Week 3 – reflection (part three 3/3)

As we have been considering myriad dissemination opportunities it wasn’t long before virtual reality (VR) became part of the picture.

Mat Collishaw’s new take on immersive exhibiting via this new(ish) tool was showcased in his Thresholds exhibition. It took visitors back in time to 1839 and William Henry Fox Talbot’s first presentation of his photographs to the public in Birmingham. Participants, donning the VR get-up, were able to wander a specially equipped room as if they were rubbing shoulders with Fox Talbot.
LOW RES_ Mat Collishaw Thresholds Graham Carlow20170519_0006
© Graham Carlow

VR has always fascinated me – and for my Harena Now project it may be something that could help bring the real effects alive to an audience far removed from the crisis. As I plan to display my work at coastal locations, perhaps it could be a way of showing how the idyllic can soon become a memory.

Marc Ellison’s (and illustrator Christian Mafigiri) Graphic Memories was also showcased. Never being one for the graphic comic, unfortunately I felt quite disengaged from these heartbreaking stories of women caught up in a two decade-long Northern Ugandan war. I tried hard to get to the end of each tale but found the scrolling and the style to be off-putting. I appreciate it is so important to push boundaries and I can see the merit of this work but it also highlighted how the choice you make in disseminating your story can turn off or on those viewing it.

And then we have looked at The And, described as an interactive documentary. I took part but can’t say what I took from it. It was quite interesting as a shallow peek into what I guess is the psychology of relationships but I think maybe I missed the point. If it was to make me think about relationships, it simply didn’t do it for me.

Ebooks as a potential were also pointed out. It was Reif Larsen’s Entrances and Exits that intrigued me the most. Perhaps because it uses Google Street View and I’m a tad nosey by nature, and it tells a love story. Much like the work of Jacqui Kenny who has agoraphobia but travels the world via Google Street View, it seems to open doors to places you may never see – so this may be another digital possibility for Harena Now.

Looking at the work of photographers ‘discovered’ via social media has made me consider what is it exactly that makes that happen? With so many amazing photographer and photo-artists online, what makes one jump out from others?

Perhaps it is simply down to timing? Eleanor Macnair is probably a good example of serendipity at play (doh) – sorry, couldn’t resist that. A pub quiz challenge led to her Play-Doh photographic recreations shared online catapulting her to international recognition.

But it also leads to how businesses are now commissioning photographers to solely create work for their online accounts such as Instagram. With the aim of making people part with their cash, the marketing machines behind these companies are looking at new ways to engage with customers. Pricing work for social media commissions only was raised as a new issue, particularly on Instagram as ‘live’ web links can only be found in the bio not the shared content. That perhaps at present may seem to devalue the process to the client but as a photographer I would be expecting the same payment for social media work as traditional print – it is still my creativity I want to be paid for.

Working with social media in my ‘day job’ I am aware of how rapidly things can change. There are always multiple advice articles on what works well, who to emulate, what not to do etc. and it can seem a minefield for anyone inexperienced in it.

The trick is to not spend too much time worrying about what everyone else is doing on social media but to have a clear idea of what you want to do on it.



https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/blog/portal-beginning-photography [accessed Oct 15, 2017]

Ellison, Marc. Graphic Memories. http://www.marcellison.com/graphicmemories/ [accessed October 15, 2017]

http://www.theand.us/ [accessed October 15, 2017]

http://visual-editions.com/entrances-and-exits-by-reif-larsen [accessed October 15, 2017]

Pamment, Charlotte. 2017. ‘How an agoraphobic woman travels the world using Google Streetview’. BBC. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41487857/how-an-agoraphobic-woman-travels-the-world-using-google-streetview


2 thoughts on “Week 3 – reflection (part three 3/3)

  1. Omg! You absolutely have to look for the project I analysed during last module! It’s been created by the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI). It’s been titled Fragile State and it is part of the Generator project. People must experience the environment completely deprived of any sense of hearing and sight. So interesting!


  2. Wow – thanks for this. I can visualise it working at the coastal locations I want to display my work; perhaps a gradual loss of the senses as a metaphor for the gradual loss of the sand and the environment it was once a part of. Really intriguing. Thank you.

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