Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Medium Is Not The Message

Been thinking about things from a slightly different angle, maybe 10 degrees further north than usual. Conversations, talks, reading in the past few days have had multiple strands attached but one theme has really stood in sharp relief for me; and it's a very simple thing. "What am I interested in"???

So many of the writers, directors, photographers that I have heard about in the past week can be characterised around this one question. The work itself is infinitely varied, in many cases, but the same underlying questions appear again and again. It sounds so obvious as to be almost overlooked but I believe it is an important thing to establish. It is easy in this environment, surrounded by so many varied ideas and new concepts and with people engaged in such a vast spectrum of inquiry to lose sight of this fundamental question. It is a matter of roots, not the geographical kind but the root of each of our individual curiosity about the world.

I have spent some time thinking about project two; approaching it from, I suspect, rather a cart before the horse perspective. Fluctuating from projections to portraiture, portraiture to dance, maybe documentary and perhaps also slow motion video and back again full circle the effect is informative, as I have found many new artists I admire, but also somewhat dizzying. These are mediums, not the message, and I do not agree with McLuhan's postulations on this topic so this literally will not do!!!

So now I am asking the question, what is the message or really what am I interested in, what questions do I want to ask that I might find answers in through photography? I don't want to start with a probable answer, or with a strong set of assumptions, but I guess with more of an open mind. Otherwise perhaps it is just a form of lip service. Then choose the medium, within photography, to explore this. The nature of deadlines attached to something like an MA project means a fine line will need to be tread in order to get a cohesive body of work finished in the time allotted but for now I will attempt to embrace 'not really knowing' and go in the direction of that which I want to find out more about!

I am very clear what key questions in life preoccupy me; People, psychology, consciousness, awareness, perception, the unconscious mind, ritual, meaning or specifically what gives life meaning to people, the relational field, numinosity. It feels a bit like maths really, come back to first principles and start again from there. As usual there is something to be said for simplicity!

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