Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘perception

David Hockney & ‘higgledy piggledy’ viewing

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David Hockney's 'Pearblossom Hwy', photographic collage of a Californian highway from 1986 max colson

David Hockney's 'Pearblossom Hwy', photographic collage of a Californian highway from 1986

As I got a couple of books of David Hockney’s work for Christmas I’ve had the chance to dig his work even more than usual. In particular I’ve very much enjoyed reading through the conversations in the newly released book A Bigger Message: his thoughts on photography have been a good companion on my (nebulous, goddamn never ending) trip to working out what it is that I want to do and achieve with the camera. I’ve also found it really refreshing to read someone who’s less concerned with discussing photography as an obstacle to objective seeing and is instead more interested in the tenuous relationship that it has with the fragmented, higgledy piggledy way in which we actually comprehend what’s in front of us with our eyes:

“A photograph sees [The Grand Canyon] all at once, in one click of the lens from a single point of view, but we don’t. And it’s the fact that it takes us time to see it that makes the space.” p.143

“We think the photograph is the ultimate reality, but it isn’t because the camera sees geometrically. We don’t. We see partly geometrically but also psychologically. If I glance at the picture…on the wall over there , the moment I do it becomes larger than the door. So measuring the world in a geometrical way is not that true.” p.53

It’s hard not to be influenced with his work after seeing it. This is a photo collage of my girlfriend’s room that I made a few days ago for her birthday card. Click on the image for a bigger version of the design. It’s nice to play!

Max Colson photo collage david hockney documentary photography

Birthday card design

Priceless – TFL’s new ‘art’ advertising campaign

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TFL lost property

A poster for Transport For London's 2011 Lost Property Campaign

A great idea is a great idea. This one comes from the field of advertising. TFL’s (Transport For London) recent art exhibition for their lost property office is very nice. Let’s break it down.

Real World Problem: The issue that TFL had was that only a few people were coming to lost property to claim stuff because they had already assumed that their property was stolen immediately after they left it on the tube (I surmise).

Creative Challenge: How does one suggest that the above isn’t true?

Creative Solution: Create an art exhibition out of the art objects left in lost property (cos let’s face it all of the electronics and clothing articles would have actually have been stolen).

This campaign is very slick because it communicates the value of the objects that end up in the lost property in a way that will appeal to a broad range of people, whilst cleverly using objects that actually don’t have any financial value (ie which are the ones that are mostly left in lost property). The power of words like ‘exhibition’ and ‘curation’ are impressive here.  As is the way that we perceive art. If you would like to see exactly how these marketing techniques work you can now actually buy posters of this unclaimed art from TFL’s shop. It is very savvy.

But more to the point who in their right mind is really going to ever give two hoots about a lost property advertising campaign unless it’s sexed up like this?

Ohhh sexy, artistic lost property. It’s very well done.

Points of confluence

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I brought Taryn Simon’s latest project Contraband to the open tutorial session with Paul earlier this week. Basically Simon installed herself at two locations where contraband objects gather after being confiscated from passengers and packages before they enter the USA (these locations are the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the U.S. Postal Service International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York). It’s pretty interesting and you can check quite a few photographs from the series on this interactive web page here. Simon’s website also has a summary of the project here.

I find Simon’s identification of these locations absolutely masterful. Not only has she identified a point at which visually intriguing objects gather, but she knew that by cataloguing these items they would become symbols of something that is much larger than the physical situation in which they were photographed; I honestly find that kind of photographic perception to be as exciting as the photographs themselves.

Bird Corpse

USA American Viagra

Sala, Pork Fat

Perfume and Cologne (counterfeit)

Written by Max Colson

March 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm