I was pleased with my feedback for this assignment, particularly given the challenges that this assignment presented to me. As stated in my peroration notes i am far more used to being behind the camera than in front of it and I arrived at a very individual take of the brief. I also learned a lot along the way, not least how it would have been helpful to have an assistant for this sort of work.
Using my now standard review methodology, I highlight the strengths my tutor identified as ell as the limitation and the areas for further study
The full tutor feedback can be found here: j-o-tutor-report-3
As with other assignments i set out my thoughts I response to my tutor:
Many thanks for your feedback on assignment three, as ever it is very helpful and thought provoking. I did find this assignment a challenge but enjoyed the whole exercise, the diary writing, the thinking, the execution and the technical aspects. It was very different, particularly the diary production and this whole way of working from a self-produced text. I agree about the images of the diary on my desk, the scribbles and comments on the diary copies perhaps form a different response to the assignment.
Images of my work, writing and OCA activity on my desk are a sort of ongoing project that spans across my OCA studies to date. Spurred on by a single polaroid image I made in June 1985. That year I left a bricks and mortar university and my abiding memory of it was an empty Formica desk with a single and permanent stain from a coffee cup on its empty surface. My ongoing collection of images of my desk at home with the activity from my OCA journey has become a personal project which counters the single polaroid from my past!
The assignment also brought home the ongoing dilemma I have about whether there should be any accompanying text with an image. This has been a recurring theme through each assignment in C&N. I am still working at not including text, although some of the reflection you offered regarding the assignment and in particular, how it would appear to a viewer, could perhaps be partially resolved with some excerpts from the diary that make direct reference to things I had written that link to the texts I was reading at the time. It was these elements of writing in the dairy and the observations of my diary reviewers that led to the selection of the texts I used as masks in the self-portraits. That said I think I still prefer to avoid the use of text to make me think about how an image might speak for itself. I recognise though that I still have a way to go on making my images talk for themselves.
Your comment about using a wider context of the background is interesting. In my initial experiments, I did try some images using a 14mm (21mm full frame equivalent) lens to show much more of the context in which the image was made. Some of the images I liked but I also felt the focus on the principle subject was reduced. I think I would again perhaps use a slightly narrower wide angle to include more of the context, particularly because I was trying to say something about me, the text/mask and the environment. I think this brought home to me the balance between a creative and well thought out assignment response balanced within the time available to make the work. This is a useful reflection when thinking about future work. I do sometimes struggle with time and experimentation and to be frank, the work is a compromise to some extent between vision, intent and the ruthlessness of time.
On the date for the next assignment I think the date you have suggested are the ones for this previous assignment, as the due date for the next assignment is that date for the submission of assignment three. I’d be grateful if you could let me have a date for assignment 4, it helps me focus and manage workload and time.
On a final note, I am in the process of looking at a number of images that might form the basis of the assignment four essay. When I have narrowed this list down to two or three I will drop you a line to get your thoughts
Again, many thanks for your comments and commentary, I genuinely find them helpful.
PS, I really like the reference to Fahrenheit 451, I hadn’t thought of that while making the work, but I could perhaps be a character in it, I am pushed to choose which book I might consume and become but it would probably be Becker’s outsiders or Funder’s Stasiland!