My thesis investigates the role of the photobook in representing the British working-classes since 1975 and demonstrates the value of photobooks as a tool for the exploration of lived experience.
Meanwhile/Becoming: A Postphenomenological Position Exploring Vision and Visuality in Landscape Photography
Meanwhile/Becoming is a practice-led research project that investigates methods of creating photographs that do not conform to the Cartesian perspective prevalent in photographs taken with a standard format camera. The research explores the opportunity of examining a visual space other than that offered by the standard single lens reflex camera through manipulation of the pinhole camera. It uses processes that produce what the research describes as a reinterpretation of phenomenology, postphenomenology and posthumanism through photographic practice; where the photographs are expressive of the what and how humans see and the lived experience of the situated perspectives of a specific space.
Algorithmic iconography: Intersections between iconography and social media image research
63% of social media consists of images: about 2,000,000,000 pictures are shared daily. I use iconography to understand why people find some pictures more resonant than others. As a case study, I examine the 1,000 most widely-shared tweets arising from the refugee crisis arising from the death of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian refugee child found drowned on a Turkish beach in 2015.
Tracing the social contract of photography: How do we evidence the collaborative social engagement process in photography without undermining the value of the final visual outcome?
The thesis sets out the theoretical framework for which the practice-based research is delivered, supporting but challenging to what extent, there is a ‘social contract’, inherent in photography as argued by Azoulay. The framework pays consideration to photography’s conflicted history, positioned between Rancière’s thinking of photography as a “trace of the true” against Sontag’s view of photography as enabling the “voyeuristic stroller”. For the purposes of this research, which actively privileges the process of social engaged practice in photography, weight is given to Rancière’s and Azoulay’s argument. The thesis further explores the principles of Helguera’s layers of participation, which discusses different approaches socially engaged art practitioners use for their collaboration with others. I specifically focus on the creative and collaborative participation methodology, which enables the most active and accessible approach to co-authoring art projects.
How is Photography Performed in a Virtual Space?
My work is generated within the algorithmically determined space of 3D computer software, where the system itself is the subject matter and the performative act of imaging is the motivation for exploring the potentialities of the programme’s codes of construction. This digital 3D space is essentially photographic, where the modelling of light, its properties and qualities, determines the form of the image.
Portrait as Landscape: Rendering Topography of Face and Body
“Stop asking us for the inner being, essence, soul…,” Richard Avedon pleaded: "the surface is all you've got. "My research addresses questions of why when looking at portraits we instinctively make judgements about the subject’s character and personality and why such assumptions are wrong. Using a knowledge of the science of visual perception I will attempt to produce photographic portraits that reveal unexplored surface terrain unhindered by erroneous opinions.
Distance matters: A visual archeology of the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow
Why do I keep going back to sites of Holocaust memory and how might it be possible for me to use drawing as a tool to excavate a past personally unlived? Foucault describes his approach to writing history as archaeology, where discursive traces of the past are investigated in order to write a 'history of the present'. This is important because it expresses a desire to link with something beyond ourselves.
An Investigation of Syrian Conflict Photography on Flickr
The Arab Spring of 2011 saw the employment of social media, and contributed to the way in which photojournalists, citizen witnesses, and activists mediate and represent struggles and conflict in the Middle East (Allan, 2013). Looking particularly at Syria, the visual construction of the conflict is ever more present, and images of the war have become more common, as we now live in a world that is constructed more readily through imagery. Images are circulated with an unprecedented speed on global New Media outlets such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter instantaneously (Anden-Papadopoulos and Pantti, 2013). Activists and citizen journalists have worked to gain public attention to fight against the Assad regime in Syria, largely through access to social media sites. In the process, activist groups such as Lens Young Dimashqi seek to record and document the conflict through photographic images of life during wartime.
Opening up the Wig: An exploration of the wig using photographic and sculptural strategies to reveal the relationships between the wig, the self, society and the construction of female identities.
My practice is situated in the intersection between sculpture and studio-based photography and will employ a range of strategies to unpack the function and definition of the wig, and interrogate the social context that currently produces and values it. This will involve investigating both the intention of the wig - representing, idealising and projecting the ‘feminine’ - and its material origins - the physicality of it and the cultural context that produces it. The female wig in particular offers a space for public and private ideas of femininity to interact. Women’s wigs can act as a metonym for the female body as both an artificial construct (the ideal female body), and an absence (the intended wearer, or, in the case of natural hair, the persons whose hair it was).
Visual Activism in Israel and the Occupied Territories
My PhD thesis is concerned with examining the politics of visibility, expressly related to nonviolent Palestinian and international activist practices carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
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