Context, Process, Evaluation
Pelham: TQ 31317 04902, is a project designed in response to a particular moment in the life of a building, a moment in which political, ideological and financial views collide. The high-rise nature of the building stands as a metaphor for the separation between the debated views. As the building raises floor by floor its physicality mirrors and reinforces the hierarchical nature of its organisation. Each floor offers solace to its communities at a structural and individual level but then silos them in relation to the whole.
Buildings routinely represent a kind of constancy, a monolith in the landscape and although they are adapted and changed over time this generally occurs in indeterminable increments, this is partly why the current catastrophic change is so keenly felt. Dismantlement is proposed for the temporal home of communities.
The project title infers propositional outcomes for this building, Firstly ‘Pelham’, refers to a physical building a container of identity and memory. It is current, tangible and locatable in the real world. ”TQ 31317 04902′ refers to a building of the past, an intangible which is only locatable in the virtual world by its co-ordinates on the earth, identity and memory are dispersed and now resides in myth.
I walked the building with a view to knowing it, in that exploration I firstly discovered its infrastructure, then its structure, followed by its corridors and rooms, they are a fascinating set of spatial circumstances which communicate their, form and function.
Initially this project was solely about the building structure, however during the process of searching, interacting and connecting with the spaces and the people who occupy these spaces, I discovered the intangible nature of the building, hope, ambition and dreams. The building is the monument for the community within it, each area without restraint postulates its wares.
The portraits presented for this project illustrate a series of spaces, which are very much about the essence of a building.
images for presentation:
my favorinte images that didn’t make it
My initial thoughts are to work up both Primary & Perspective collections. Both collections represent a body of work with a strong visual methodology, secondly the collections may have just indicated the actual project title:
Primary Perspective seems to suggest the first look at something, certainly part of the project process.
Perspective – Post production:
of the final images I cut a further highlighted 7 images, the final cut came down to what images I liked, which ones had the strongest visual cohesion both as a set \and as a collection as a whole
Post production for the Perspective Set, will be the same as the Primary Set.
Above are adjusted images
Primary – Post production:
- adjusted perspective – wide-angle lens has produced curving at the edges
- Reduced saturation – Predominantly yellow due to the fluorescent lighting, reduced general saturation as the building is very busy, i.e. both the structure and the decor varies per floor and there are information panels etc. attached to the wall, all of which has meant is was becoming increasingly difficult to read the architecture. The images were not converted to back and white as the original light conditions where not good enough to create enough contrast (Lesson from Unknown Portrait!)
- The two highlighted images are the two which are most structurally different from the others.
- Images saved as tiff and jpg formats for submission/presentation.
Tutorial 3rd June 2014 – GH
- Discussed crystallising the various strands of the project idea into a project outline similar brief artist statement
- some potential directions.
thoughts after tutorial
- there are projects about building with people at the centre for eg the Düsseldorf school of photography
- Portrait of the building (define portrait) revealing the character of the building
- exploring the psychological role of
- think about the semiotic value looking down corridors which look a particular way
- think about a building which has been commissioned, could be an office block, is faceless
- think about a building which is not necessarily fit for learning in the 21C
- the small floor place with solid walls both separates people and limits interactions,
- that shows value materially – in its fixtures and fittings
- the hierarchical organisational structure reinforces the oppressive
Tutorial 30th May 2014 – GH
- Discussed the photographic out comes taking on themes i.e. Perspective, elevation detail.
- Gh advised that I reflect analytically on the twists and turns of the project process
1. Photographic summary
Building documentation – what photographs did I take – fairly liner process (describe and work, present to this description)
what was the process in getting the photographs: floor plans, identifying departments, department heads, sent e-mails explain the project – then whet to see them, was fairly pushy at that point as photos needed to be taken quickly
Common parts defined each positions each direction, and height I would take the photographs – leave room for ad hoc photographs
Building documentation – what photographs did I wish I took
Future development if the building is decommissioned, if the building stays up
- Per floor i.e. Basement to 11th Floor, followed by a star rating.
- Then by areas in departments, the categories illustrated to the left of the screenshot, 16 categories overall
- The five star rated is then moved into: final images folder
- My final evaluation will be to look at images which ‘hang’ together as a series in the category of – perspective, elevation or detail, below is an example of an elevation.
Further contextual reference
Walter Benjamin my evolving orientation to the idea of experience and memory in the context of the building as container
Tutor review 22.05.14
- The context which gives the photographs meaning are: The restructuring of both the college organisation and college buildings, means that in the possible near future the building will not exist. The transitional process of this change has manifested a building where people who are very upset. The job losses and the general uncertainty, has created an air of powerlessness.
- As you move through the building, you come across huddles of people discussing their dissatisfaction, sometimes there are raised voices, in an attempt I think to be heard, they want anyone to hear them.
- although I feel welcome as a photographer documenting the building, there is a heavy air about the building
- the building is a container for discontented, people have not apparently been empowered to see a positive future.
- The omnipresent sadness, heavy, darkness, limited xxxx?
- Is to depict interiors which allude the ‘recent’ presence of people but is signified by their absence.
- Perspective to be square on and straight on.
- Orientation to be landscape.
- Lighting to be found light, low-level, where possible
- Start to think about the 12 images as a series of images which should hang together.
- A new contextual reference cited is Candida Höfer who’s images are of ‘found interiors’ libraries, museums, auditorium, grand spaces for people but significantly devoid of people.
- Create photographic categories for Thursdays penultimate tutorial
- One off definitive image per floor = 12 x images overall
- Project title: (building OS location) TQ 31317 04902
- Photo titles: by floor, orientation, room number?
- exterior shots?
- try some of the style discussed i.e. hypereal hue of Lachapelle, the faded hue of Paul Graham, the symmetrically images of Candida Höfer
- Do some A3 test prints
- quantify how many students would have passed through Pelham tower in its current incarnation of City College
- Future work, start to make connections for when the building is decommissioned.
looking for hue Paul Graham – American Night, think about the way in which the faded images communicates the forgotten David Lachapelle Land scape, 2013 ….. concentrate on the raping of our beautiful landscapes by private interests – read1 read2
Project development 20.05.14
in order to take these photographs firstly I had to get clearance from Facilities, who then escorted me to the the Head of IT, he told me that each server was named after a constellation. The IT manager unlocked the sever room the temperature of which was 21 degrees + 3 degrees. Although this is a fairly simple room the photo session took 45 minuets. During which time I was both freezing and watched be the member of the facilities team, and felt I had to make the decisions fairly quickly as I felt he was more cold that I was as he wasn’t moving around at all. The upside to having to take photo I was invited back, should I need more.
Starwars – R2D2 & 3cpo
- building location: TQ 31317 04902
- 1 x portrait of department heads / members
- 1 x series of departmental images – relating to the co-ordinates of the place
- 1 x series of departmental details
- Photo title: co-ordinates or by room number
Project development 19.05.14
photo taken Project development 17.05.14 obtain department heads e-mail addresses new
- Get floor plans for Trafalgar including basement for Photo planning
- I may go in when its dark – ask facilities
send e-mails to department heads in bold in order to get access/ permissions for photo-shoot
- G Floor: Engineering workshop & Plant (Facilities) – Monday
- 1st Floor: Room 1.10 Dave Richardson Team Leader Training Kitchen ex356 7 Main Hall (when is this booked?)
- 2nd Floor: Room 2.02 outside innovation room – green and Red reception – Monday
- 3rd Floor: Room 3.06,3.01 ICT servers/room (?) & corridor ‘onAir’ sign & Plant – Monday
- 4th Floor: Room corridor (looks like its outdoors) – Monday
- 5th Floor: Room 5.11 – Corrine – boardroom (senior management floor) – Monday 10:00 am.
- 6th Floor: Room 6.09, (Facilities ) laundry Room – Monday (FM – Key?)
- 7th Floor: Room 7.03, 7.08, 7.09 – (?) computer booths – Monday (FM – Key?)
- 8th Floor: Room 8.01, 8.07 – Dr Lorrain Smith – Microbiology Chem/Biology Labs)
9th Floor: room 9.06 & 9.02 – Georgia Christoforou – Beauty Therapy – massage
10th Floor: 10.10, 10.08 – Exam rooms (green metal partitions), Hair salon – Monday
- 11th Floor: Plant & Flat – Monday
- prep / print contact sheets esp unique rooms for e-mail HOD
Project development 16.05.14
visual survey (all floors)
- Determine which details and rooms are to be photographed
- spoke to department heads or obtained heads of departments contact details in order to notify them of the photo-shoot taking place next week
- Determined with department heads the best day to photograph.
- Booked boardroom for 1 hour for photo-shoot.
- plant and ICT
- common parts
- Public lift doors
- Good stairwell – top of the stairs, light fitting
- floor plan schematics
- North staircase entrance doors (old signage)
- fire hydrant, per floor
- corridor – longest run per floor without interruption
- corridor unique features
- Lecture rooms
- beauty rooms
- laboratories – microbiology
- nail bars
- IT booths – photographed into the light to create silhouettes (lights off)
- exam room (green ?)
- laundry room (estates)
- Exhibition hall
- Training Kitchens
common & unique features
Tutor review 15.05.14
- Discussed preliminary images from 13 – 14 May of both Pelham & Trafalgar
- Decide on my shooting style – focus on central object, very loosely based on the Düsseldorf school
- Photograph in the naturally occurring/ light that is in situ. – Use both long exposure an/ or bracketing
- Contextual reference Thomas Diamond
Pelham floor plans
Look at ITC server rooms 3rd floor
- High vantage point
- Low Vantage point
- People photograph on f16 + – in lecture rooms to avoid permissions
- close-ups – minimise the clutter non machinery
- still life of objects – may need to back board the plant
- can you distribute the light better than HDR in post production
- lens need to be able to deal with wide shallow space – Wide & shallow
- Medium format digital
- supply lighting – tungsten / fluorescent
- minimise perspective – straight on creates central character for the frame.
Bernd and Hilla Becher (Dusseldorf school)
Worked collaboratively for nearly half a century documenting industrial German structures. In their topologies series of objective black-and-white photos the Bechers sought to illuminate and catalogue the similarities and variations in design among particular building types, such as framework houses, water towers, and blast furnaces. Exhibited in groups, the prints encourage comparison of form and function, and hint at the history and context of each structure. For the Bechers, to read their photographs was to know and understand deeply these beautiful, yet often forgotten, “sculptures.” The signature neutrality of each image demanded exacting camera angles and light conditions, their methods drawing from both architectural and landscape tradition and broadening the conceptual range and potential of documentary photography.
Thomas Ruff Andreus Gursky Candida Hofer Thomas Demand
creates large-scale photographs that probe the relationship between reproduction and original. Trained as a sculptor, Demand reconstructs media images of complex interior scenes using ephemeral materials like paper and cardboard. After photographing the painstakingly crafted models, which evoke or suggest recent activity yet are eerily devoid of people, Demand destroys them, leaving only photographic evidence of their fleeting existence.
Edgar Martins the time machine John Davies Thomas Struth Mark Power This project sets out to document the life of interrelated a buildings. The building allows or denies for formation of the relationships and alliances its passive structure the physical nature of the building is apparently unequivocal to the observer which are formed as a result of its presence, but also it is to examine the physical nature of the building and the the ideological value of In its hidden sense
My brief: 1000 words bibliography The brief: The project is about your understanding of ‘Documentary Photography’, and should engage with a common conception of photography as offering a ‘true’ representation of the world. The medium has always had to engage with ideas of objectivity and ‘reality’, and the aim of your work should be to experiment with these notions.
- Enable you to reflect on your studies from this year
- Research an area of documentary practice and produce your own work that shows a considered understanding of some of the issues involved
- Establish working methods to produce a coherent body of work, making use of self criticism, group debate and feedback from tutors
Stage 1: Project – Proposal 1000 words Include your intended ideas and research giving clear indicators on how this project will be completed including a timeline and indications of potential outcomes. Stage 2a: Photographs – stages of presentation Stage 2b: Research Blog & Evaluation The written section of the assignment must contain the procedures undertaken to produce these images. This must include:
- Idea development
- Images including contact sheets, test prints and jpgs
stage 3: Submission – 6th June 2014 Stage 3: Peer Presentation 11th June 2014 A presentation illustrating your response to this assignment including
- your ideas,
- working methods
This idea had to be postponed predominantly for timing reasons, this project will take at least a year if not longer. Having contacted my list of women with limited success it was on this basis I decided to pursue plan B.
>> day two 03/04/14 – Contextual references
Brian Griffin – Beauty Students – interesting partly because of he easy at which this project could be carried out and partly because its beautifully photographed
Nancy Honey – 100 Leading Ladies – Work in progress, (determine why she defines them as leading ladies) women photographed in their place of work
Anna Fox – Work Stations – Work related documenting a day in the life of office workers c. 1990’s
Tina Barney – Marina’s Room– – Documentary in the domestic
Joe Spence – Beyond the family Album –
>> day one 02/04/14 – Contacts & Brief to contacts
Networks:: Mumsnet Mosaic The new Black
Individuals to be contacted
C – Journalist
D- Film maker
C – Black History
M – Law
S – Amex
M – Work consultant
S – Russian photographer
G – Activist
M – Russian Business woman
Section 1 what will you be working towards producing The product will be 6 portraits with accompanying interview sound track
what is the project about This project is centred on the world of women in work, the positives and negatives. It is about the infrastructure which both shores up women’s ability to work or the break down of that infrastructure which prevents it. This ability to work relies; Education (in the background) In the forefront – Good childcare and a strong family / friend network – ? ? ? what happens to the women’s career if those things are not in place?, how are they overcome if at all
Section 2 which influences and contextual references will you be drawing on Statistically the progress of women to the boardroom ends or significantly slows at a particular points, illustrate that point in the accompanying documentation and sound track. Are there any real statistics which state that it is important to have a gender balance boardroom or is it just rhetoric? ? ? ? ? ? 2ii Early ideas
Research: Area of interest: traditional Male bastions: Construction, finance, Law The sciences – Dame Maggie Aderine Space Scientist Politics /Campaigner – Doreen Lawence Government office/constituency office –
Source: Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP Institute of Directors – statistics on women who have had to leave positions due to family / other commitments / corporate demands Brighton Chamber of commerce Online resources: Mums net, Mumtrpreures Visual Contextual references – Photographers who documented women in the workplace e.g.
Current activist on women’s working rights ? ? ? ? ? Bibliography Section 3 Intended techniques; whist taking photographs – interview to be recorded at the same time images are taken consider if the photographs are posed? or candid ? Processes
i Medium square format film & sound or straight? or ii moving image? Deadline 6 weeks Week 1 6th May
- key appointments see/speak to experts in the field
- find any connections through my network
- Decide on equipment, camera, sound, lighting, power, on location assistance
- shortlist \and target people – Decide on feasibility and contact them
- Questions for interview
- Start shooting, sound? X 3
- evaluate, blog and report blog
Week 2 13th May
- start shooting, sound? X 3
- evaluate, blog and report blog
Week 3 20th May
- start shooting, sound? X 3
- evaluate, blog and report blog
Week 4 27th May
- Last shoots if required
- Prep final images, Prep final Blog, Prep final report
Week 5 30th May
- final images, final Blog, final report
- Hand in by Friday 30th May
Final Hand In Friday 6th June