Hands of War 2
Choice of the Dragon
Friday, October 12, 2012
Photo Essay & Rationale- Maureen Elvy
Title: The Forgotten
Sub Theme: Design, Pattern and Shape
The theme for my photo essay is ‘manholes’ with the sub theme of 'design, pattern and shape’. The manhole is used as the entry to many underground systems for example sewerage, gas and water, a necessity of our everyday life. Located throughout our city and suburban streets we walk past them every day and perhaps rarely stop to look at them. This mundane, non-spectacular notion of the ‘manhole’ is a representation of the shifting notions of the ‘everyday aesthetic’ (Murray 2008: 147) displayed in contemporary amateur photography and which is now commonly found on photo sharing sites such as Flikr.
Digital camera technology has enabled photography to be a relatively inexpensive, immediate and transitory practice (Murray 2008). No longer are we bound to the 24 reel photo unable to see our image until it is printed. We can now take 100’s of photos on devices that can be viewed immediately and either kept or reshot instantly. This transition has helped shape our photographic subjects. The ability to snap and re-snap has created a shift in the everyday image being “less about the special and rarefied moments” and more of a collection of the "mundane" (Murray 2008:147).
‘The Forgotten’ manhole photo essay exemplifies Murrays (2008:155) concept of fascination with ‘compilation and comparison’. Various images capture the different patterns, shapes, colours and beauty of the manholes. Each photo was taken on an iPhone, transferred into iPhoto and then iMovie with a little editing to maximise the visual aesthetic. The Ken Burns effect was used to add movement, dimension and emphasis. Music ‘Sleeping Soul’ by Skyleo (2012) was used to emphasise the somewhat overlooked beauty, diversity and mystery of manholes. It also is used to highlight their underlying importance within society. The viewer is taken on a not so ordinary journey of the ordinarily overlooked and disregarded, a concept explored in photography today.
Murray, S. (2008), 'Digital images, photo-sharing, and our shifting notions of everyday aesthetics', Journal of Visual Culture August 2008, vol. 1, no. 2:147-163.
‘Sleeping Soul’ by Skyleo (2012)
MAS 110 Assignment #2: Everyday Aesthetics Photo Essay
by Amelia Webb and Katie Rooney
Sub Theme: The Built Environment
Murray (2008) states that in the new generation of online media “photography has become less about the special or rarefied moments of domestic/family living and more about an immediate, rather fleeting display of one’s discovery of the small and mundane" - namely the everyday aesthetic. It is for this reason that the subject of the photographs in the essay focuses on stairs, an everyday aspect of life however overlooked they may be. This essay greatly reflects the temporal aspects of the everyday that Murray discusses. The photographs in it are fleeting and immediate moments, taken on journeys to and from work and university. The photo essay itself remains temporary, with no hard copy of it once the assignment is done and forgotten there will be little memory or acknowledgement of it from anyone.
The main theme of the essay, which comes through in the selection of music, is everyday sexualisation with our subtheme revolving around stairs and the built environment. The theme is a comment on the over sexualisation that the media play a part in everyday, by choosing stairs as our subtheme we are parodying this through the use of an everyday aesthetic. It reflects journalisms tendency to focus on stories that centre around sexual themes and less so on the everyday, which may remain more relevant to viewers.
Karim (2012) "Get on Up (Karim Roller Disco Edit)"
Creative Commons License: 3.0 Attribution
Murray, S 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, p. 147
The theme we chose is rubbish. The sub-theme is its unclear and transitory state. We attempted to look at the way rubbish used to be a part of something or have a specific use. And we set out to answer whether it is instantly rubbish the second someone throws it away and whether the aesthetic is lost at this moment, because it is now trash. Or, can rubbish be art?
It seems to us that it is only when you take a photo of some rubbish that you can appreciate it. This brings me back to the sub-theme and the above questions. We tried to “have some sort of artistic aspirations or pretensions in [our] composition[s], [and] use of lighting or framing (Murray 2008)” to bring new appreciation for these “small objects in life that often go unnoticed” (ibid). Of course this may not be to everyone’s taste; as Murray states “for the most part, the meanings of … individual images and the collection itself are in the eye of the beholder” (ibid). At the end of this essay, we can answer in the affirmative: there is a beauty in refuse. It is admittedly “fleeting, malleable [and] immediate” (ibid) but it is there if you have the right ingredients.
Some of our photos show animals, cars and people moving while rubbish is surrounding them, oblivious the fact they are so close to these eyesores. Not only is the rubbish part of the everyday aesthetic, but the ignorance of society to a problem they created is an embedded part of the everyday aesthetic, as we have clearly demonstrated. There are photos from a wide variety of locations showing evidence of our “exploration of the urban eye and its relation to decay … [and] ability to locate beauty in the mundane” (ibid). We believe that for the above reasons our collection can be included in the photographic category of ‘ephemera’.
Reference: Murray S, “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics”, Journal of Visual Culture 2008, 7(2), 147-163.
Music: Elepheel (Omar Al Fil) - Garbage Man (2012, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0))
Link to source: http://soundcloud.com/elepheel/garbage-man
Theme: Music, Subtheme: Instruments and Vinyl
The theme of our photo essay is ‘Music’, and our sub-theme is ‘instruments and vinyl’. We believe that we have reflected the notion of ‘everyday aesthetics’ (Murray 2008) by taking photos of musical instruments and a various array of vinyl. Everyone has experienced the feeling of when music has had the ability to “preserve moments in time”, to make you remember the smallest memories or feelings because of the music that was playing. Whether it is in the car, on a laptop, using an ipod or even just browsing in a shop, we all take pleasure in the simple moments that music gives us. We believed that by taking photos of our personal instrument and vinyl collection, we could give light and beauty to the mundane objects that create the music, with which we have compiled a “display and collection of (our) discovery”. We also wanted make sure that we included vinyl and an iphone. This allowed us to portray how technology may change how we listen to music, but the simple sensation that experiencing music gives us, has not differed.
The song we chose to include in our video is called 12 Bar Bruise by Melbourne band King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. We felt it was an interesting choice because it was actually recorded using four iPhones; one placed in front of the drums, one for the bass amp, one for the guitar amp and one to sing directly into as well as a normal microphone. Because all the levels are high enough, the four iPhones placed across the room actually pick up all the instruments. It creates a highly reverberated sound. The point of choosing this track was to tie in with the choice we made to take our photos on smartphones in an effort to make a statement about multi-faceted usefulness of smartphones. This again is used to juxtapose the images of instruments, which portray the tradition way of playing and producing music.
Though our photos were not put in any particular order, we believe that by including instruments, vinyl, an iphone and an smartphone-created song, we can take you on a journey of music, showing the differing avenues of which we can create and enjoy music.
Murray, S (2008) Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics. Journal of Visual Culture August 2008 vol. 7(2). 147-163
Written permission from 'King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard' to use their music:
THE FORGOTTEN BEAUTY
Have you ever stopped and thought that the ground under you feet is hiding a world of art? If not, look under your feet and explore the forgotten beauty of manhole covers. It is for this reason I decided to photograph them. These objects are very much over-watched in everyday life aesthetics. During my project I have been exploring manhole covers in a variety of locations such as in the cities and their surrounds. I have been taking photos of manhole covers on streets, footpaths and basements. I believe that photographing manhole covers is closely associated to Murray’s concept of amateurism photography. Manhole covers are objects that humans tread on daily without noticing them. Today, photography is not only about capturing posed family portraits it’s also about capturing instant moments of ignored objects at any time of the day. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Photographing manhole covers enriches you to see the beauty of the unnoticed. Manhole covers are all unique, and each has its own design and symbol. They exist to prevent people and things from falling into the holes they cover. Originally, manhole covers were installed for visual inspections of sewers. Now, we can see the beauty of manhole covers; they create an unseen pattern in our every day life while they contemporaneously save our lives from falling into holes.
I have included a poem from Karl Shapiro below as it portrays the beauty of manhole covers. The poem emphasizes that the beauty can be found anywhere, even in the most unusual places.
The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to a turn,
But notched and whelked and pocked and smashed
With the great company names
(Gentle Bethlehem, smiling United States).
This rustproof artifact of my street,
Long after roads are melted away will lie
Sidewise in the grave of the iron-old world,
Bitten at the edges,
Strong with its cryptic American,
Its dated beauty.
- Karl Shapiro
CREATED BY GIUDITTA NIELSEN (43015107)
Mundane Moments: Drinks We Drink
Bryce Gleeson & Hamish Chapman
Phones, a culture has developed in which people take and collect images of objects and events from their everyday lives and share them using online social media. Susan Murray suggests that photography is no longer only used for immortalising special moment’s in one’s life, but is more frequently used for the “immediate, rather fleeting display and collection of one’s discovery of the small and mundane”. This is clearly reflected in the theme and subtheme of our photo essay, ‘Mundane Moments – Drinks we Drink’. Our photo essay comprises of different things we drank in the past few weeks, referencing the now common practice of sharing photographs of food and drinks that we now see all over Facebook, Flickr and other social media. The theme of drinks relates to the idea of the everyday aesthetic in that it captures a highly mundane and fleeting event (or non-event); drinks are consumed within a few moments, and we would rarely stop to think about or observe the process of drinking. In keeping with Murray’s concept, photographing drinks also has autobiographical references. Furthermore our photo essay creates a compilation of these unspectacular moments, rather than a narrative. For this reason the photos are not arranged in any chronological order and were not edited to resemble one another. To exhibit 24 pictures in 30 seconds required quite a fast progression through the images, which we matched with upbeat music and made smoother through the use of transition effects. The final product reflects both the idea of the everyday aesthetic and the contemporary culture of sharing our day-to-day lives through digital photography.
 Murray, S 2008, ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, p. 147
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Theme: Shoes, Sub-theme: Laces
The theme for our Photo Essay is 'shoes', and our sub-theme is 'laces'. Our stimulus was the exploration of ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics.’ (Murray, 2008). We believe that these everyday objects perfectly reflect Murray’s notion of “amateur photography” as well as the representation of the “digitalized (and decentralized) aesthetics of the everyday.”
Since the development of digital photography, Murray suggests that there has been a significant shift in the way people utilise cameras. Nowadays, photography is “less about the special or rarefied moments” and “more about an immediate, rather fleeting, display and collection of one’s discovery”. Photographers; amateur or professional, are able to store and erase images on memory
cards, as well as viewing them immediately after being taken. There is now a sense of “disposability and immediacy” to photography.
Our photo essay represents these characteristics through the collaboration of images focused on shoe laces. Shoe laces are an element of the “creator’s work/home life” which have been captured and edited on iPhoto in order to be transformed into something beautiful through the use of lighting, colour, texture and angles. It is an example of the modern day fascination with the process of “compilation and comparison.”
Our intent was to capture a range of images which when collaborated, illustrated the subtle yet striking differences of a mundane object. We then assembled them with an accompanying soundtrack “Runt - Blackbird (The Beatles)” (Runtalala, 2012) in iMovie. Our finished product has been uploaded to Youtube and posted to Blogger. This process exemplifies one of Murray’s key arguments; these images help “alter the way that we construct narratives about ourselves and the world around us.”
Reference: Murray, S (2008) Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics. Journal of Visual Culture August 2008 vol. 7(2). 147-163.
Photo Essay – Shelving/Bookshelves
Shelving, particularly bookshelves, in an individual’s home are deemed a very mundane object in their everyday surroundings. Due to the constant unchanging nature of this common fixture in a persons home, it is typically overlooked. The intention behind this photo essay is to “preserve moments in time” (Murray, 2008, pp. 154) showing a beauty that these objects possess. Shelving, especially bookshelves are known as an everyday aesthetic as they “contain a type of liveness in its initial appearance” (Murray, 2008, pp. 157) which is quickly lost, as it becomes a constant element in a room. The photographs in this video are an attempt at portraying the simple beauty that can be found in a simple bookshelf.
In an attempt at retaining the simple beauty of these bookshelves, the editing choices made for each photograph was done so aiming to highlight the beauty they poses. The colour saturation, temperature and tints used during the editing process were chosen in order to re-enchant the viewer with these mundane objects.
However, there is no intentional “narrative coherence” (Murray, 2008, pp. 155) as the main focus of this project was in the creation and compilation, or as Murray states “a fascination with the process of compilation and comparison” (2008, pp. 155) of the final video.
Murray, S., 2008, 'Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics', Journal of Visual Culture August 2008, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 147-163.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Structure and decay
Children's playgrounds have, for many years, been symbolic of the frivolity of youth. However, as entertainment has become increasingly synonymous with technology, the role of the children's playground within society has diminished. As playgrounds have been made obsolete by digital forms of entertainment they have gradually decayed, leaving many cities and suburbs with structurally disparate installations.
In this vein, this photo essay illustrates the structure and decay of our once proud playgrounds, as we seek to demonstrate the juxtaposition between the playground and the world around it. Through the eye of the camera, with its angles and effects, it allows the viewer to observe the natural aesthetic of the structure and decay of the everyday object, playgrounds. In Susan Murray’s journal of ‘Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics’, she explains that this type of photography, in ‘its ability to locate beauty in the mundane’ has been alleged a new category of photography, called ‘ephemera’.
These photos depict how photography doesn’t just be the beautiful, meaningful or unique moments in time, but can be just as powerful and meaningful when not typically beautiful, like a simple, rusted, metal hook.
Photo 10 in photo essay
By Katherine Bineham (42459206) and Hamish Conroy (42455421)
Photo essay of light and power switches
Photography of everyday aesthetics focuses on capturing every day objects, which may otherwise go unnoticed. Murray (2008) discusses that such photography engages with these mundane, common elements of our lives as opposed to “special or rarefied moments”.
‘Switched On’ reflects this concept through the capturing of various images of light and power switches. The importance of these switches in our daily lives is easily overlooked as a part of the every day experience. These initially unremarkable images display essential parts of accessing power throughout our lives.
This photo essay begins by displaying simple, singular switches and moves through multiple-switch boards towards larger power boards. The building progression of intensity of the images symbolizes the growing expansion of electricity from switch to power. Throughout the compilation of images for this essay, we became increasingly aware of the variety of switch designs, realizing the vast array of ignored aesthetics that surrounded us.
The essay takes viewers on a visual journey to appreciate the unobserved, everyday objects that the contemporary practice of photography is beginning to capture more and more.
Murray, S. (2008). Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics. Journal of Visual Culture, 7, 147-163. doi: 10.1177/1470412908091935
Steph Bissett (42873827) & Georgia Turner (42858100)