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Thesis Outline - Draft @ 15 October 2019

Link to PDF: File:ThesisOutlineDraft 02.pdf

I. Introduction

1. Background Within the context of my art practice I now choose to define myself as a photomedia artist (not a photographer). Guided by my fascination with the physical properties and ethereal qualities of light I explore concepts of journey, place and ecologies of time. My thesis will serve as an expanded artist statement whereby I interrogate and attempt to deconstruct the methods, processes and motivations of my artistic practice. I plan to situate my practice within a broader social and artistic context drawing on reference texts on contemporary (expanded) photography theory, and other artistic practices, while also reflecting on my own personal experiences which influence my practice. Presented in a photo book format (therefore lots of images) the thesis will have three main sections—light, space and time. In “Light and Photomedia” Jai McKenzie defines photographic works as light-space-time structures; I take this publication as a starting point for my thesis.

2. Thesis Statement (a sentence that states your argument to the reader)
A critical enquiry and personal reflection on how the relationships and interplay between light, space, and time influence and define photomedia as well as my own artistic practice. (Should I mention the sub-themes of journey, materiality and process here?)

II. Body of Thesis

First Topic: [Light]
There’s No Such Thing as Post-Photography: on Photomedia or Light-Space-Time Structures

Point A: What is photomedia?
• Photomedia practices are defined by their use of light rather than the camera.
• Installation, projection, moving image, alternative photographic processes (cyanotypes, photograms)etc fall under the umbrella of photomedia.
• The analogue/digital binary becomes irrelevant when we define work as light-space-time structures
Point B: Light Objects (Light made manifest)
• Physical properties of light. Optical phenomena.
• Examples of methods in the world and art practices (mention suntanning, photosynthesis, bleaching of wood, Hiroshima here?).
• Methods in my own practice. e.g. refer to Text on Method essay
Point C: Magic in Photomedia
• Abstraction as Method
• Materiality and process in my practice.

[ Journal entry: Light and “Magic”. Art that moves me speaks to some magic. Discuss what am I trying to find and communicate with my work. ]

Related texts:
Opticks – Newton (haven’t read this though)
Theory of Colours – Goethe
Towards a Philosophy of Photography – Vilem Flusser
Light & Photomedia – Jai McKenzie
Photography is Magic – Charlotte Cotton

2. Second Topic: [Space]
Being Elsewhere: on Journey, Place and Non-Place

A. Anthropology/Phenomenology of Tourism
• Places and non-places
• Journey
• Why we (feel the need to) travel
B. The in-between: Liminality/Liminoid Experiences
• What are liminoid experiences?
• Travel as a liminoid experience.
C. A Tale of two journeys
• Journey when taking photos
• Journey through process in the darkroom.
D. Pedestrianism/Walking practices in art ?? (Maybe not needed as a separate topic?)
• The landscape as metaphor
• Walking as a contemplative practice. (linked to time)
• Artists that walk: Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, etc.

[ Journal entry: Walking in nature, role of wanderlust and journey in my life, being the other, a note on politics and privilege ]

Autoethnography as Method / Autotheory
The Landscape as metaphor
Related texts:
An Introduction to Supermodernity - Marc Augé
Wanderlust - Rebecca Solnit

3. Third Topic: [Time]
A counterpoint to Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment”: on Duration & Ecologies of Time

A. Representing timescales in photomedia (cosmic, geological, biological)
• Sun-tanning, fossilisation, Hiroshima (impressioning).
• The landscape as a marker of geological time.
B. Time in cinema vs photography
• Representation of time
• Experience of time
C. What does it take to make a contemplative practice?
• Sustained exposure in my practice (method)
• Use of the body in making.
• Contemplative/Reflective/Meditative/Slowness in my practice.

[ Journal entry: Why the durational aspect of my process is important to me. Somehow I feel that things that are worthwhile should always take time. Perhaps an idea related to craft. e.g. Slowness as protest. Use of the body. ]

Related texts:
The Cinematic ed. David Campany
The Craftsman – Richard Sennett
Nonhuman Photography – Joanna Zylinska
A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit

III. Conclusion