When I first began this class, I wanted to understand how people can form strong connections with specific spaces and as such how a space can provide a have to a person due to their connection to it.
I learned that there is a “rich and complicated interplay of people and the environment”, that a place is deeper than simply the physical element and more than just “as a thing in the world” (Cresswell 2015). I discovered that the interplay can create ‘scenes’ and that the connections made between people in an environment can “generate new identities, spaces and forms of art and culture” (Glass 2012).
This was foundational in constructing my assignment. I wanted to capture the Tote in its element, one for which was had a worn and warm feel to it. I feel on reflection, that film was a fantastic choice for the textural make up of the space. It really suited the grungey, DIY aesthetic of the place and the people enjoying the gigs there too. I was commended in class for my use of film, with one particular student calling the decision “brave” due to the constraints of the physicality of the camera.
This I think was one of the most challenging aspects of creating the project. Development of these photos usually takes a day at Michael’s in the city (where I usually have mine developed) and there was a lot of pressure for the photos to be in good quality, otherwise there would not be enough time to take more. This was something I understood and relished while taking on this project, and I’m glad that I faced up to it because I’m more proud of my achievements having seen it pay off.
I was proud with the actual photos themselves more importantly, they turned our exactly how I wanted to represent the place. My reading of Gabrielle Jennings’ Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art was crucial in helping me form the visual composition – she mentions some abstract works being “Pictures of nothing. And of everything” (Jennings 2015), and as such I was very cautious in planning the project. I wanted to make sure I was not leading it to construct something that I wanted to see; I wanted the interplay between the place and the people to dictate not only what I see, but what everyone who views my work will see.
I think in this sense my work succeeded. I was given feedback about aspects within the photos themselves that I hadn’t noticed before, as well as being told my work had scope as an installation with multiple channels. Perhaps this is something for me to consider as far as future projects.
But for now, I feel I now understand how we form those connections to spaces; it’s defined by the little moments that make us feel like who we are. It’s the moments of everything and nothing. I’m glad I know that now, and there wasn’t a better class to teach me.
Cresswell, T., 2015. “Place as a Way of Understanding”. Place: An Introduction. 2nd ed. p. 18
Glass, P., 2012. “Doing Scene: Identity, Space, and the Interactional Accomplishment of Youth Culture”. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Vol 41, Issue 6, p. 695 – 706.
Jennings, G., 2018. Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art. 1st ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.