“To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed” Susan Sontag.
As a follow on, in a very tenuous and roundabout way, to my series From the Shoulders of Giants I have been playing with an idea. Having reacquainted myself with the work of several artists who I have always admired, and most particularly Yoko Ono and Sol LeWitt, I have been thinking more on how as an artist I make work, but also how I learn.
I suspect I learn like many others do. By imitation, by experimentation, by making mistakes, by doing the possibile, trying the impossible, by making more mistakes and occasionally being successful. So in a way I continue to make copies.
I have also discovered over time that one way to learn is teach.
I occasionally run a workshop for people who are interested in refining their personal vision and clarifying the direction that they want to take their photographic practice. As part of this I assign a range of tasks and exercises to participants to help them think about what, how and why they are doing what they do. Some are technical, others more along the lines of thinking exercises.
From developing these exercises for my students I have expanded them in an attempt to question and explore a wide range of things that interest me as an artist. Things like copying, the imprecise nature of language and translation, and, as always, ideas around chance and randomness. I have also chosen a range of methods for reproducing or conveying these works. From Hong Kong's ubiquitous acrylic sign boards to letterpress cards. Typewritten note cards, rugs, machine text to voice generators and binary code. Who knows what else, tattoos might also be available to those who wish.
Here is part of this work in progress.