Task 2 : further tinkering and some feedback

After creating the first two images as part of Task 2, and the early doubts I had, I posted one of them onto Flickr and invited the OCA photography group to comment. The comments received by the time I’m writing this are copied below:

Haditha Massacre -2005 : 2007
Image: Battle for Haditha
Lyric: Russian Literature, by Maximo Park

From Flickr –

Rob™ says
I’m trying something with some images that you may have seen before, and working on ideas I’ve touched on before, but I’d like to know how you guys react to them. I’ve uploaded one into my stream, but I’ve marked it private – it’s in the pool though, so hopefully that means you’ll be able to see it.
If not, it’s on my blog anyway at www.iamrobtm.co.uk/Visual_files/e7101e61fab4091beff37c28b…
Basically, I want to hear what the combination of image and text does for you. I expect it to be confusing, but how do you work your thoughts around? Can you get your thoughts around what they mean to you, or do they actually simply not register?
Thanks in advance…

Semiotic says
one of the things you might think about is subverting both the images you make and the original images and intentions. This is on the spirit of photo-realist painting, neither the one nor the other to accentuate both. Also it is worth thinking about post-internet or post-facebook ideas, given the way that images pass round and are used, the ephemeral nature of all images, what is the purpose? What is the status? What is the value?

Anned003 says
Its funny that at the last mixed exhibition I saw there were photographs that were easily confused with paintings (manipulated, overlayered, blurry) and drawings (overlaid b&w) and also paintings (airbrushed I think) that I did confuse with photographs. The only sure way to know what was what was to look at the label!
Anyway on Rob’s picture, the words for me do seem to set up a resonance with the image in that the lock of hair that won’t sit still suggests a kind of movement in amongst stillness, that repeated thing that bugs you as you’re focussed elsewhere, but makes you return to it. Which suggests a mode of awareness…..and I wonder if that might fit with the image – that kind of juddering motion that is suggested which is like a kind of a double take feeling of slowed down reality you can get when in a state of heightened awareness/shock response.
But at the same time the pixilation is reminding me of screening of printed images and makes me think of blown up newspapers and then the text doesn’t fit in that context so well.
Not sure how much help that is! I don’t know the song or the film btw so aren’t using their content or the linkage to inform how I see it.

Southliving says
Seen, but haven’t got anything to add at this moment, got to get to school.
First reaction though, I want to see the whole body of work, and statement, to try and make sense, but I like being questioned.
I’m really not that into music, so the year of the song would be a stretch (for me) to know, and we’ve talked about the culture distance to war, although that was the British / French locations, here it is different, I know… my mind wants to link it to media (tangent: film industry / social / TV / commercialism / romanticism / patriotism / propaganda) (Pete also mentioned media).
Will be back… interested to hear what others say.

Eileen R says
I’ve commented separately on the pictures as I wanted to give my own initial response before reading those here.
I think Peter’s suggestions sound like very interesting options for further exploration that could resonate with this particular body of work.
Like others the songs you reference are unknown to me as are the films so I am judging just on the images and words without any directly relevant cultural references – though of course we all bring a myriad of such references more generally to things we look at and read. I had wondered in passing about states of consciousness for the first picture, though Anne has expressed that much better. Overall I am not sure these resonate as single images at this point in their development.

Richard Brown 56 says
The first image and its text put me in mind of a Skype like video conversation where the viewer is reminded of something about the subject that resonates/reminds him/her of the subject.
The second image made me think of betrayal maybe with the text alluding to a Judas kiss?
Like how the text opens up possibilities that the image on its own may not suggest. Hope this helps.

CliveDoubleU says
Textual punctum. As the maker it’s useful to set some rules but it doesn’t matter if those are opaque to the audience. I would use the text sparingly so a viewer doesn’t become over familiar with the mechanism.

Rob™ says
Thanks for the comments everyone – all grist for the mill as they say. I’ve got another three weeks before this needs to be in, so I’ll undoubtedly change things as I go. And please feel free to continue to comment…
Off to look at some stuff on t’Interweb now.

StanDickinson says
Because I’m already aware that the image is cinematic (and I have a feeling that it may look that way, even without the prior knowledge), the combination with text makes me think ‘trailer’. But it doesn’t flash up and disappear, like a trailer, it stays there, with the juddering image, and I look for connections – probably imagine them, actually. I would never make it to the ‘formal’ connections that you’ve devised, without some significant prompting, but I don’t think that’s what you’re after, is it? Agree with Clive – don’t overdo it. And something cinematic persists, for me.

TheBaronCooney says
I find I try to fit the two together, to try and understand how one relates to the other. The first image I keep focusing on what looks like a grin, I’d say an eery grin, and my first take was this is like a thought. The second image is more menacing to me and again I kind of wonder if this is a thought in a characters head. I find I bounce back and forth between the image and the text trying to resolve the contrast between the two. I find work like this stays with me longer than work that I can see or understand the meaning of. I come back again and again and each time I see something else. Hope that helps.

Rob™ says
Another one added…
whilst unrelated, does the text now seem more relevant?

KarenGregory101 says
I’ve had a look at all 66 images and I find the ones that I’ve seen with text immediately more engaging – they stop me and make me think.
Further to that, because the meaning of the text isn’t obvious (I wouldn’t have known song/verse unless you’d said) the image takes on greater depth – it’s no longer just an image of the war or the soldier, but is more about the mental anguish the individual is going through.
On a different note (and I know you didn’t ask) I find the colours are also influential, they tell me that you’ve crossed over between wars, yet the theme continues – guilt, regret, disbelief.

TheBaronCooney says
I would say it seems easier to resolve the difference with this one, it’s not that it’s more relevant, perhaps it’s neutral?

Rob™ says
Not as obviously obscure….

Thanks Karen – you’ve given me something to think about there.

Taking this into account, I’ve created further versions, at least one of which is probably a little too direct, but I thought it was worth throwing out there to gauge the reaction (which was it was too direct). It was also interesting to see Semiotic (Peter Haveland, an OCA tutor) make reference to Post-Internet as I’ve just been reading an article in Garage magazine about that (more on which later I guess). Anyway, here’s some more of the images:

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: Some Kind of Stranger, by The Sisters of Mercy

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: Ziggy Stardust, by David Bowie

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: This Boy Can Wait, by The Wedding Present

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: Go With the Flow, by QOTSA

Day of the Rangers, 1993
Image: Black Hawk Down
Lyric: Can’t Get You Out of My Head, by Kylie Minogue

(images used for educational purposes)

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