have however been thinking about, a matrix of sorts that shows the similarities between Digital photography processing and Analogue Photography processing.

November 16, 2007

Phonecam Workshop 2007

During the year I, as an experiment ran an elective, a workshop on Phone camera photography. Finally enough of the work has been handed in for me to complete the website. Have a look and see for yourselves.

About work

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to musings from the photographic memepool [the shallow end] in the work category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

teaching is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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