Pushing Ahead

“Spread Thin”: A view of every site I currently have a username and password for.

This past weekend I got some affirmation in a few different forms. First, The images I’ve been working on as a part of my “Social Portaits” series got positive feedback, which is a relief honestly, because I like them as images, but I was afraid I was too close to them to see them objectively. So, YES, as images, they are beginning to work, but there are a few details that I need to iron out. First, I initially started the series as a way to point out the information overlaid and resulting ambiguity as a semi-ironic consequence of people’s tendency to be  constantly uploading new versions of themselves to present to the world. However, with these more recent images, I’ve scaled back the number of images used and the result actually does let the viewer in on the life and uniqueness of the subject. Just adding more images is not the solution because when all specificity is lost, so is the fineness of the image. One thing I’m toying with right now is the fact that my thesis firmly positions me as cautionary but undecided, so, having work that points to a potential bright point of technology still fits. If I stay with that, I plan on starting a secondary series that really pushes the anonymity factor, I’ll just have to keep the viewer engaged, but that’s a question for another day.
The other point of affirmation I received was about the techniques I pursue, and it went against some earlier guidance I had gotten and been struggling with ever since. One critic said that if I am talking about this world of technology, I need to be using technology in the work. I was uneasy with the suggestion then as I am now, if the way I work embraces technology wholeheartedly, that argues against my actual point of having some reservation. Over the weekend there were two things said that made me really want to pursue more traditional print medium. Jennie Shanker urged me to at least explore classic printing for some of the images I showed (I believe for the beauty and for the critical positioning). And the guest speaker in my saturday class, Roger Rathman of Bucknell, talked about darkroom photography being a very bold and direct choice and statement, clearly indicating to the viewer that there was a specific choice made when deciding a medium. I think I can use that implication to my advantage in the right context. Truthfully I’ve been wanting to work on a darkroom project, but having gotten any traction thus far. Maybe this encouragement will get some wheels turning.

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