Friday, 30 December 2011

Marshland on the Hoo Peninsula

Marshland on the Hoo Peninsula by mdx
Just over 1500 words into the 3000 word essay and it's starting to take shape - had a day off yesterday on the marshland on the Hoo Peninsula.

Friday, 23 December 2011

@ the works xmas party 1

@ the works xmas party 1 by mdx

now that work is done it's down to the essay - applying Jill Bennett's notions of art as a visual language of trauma to Francesc Torres photos of 9/11 remains - I'm going to wait till xmas is over -

Monday, 19 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

winter life 3

winter life 3 by mdx

It'a such a relief to finally hand in the Constructed Photography project - I like our final selection - but there's plenty I would change 2nd time round - but I guess that's the point - otherwise we might have learnt nothing!

So 3 things I've learnt are:

1/ photographs aren't about "telling the truth"
2/ creating a photograph is as much about moving around with a camera as it is organising what's in the frame
3/ I like collaborations (I actually knew that already - I just got reminded)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A vigil for cyclist Ellie Carey

A vigil for cyclist Ellie Carey by mdx
A vigil for cyclist Ellie Carey, a photo by mdx on Flickr.
Another cyclist killed on the streets of London, this time just round the corner from us on Tower Bridge Road and Long Lane junction.

There was a good few snappers there getting the shots - I was glad I didn't have to be doing that.
And yet just by actually being there, embodied(!) - the shot presented itself.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Danny & the Champions Of The World

H has been enjoying The Ramones and the Ruts so tonight we went to see Paul (hat) playing with his new band Danny & the Champions Of The World.
Me - "what do you think about them?"
H - "they are good"

Waiting Room

Our final selection of images for our group project - Waiting Room.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Stefan and Andy at the AGIT DISCO book launch


Agit Disco collects the playlists of its 23 writers to tell the story of how music has politically influenced and inspired them. The book provides a multi-genre survey of political musics, from a wide range of viewpoints, that goes beyond protest songs into the darker hinterlands of musical meaning. Each playlist is annotated and illustrated. The collection grew organically with an exchange of homemade CDs and images. These images, with their DIY graphics, are used to give the playlists a visual materiality.

Almost everyone makes selections of music to play to themselves and friends.Agit Disco intends to show the importance of this creative activity and its place in our formation as political beings. This activity is at odds with to the usual process of selection by the mainstream media - in which the most potent musical agents of change are, whenever possible, erased from the public airwaves.

Agit Disco Selectors: Sian Addicott, Louise Carolin, Peter Conlin, Mel Croucher, Martin Dixon, John Eden, Sarah Falloon, Simon Ford, Peter Haining, Stewart Home, Tom Jennings, DJ Krautpleaser, Roger McKinley, Micheline Mason, Tracey Moberly, Luca Paci, Room 13 – Lochyside Scotland, Howard Slater, Johnny Spencer, Stefan Szczelkun, Andy T, Neil Transpontine, Tom Vague

Conceived & compiled by Stefan Szczelkun , edited by Anthony Iles

The music's here:

pavement life 1

pavement life 1 by mdx
pavement life 1, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

sometimes the best photograph is just on the way out of the house first thing

Sunday, 4 December 2011


visitors by mdx
Hazwani and Loretta came to visit the allotments to get some advice on setting up a food growing project at their college. In return I took their photograph.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The last shoot (mine)

Scans of medium format transparencies for the group project narrative based constructed photography project. We were each responsible for one shot. Scanning the transparencies produces huge files with amazing detail. Once we've agreed on which one of these shots, it will need retouching in photoshop for dust and hairs from the scan - and then we can see how it sits with the other 3 shots.

At first I thought this was the one - I like the detail of the hands - Laura's moody look - but maybe it's all too much - too obvious.

Maybe this works better - pulling you into the image first and then back out to Marion

It's the sort of shot that could work really well - but not this time - it's too theatrical

We had to go and get the security guard to release the shutter - the only thing actually in focus is Valerie's sleeve.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

goodies vs baddies

goodies vs baddies a video by mdx on Flickr.

On strike today and too lazy to go on the march - H and me set up"home school" - now exhausted - finished off with his first animation - probably a postmodern comment on the state of the nation.

the cleaner's cart

the cleaner's cart by mdx

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Jeff Wall in conversation with David Campany

Went to see Jeff Wall in conversation with David Campany at the new Saint Martins site at Kings Cross.

starting points in everyday life 
noticing something from everyday life and then not photographing it
just experiencing it and then waiting - a gap - a poetic gap
the missed event creating a wake of energy to create something new
"there are no rules"
making art can become a model for what a work of art in that medium can be
becoming desperate to create your art can leave you gullible to your own mediocrity
the game of finding your own judgment of a work of art
"it's a pitfall to have a definition of photography"
"there are no rules only results"
make work for your standards

Sunday, 20 November 2011

the idea

“I heard a well-known artist say what’s important is the idea. I try to go with almost no idea. Of course, they are probably there, but I don’t like to write them down or put them in words, otherwise, why do it? I like to discover what I’m looking for in the process of the work. ”
 Chantal Akerman

might pick this question for my essay

7. Using ideas and theoretical approaches developed in the lectures, write a detailed critical analysis of a piece of photographic or video work. You must write about a piece of work you have visited in person (not one you’ve just seen or read about in a book).

Although this is quite similar to my essay last year when I wrote about Gabriel Orozco's use of photography - I'm interested to apply the ideas of embodiment and psychoanalysis to an actual exhibition. Applying theory to actual real objects seems a bit more useful...

Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles,

Memory Remains by Francesc Torres

Signs of a Struggle: Photography in the Wake of Postmodernism

Thursday, 17 November 2011

We made photo boards with photographs of my dad

Tea and sandwiches after the church service by mdx
We made some photo boards with photographs of my dad, and put them up in the hall were everyone was having tea and sandwiches after the funeral service.
People really liked looking at and talking about them - it seemed a really direct and practical use of photographs.

Pictures of Dad

Pictures of Dad - 1 by mdx

Pictures of Dad - 2 by mdx

Pictures of Dad - 3 by mdx

Friday, 11 November 2011


Untitled by mdx
My dad died last friday and I haven't much been in the mood for photographs but here's two from the week.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

waiting room

Our group project this term is to create "four linked images of narrative base constructed photographic work."
Our idea so far is to show different "gazes" on a figure seated in a waiting room - the receptionists gaze, the security camera, an internal gaze, a medical gaze, a male gaze etc.
We have the student office at college for our first shoot today.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

where's the fun?

I think I'm suffering from "no longer taking photographs now I'm studying for a degree in photography" syndrome - well not quite - but all my photographs are for some purpose - finishing off shots for the book - test shots for the waiting room project - and so on - (not quite true as I did take a few snaps last week in Somerset) - but where's the fun? the light hearted joyful explorative photo taking of yore?
mmm maybe I have to continue on this trajectory to a point of almost giving it all up -
we shall see.....

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

twin peaks

4 weeks into the first term and the looming twin peaks of essay and practical project are showing themselves. The first short project is finished - shoot 6 film stills, using portable flash lighting to produce images which imply a narrative. I did it despite myself - not at all the easiest way of working for me - and yet I do get a sense of the layering of meaning that becomes possible. Next up is the group project with Laura, Marion and Valerie. We seem to be settling around a theme of "Waiting". A shot each using medium format on slide film, And then the essay - 3000 words by January, the module is "Technologies of the Self". Have been trawling through Neil Young's albums on Spotify. Busy times.

dusk (GWL)

dusk (GWL) by mdx

A photo for flickr's Guess Where London? group. So far it's had 95 views and couple  of guesses.
I might have to clue it up a bit.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Gerhard Richter at the Tate

Had a quick visit to Gerhard Richter's Panorama retrospective at the Tate. A questing body of work, each room fresh and intriguing, near the end a small collection of personal photographs partly painted over - the blurb suggests both violence and caress - maybe - but also an encouragement. I'll be back.

“One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For basically painting is idiocy.” (From Richter, 'Notes 1973', in The Daily Practice of Painting, p. 78.)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

art box

art box by mdx
art box, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

we visited the new white cube on Bermondsey Street - just round the corner from us - and then went looking for leftover art round the back
which led to this interview with Jeff Wall

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


The Helsinki Bus Station Theory: Finding Your Own Vision in photography

seeing is believing

“The photograph reduplicates the world and in time even comes to displace it, taking on the character of what is true and what is real. Seeing is believing, we say, a maxim which was unimaginable prior to the invention of linear perspective vision. And with the camera we have further qualified this vision: not any seeing is believing, but only that seeing which duplicates the neutrality and impartiality of the camera eye.” Romanyshyn63

Descartes’ model of the self is conceptually linked to Alberti’s model of vision

“Almost two centuries before Descartes will establish the philosophical grounds of a … self, separated from the world, the … eye of the artist has already prepared the space for that achievement.” (Romanyshyn p42) “When [Descartes] says ‘I think therefore I am,’ he simply articulates in philosophical language that distance from the body which the geometry of linear perspective vision has already created.” (Romanyshyn p48)


“In a sense, perspective transforms [real] space into mathematical space. … It forgets that we see not with a single fixed eye but with two constantly moving eyes … It takes no account of the enormous difference between the psychologically conditioned ‘visual image’ through which the visible world is brought to our consciousness, and the mechanically conditioned ‘retinal image’ which paints itself upon our physical eye.” (Panofsky, p31)


Perspective creates distance between human beings and things … but then in turn it abolishes this distance by, in a sense, drawing this world of things … into the eye.” (Panofsky, p67)

Linear perspective

[Linear perspective] establishes … a formal separation between a subject who sees the world and the world that is seen, and in so doing it sets the stage, as it were, for that retreat or withdrawal of the self from the world which characterizes the dawn of the modern age. Ensconced behind the window the self becomes an observing subject, a spectator, as against a world which becomes a spectacle, an object of vision.” (Romanyshyn, p42)

plant life

plant life by mdx

Friday, 30 September 2011

technologies of the self with Eugenie Shinkle

great to be back for year 2

the moon only became far away with the invention of the telescope
the virtual eye looking into a virtual space with the body abandoned
I see therefore I am

“The photograph reduplicates the world and in time even comes to displace it, taking on the character of what is true and what is real. Seeing is believing, we say, a maxim which was unimaginable prior to the invention of linear perspective vision. And with the camera we have further qualified this vision: not any seeing is believing, but only that seeing which duplicates the neutrality and impartiality of the camera eye.” Romanyshyn63 

Neil with minus 3 stops fill in flash

Neil by mdx
Neil, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

This is my keeper from this afternoons kick off on the constructed photography module with Andy Golding, Rachael Cunningham and Eileen Perrier. Minus 3 stops just lights the side of the face but still gives the sense of shadow.


zoo by mdx
zoo, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

when I looked back he had disappeared