jkmm – finally a finished project so finally some people in the spaces
It has occurred to me I should point out for the record that I am not taking money for any of the 6 case study shoots. To do so might create a conflict of interests, hindering the research through image making I have proposed for myself and collaborators. I am working with their ideas, their information, but not their money. They may wish to buy images at the end, and so much the better, and have to an extent commissioned images through the thoughts they’ve shared with me. But as such there is a chance for a dialectic not prescriptive method (which would proscribe deviation from established norms) whilst still not merely a case of me starting at my navel and sharing my feelings about the experience.
I have taken commissions during the course of my studies, quite a few, in fact, and have tried to stick to business as usual:
a. because it is easier to do so
b. because it separates commercial work from academic work in my mind and actions
c. because it provides me with a control/variable groups set-up through which to experiment
But ideally at the end of this, that division will melt away (like the temporary state in the USSR?).
i interviewed a senior partner of a danish architecture firm the other day who was just barely polite enough to mask what appeared to be a mixture of derision for my questions / project / profession and insecurity over his answers (which he might well have felt as they were useless, an exercise in self-contradiction and empty rhetoric).
the following day, i went to see photographer adam mørk in his studio; adam spoke at length for hours, was generous with his contacts and forthcoming with any and all the information he could provide. he was kind, considerate, natural and friendly…or the best actor i have ever met.
the architect with nothing to lose and the photographer with nothing to gain from meeting me acted entirely contrary to what one might expect. in this i could see the importance of meeting someone, being in the room together and observing their character and reactions firsthand, not just sending an email with questions. it was as juha varto taught us in his lectures.
interviewed senior partners at henning larsen and 3xn today – busy men with well prepared speeches. interesting at times and somewhat exciting but less generous and thoughtful than the finnish architects i have spoken with. tomorrow i shall start shooting in orestad (having slept only a few scant hours because i cannot sleep) and on thursday i am to interview adam mørk, the jussi tiainen of denmark.
exploring new methods invariably means failing rather a lot. in my case, i seem to be taking quite a few bad photos and the occasional good one by letting go of my prejudices and veering off the beaten path.
i am writing this from copenhagen in a rented room behind the central station. tomorrow begins phase two of the danish part of my research: interviews with partners at 3xn, henning larsen and plh. i wonder what it will bring…
Photography research strategy 2012-2020
Background: 10 DA since 1997, 22 doctoral students (2012).
Aalto ARTS´s first DA dissertation with an artistic sector: Taneli Eskola
Photography as a research object. Theoretical and empirical studies of
Photography as a research tool or method. Social projects using
Photography as a research result. Artistic research.
Vision 2020: “The Helsinki School of photographic studies”, international
center attracting both Finnish and foreign DA students and researchers.
Tools: 1) Helsinki Photomedia – conference, to be held in Helsinki every
two years. First in March 2012. Aim: to become the leading international
photography research conference.
2) Publications: dissertations, articles in refereed journals (national and
international), artists´ monographs (Musta Taide).