University Of Salford – BA(HONS) Photography
Advanced Research Strategies – Initial Proposal
Overview/Topics Of Interest:
When it came to sitting and thinking about my final major project I was certain I needed to reflect on my previous work from the past 2 and a half years and look for the key themes and issues that reoccur in my work as to come up with an idea that will fully engage and excite me.
I want to create a body of work that encompasses ideas I have explored previously as upon reflection I noted a key interest in human behaviour and sociology in the majority of my work.
Taking this into account I got my note book out where I jot all my ideas down and found many potential projects I have expressed interest in exploring all sit on the baseline dealing with ideas about society and how humans respond in a variety of situations. I realised, as versatile as each one may seem on the surface the interest that epitomises all of them is this intense curiosity about the human race and how we respond to the world around us. Whether that be each other, the media, our emotions, social norms, social hierarchy, or general day to day situations.
Initially, I plan to go through all my ideas that would explore variant levels of human behaviour and pick the key ones to begin constructing ideas of how they would be best achieved. It is extremely important for me to constantly consider the modes of display for this work as it is the combination of a handful of projects that will communicate the underlying interest in social behaviour.
Research will be key in informing my practice and understanding people. I have already began to look into body language in order to build a better understanding of how humans work on that level.
I’m interesting in manufacturing situations which reveal the vulnerability of people and the ways we respond. Additionally I am interested in exploring the factors which alter our behaviour in certain situations.
Statement Of Intent:
Create a collection of work that uses a variety of different mediums and methods to explore the human race and how we respond in different situations, the final mode of display envisioned as an almost installation gallery piece compromising of elements which stimulate a selection of the human senses; Sight, hearing, smell, touch
The viewing of the final piece will, in a way be an interesting social experiment in itself as the viewer interacts with the piece on such a physical level.
There will be video clips, sound, imagery, things to stimulate smell and touch also.
Some of the individual projects will play a larger role than others – some are simply an aid to bombarding the viewer with situations which make them reconsider themselves in relation to others.
#1 – Reactions to transgendered people and women relation to how different clothing is accepted and expected in different situations. I;E woman in slouch wear in a bar = lesbian
woman scantily clad whilst shopping = slut
transgender – public find drag artists entertaining but transgender offensive and odd?
#2 – Kissing project – series of short films of strangers who have never met kissing
could get people involved telling them all about what will happen. they will all sit in a room with eyes covered and no interaction with others allowed.
I would go round tapping them and giving them a number before randomly selecting pairs of numbers to remove from the room and place in a studio environment where they could take off their masks and have to kiss knowing nothing about one another.
Nudity could be an interesting strand to it as this would then also explore the levels of human comfort.
#3 – Getting people to swap clothes – Pictures before and after outfit swap.
#4 – Get people to pose with me like they know me – forced awkwardness.
#5 – Pay it forward – interactive piece encourage public to share images
Explore how humans respond to the creation of art – explores ideas of community and humans attitudes towards the idea of a community.
Leave an object with a tag – message “photograph me in your favourite place” It will then have an email address to send the images to and an Instagram hashtag – after doing so they will be encouraged to leave it for someone else to find.
#6 – Film someone eating – The way we eat in public is a performance and completely different to how we eat in private. A close up of someone eating would stimulate a feeling of discomfort as we aren’t comfortable with the idea of being observed whilst indulging .
#7 – Someone putting on make-up – a process informed by society, a self constructed mask we apply to conform to ideals defined by the media. Most women are uncomfortable at the idea of putting make-up on in public – images/film clips of this would create a potential curiosity from males and a sense of invasion of privacy from women perhaps.
#8 – Short clip of someone asleep – similarly to #6 viewing someone in deep sleep would feel like an invasion of privacy, thus stimulating a sensation of discomfort.
Aims & Objectives:
Revisit previous work
Gather and understand the recurrent themes in each and how they are related
Collect contextual and visual reference to inform my practice at the experimental stages
Further develop my knowledge and understanding of my key message to narrow down each broad idea to a point where as versatile as each individual deliverable may be they all clearly communicate the same interest and idea
Begin to construct a working title – influenced and informed by quality research
Refer to previous reference points to contextualise my idea in terms of contemporary fine art practice
Visit galleries regularly to inspire and generate ideas for my final mode of display
Develop and experiment visuals in conjunction with reading of informed theory
Create a body of work that illustrates a vast skill set all working towards communicating the same idea – showcasing the various ways of expressing a chosen message.
Previous projects with relevance:
The work I produced for the City brief at level 4, then developed for the book assignment was heavily influenced by my interest in youth culture and the way the city transforms into an unbar playgroup as peoples behaviour changes in relation to the consumption of intoxicating substances.
Also – the work produced at level 5 with Jason and Karin where in a group me and 3 fellow students constructed an idea and theme for a hypothetical photo festival and each produced individual work in response to that theme “the endless cycle” – My work for that was all about taught behaviour and how we understand each others emotions through facial expressions which are taught – this was linked with the idea of sleep and it being an emotional state of being where visually the emotional experience wasn’t physically displayed.
A personal project I developed over the summer explored working class holidays at english seaside locations and attempted to portray the ways people act in various situations with a focus on visual irony and an element of humour.
For the cyborg brief I explored the female form and the ways women conform to pressures in the media and social form to be aesthetically pleasing
For our last module – A created a short piece of moving imagery exploring the way humans become infatuated with others and behave in an obsessive manner.
Previous research points with relevance:
Work created by:
Books such as;
Ways of seeing – John Berger
Camera Lucida – Roland Barthes
Photography at the dock – Abigail Solomon-Godeau
On photography – Susan Sontag
Feminism and youth culture – Angela Mcrobbie
Initial research informing and helping construct some of my ideas:
women photographs herself receiving strange looks in public
how men see women modestly clothed VS wearing revealing clothes
men see women as an object
Mothers reaction to girls sexualised selfies
study exploring gender difference in brain activation to audio-visual sexual stimulation
kids react to gay marriage
video inspiring me to want to crete scenarios of strangers kissing
‘Gender Panic’ Affects Attitudes About Transgender Rights
Gay UK Art Student Will Lose Virginity in Live Sex Show
Will smith and family react to Miley Cyrus performance
Truck driver ‘was looking at pictures of women on Facebook’ when he crashed into emergency vehicles, killing police officer
Ethics of Lust: All About Scantily Clad Women
Shanghai Subway Tells Scantily Clad Women To Expect Sexual Harassment