Deconstruction

Deconstruction was conceived while I cleaned our kitchen to within a inch of its life.

Deconstruction is about waste, technology, built-in obsolesce, transformation, reconstruction and reuse.

I plan to take obsolete items, trash and other stuff and take it apart. I’ll then take the component pieces and arrange them into patterns — spirals, labyrinths, squares, etc. so that they create aesthetically interesting and colourful compositions. I can then take photographs of these parts and blow them up to obscene proportions.

I think my old iphone, ipod, USB stick, and other similarly complex items would work well. I may need a soldering iron. I could also do the same thing with small appliances; toasters, blenders, etc.

Other material that could work are household and personal consumables. Things like twin-blade cartridges for my razor. If I was to get access to a laser cutter I could maybe take a blade and slice it up like a loaf of bread then photograph those slices neatly arranged in a line with my macro lens and print. Some sort of crazy cutting implement would make almost anything fair game.

Both ideas revolve around thoughts of waste and the North American disinterest of big business to be environmentally conscience. It’s also a simple extension of my central thesis simply stated, “looking at things that others aren’t interested to look at.” There’s an added element of my brother Peter who was always interested in taking things apart and rebuildig them. For me though this is not about funtionality. It’s more like sculpture. It’s also found art that existed all the time. I’m just reconfiguring stuff.

The most important piece has solidified in my mind and it’s the razor blade sliced into 5 or 6 pieces then photographed.

More and more I think about sculpture.

Here’s a 15 minute version that illustrates one possible approach.

Deconstruction indirectly comments on the annoying digital vs analog debate in photography and film. Here, instead of using Photoshop to easily and accurately create the Deconstructed then Reconstructed images I desire, the process will be done manually.  Painstaking physical manipulation to create an effect that others could easily do with little or no effort via a digital process. These physically constructed shots will then be captured digitally which further obscures the process creating an ironic tension.

Related to this I’ve been thinking of a statement that reads something like; “Do you dislike digital because it’s the inferior to analog, or because you’re afraid now that with millions of image makers publishing on-line you’re mediocre talents will be discovered and you will be eclipsed?

This stance is not a denial of analog, but an annoyance at those individuals who take the elitist position that digital sucks. I find these folks annoying in their arrogance and denial of a new generation of image makers who will quickly eclipse them.

 

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Maquette

Maquette is a concept I’ve been thinking about since August 2nd. I’ve been obsessed with it. I find when I fixate on things it’s a good sign, usually it means the idea has some potential. In short the more something sticks in my head and it adapts and expands, the more valid it seems.

I’ve been shooting interior spaces through the glass of their front windows for years. Lately the work feels a bit underwhelming. I rarely find compelling new locations anymore. I get less and less exited about what I’ve shot or have been shooting. Typically in the last few months I head out and shoot and shoot for hours and then come home and delete everything.

As an alternative to this I could build what I want to take pictures of. Below is a perfect example. I like this image but I’d rather see it as a series of lines and planes than actual structural, representational elements. I’d like to distill this into a geometric sculpture by removing the reference point of the room. I think I could build a maquette that would be less narrative and more compelling than the interior spaces I’ve been shooting for Vacancy.


I think this has awesome potential. The first project could be painted foamcore. I’ll build a structure like the diagram below, only using subtle shades of grey gradation. Maybe my first attempt will be based on the lines of a hallway. The furthest surface inside the hallway will be white, the closer I get to the top our outer edge will be black. In between hand-mixed shades linking the two. I can do a series of these constructions using different primary colours. I better get the studio finished. I think I’ll make this really small and shoot with the macro lens. If I think I’m insane I might as well start acting the part.

Further to this idea I went out today on Simcoe Day for the last chance I”l have in a while to shoot. I found 2 places and a new idea close to home. Below are the early stages of the new idea. I’ve taken my standard shot and then closed down the aperture as small as possible to increase the exposure time and used the zoom on my lens to distort the image. I like this effect and it sort of makes the interiors unreal and somewhat x-rayish. I like the technique and was also surprised with the simplicity and line of the subject.

I think this is a nice step in the right direction. Now the plan could be to revisit the favorite boring locals and reshoot with this technique. I’ll experiment with underexposing to even further increase the exposure times and hopefully allow me to get some more solid ghosting. I could possibly do this with multiple exposures as well or even layer specific individual images in Photoshop to act like multiple in-camera exposures. There’s also the possibility of combining this multiple shot technique with the aforementioned maquette versions of the interiors and experiment in a studio setting with flash, other lighting and the macro lens.

For me the image below is just a nice surprise. like this interior as a possibility for the Vacancy series… just when I was close to giving up. This is a sweet ending to a pretty laid back vacation. New inspiration and new ideas make me happy.

Finally I think this is a project I could execute over the course of a month or 2 in an artist residence somewhere. I was further thinking maybe I could research one in Paris or London where I could also work on a new subway series as well. I might even be able to take a month or 2 leave from work.

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Cheek to Cheek

Select a portion of the cheek and take a macro photograph. Shoot a self portrait then shoot different people I know creating 20 or so images that show the individual pores of everyone’s skin, the hair/beard detail, skin tone and colour.

If displayed together these would be abstract portraits that should –if hung correctly– create a unified series of abstractions.

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Photographers

Contact friend photographers and see if they’d be willing to let me take macro shots of their eyes, or one eye. The idea to create a show of these images in super large size, show the differences and title them with the name of the subject.

Eyes are the window to the soul, as well their the photographers tools, more so than the camera. it’s just a box with a hole in it. Without the photographers vision there can be no good photographs.It could also be viewed as a play on the structure of camera lenses. The eye is a natural lens that glassware and technology are always trying to emulate.

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