POST – Conclusion

•April 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I feel for my conclusion as they are so many parts to it, the best way to counter this is to split each element of the project into its own mini conclusion. This way I can express all of my thoughts as well as give a well rounded analysis of what I feel I have achieved.

Aura 

Have I achieved aura? This is the now the question I repeatedly ask myself during and after the project. At times during POST I believed I did especially in the early footage I created on the LomoKino. The scratches and dust that covered the negative gave it this magic that I felt would not have been possible without. So when watching the film the scratches and dust dance before you eyes in the hues and swirls of colour. This to me is an Aura conjured through alteration and chance.

As for the postcards the center piece of the project I would like to say quite controversially say no. Although they too have been physically alliterated much in the same way as the film. A part of me says no because I don’t want to achieve an aura so soon. I want to keep exploring this phenomena in more detail in future projects! I don’t want have all the answers just right now.

However I will say one thing I am certainly more closer to achieving this Aura then I was in my previous two projects, T.R.A.U.T.S. and Curiosity Altered the Portrait!

Mail Art

There was always the possibility that this project could of gone one of two ways. The first being a success the second being a flop. Fortunately for me it is certainly not the latter. It might have taken some time, possibly a lot longer then it should. However POST is gaining the attention it deserves which I am grateful for. It proves that people are akin to my ideas and still believe in traditional values.

I’m sure I will be receiving postcards for next couple of years now, however I see this as a great opportunity which will force me to continue these project and produce something from it. Hence the completion of the Lomo film, or creating the typological book for real. I could even seek future gallery exhibits. I feel there is a future for this project, which I’m looking forward to pursuing.

Materiality

What POST has taught me is how resilient a photograph can be. Regardless of the marks, blends and tears it has gain from it journeys. The photograph has remained strong, a solid object.

I am glad that decided to explore materiality at the beginning of the year it has lead me to so many interesting artists and projects. I feel by looking at a photograph as an ‘object’ as a posed to an image has changed my out look on photography. Its open many more possibilities for me to explore and allows me to work within a subject which I feel passionate about. Analogue traditional, film, nostalgia are all important to me, so its create I can responded to these ideas in my work a rebel against the digital bubble!

Postboxes

In retrospect its hard to believe that this project all began through the concept of chance, yet at the same time it just made sense to. For the future I’ve decided to pursue any random ideas that pop into my head as this project proves what can happen as a result.

Chance I feel has become a key component to the way in which I work, and so far for the better!However as part of the POST curse I will be constantly haunted by postboxes now as a result of this project, constantly seeking and photographing them. Lucky I would not be the only one as several contributors have told me similar stories!

Typology

Originally I set out to create a typology and I feel if you were to remove all the other aspects of this project I believe I have achieved this. Of course it may not be as well polished as the Becher’s, however thats part of its charm of how utterly chaotic it is in comparison.

What I love about the typology is the freedom to constantly add, remove, move around the photographs. Make interesting patters or set themes. Amongst the chaos however there has been this very methodical process behind the project. Which I feel resonates quite strongly in most if not all typologies.  I am happy with the postcards which have been produced by myself and the contributors I just cannot wait to find a way to display then in a which the work deserves.

Final Words

In the end I’m happy with what I have produced thus far. I might not have got everything I would of like to get completed yet that is part of my over ambitious nature. At the time of writing I have received 104 postcards, my aim at the beginning was to receive a 100 before the deadline so I have reached my quota. Before I end I would like to thank everyone who taken part so far, and special thank you to those who repeatedly mail me postboxes, all the contributions have been amazing! I hope you have enjoyed reading about the project as much as I have writing about it.

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Exhibition

•April 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As the deadline looms closer I thought it would rather apt to blog about all the possible ways I could exhibit my work. Based on the principle that skies the limit below I’ve brainstormed different ideas.

Typology 

My original idea which I have been considering for a while now is to display a large selection of the postcards received in a large grid like typology. Much in a similar style to the Becher’s ‘Water tower’ and ‘Gas tanks.’

Suspended by wire the postcards would have to be encased in a perspex frame allowing the viewer to walk 360 degrees around the POST typology. Although this is an ambitious idea it would give my typology an edge that the Bechers and other artists before haven’t considered.

Film

It’s become quiet apparent to me that my POST film won’t be ready in time for the deadline or the degree show. Due to time constraints I feel the film is know where near ready and would be something that I am interested in pursuing over the summer.

However after seeing Jonas Mekas at the Serpentine gallery I very much interested in producing a set of prints of selected frames from the film so far. That way people can still experience essence of the film while understanding the multilayered nature to my work. These prints could be from A4 to A3 sat in thin black frames which would sit adjacently to the hanging typology.

Book

Still in the early stages of planning and preparation the book will also not be ready for the deadline. However it would be nice to produce a prototype for the degree show. Based upon the concertina design seen in “Every Building on the Sunset Strip”
(1966) by Ed Rushca, I’ve decided to create a tactitle, handmade book. Which will allow the viewer to hold and turn over the book like viewing a postcard. One side would be a column of postboxes while the reverse would display the corresponding writing.

Moving away from the traditional  format my book would become the artwork much in the same way as Ed Rushca’s photo books. I have even devised ways in which the viewer could hang the concertina onto a wall (by opening it out fully). By realsing future volumes, buyers could purchase their very own POST typolopy as the columns of postboxes will grow to form a grid when hang side by side on a wall.

Post Related 

This idea was sparked in a class discussion that I should exhibit my work in a unique way that relates back to subject and context of the project. I shouldn’t simply present my work in frames but create something more along the lines of fluxus art.

  • Bombastic ideas such as a room full of postboxes postcards as if the viewer has walked into the interior of a postbox or a serial killers room! (Take your pick)
  • Boxes upon boxes of postcards allow people to dive in and pick up postboxes at random.
  • A swimming pool of postboxes… (my personal favorite)
  • Acquiring a real postbox to display the postcards within. (An over the top idea but could be worth asking The Postal Museum to see if they would help me out)
  • A large pin board, something similar to which postman use in a postoffice and sorting office to post my maps and photographs to.

The list goes on….

 Final Thoughts

As the University is still trying to organise show space, there is talk of standardisation of showing a single A1 print. As this goes against the grain of my project I admit I not entirely clear how I will present my work. Although my ideas are ambitious hopefully I will be able to find away which can incorporate some of the elements that I have mentioned above. It would be nice to exhibit my work the way that I have intended but sacrifice are likely to be made. Although this is an annoyance I shall have to wait until the degree show guide lines are made clearer. Until then I will have to keep brainstorming and keep my options open.

Ed Ruscha

•April 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Ed Ruscha has been a big inspiration lately. Ever since I read about him in ‘Chance’ and ‘The genius of photography’ I have fallen in love with his work. What I am referring to in particular is Twenty-six Gasoline Stations (1963), Thirty-four parking lots in Los Angeles (1967), and Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) What I admire most is his objective style, and the typological nature of the photography.

The titles are blunt and to the point and the photographs are often on the point of being snapshots. The subject matter is completely banal however I found this humorous quality about his work. What makes these works so well known today is the way he presented them. Ruscha has been credited for revolutionising the photo book.

Ed Ruscha
Twenty-six Gasoline Stations
1963

Ed Ruscha
Thirty-four parking lots in Los Angeles
1967

Ed Ruscha
Every Building on the Sunset Strip
1966

Inspired by the ways Rushca displays his photography in book form. I too might design a book for POST in a similar design.

Ruscha

Self Publish be Happy

•April 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I discovered the organisation a while ago and ever since been inspired by the work which is often showcased. For those who don’t know Self Publish be Happy promotes work from emerging artists in the shape of photographs and self published books. They also run displays, exhibitions, and talks on how to go about self publishing your work.

Their website is constantly full of new and exiting work, from standard books designs, to books of a more quirky nature. It was the alternative styles artists who were presenting their work that really stood out to me.

Truth be told it has motivated me, got me thinking whether I could create a book. I realised as POST is not your standard run of the mill project I could also make a quirky book to display my work. However I would have to produce something slightly different, something which would work within the confines of the project!

With typologies, films, and books all rolling around my head at the moment, producing a self published book is still at an idea stage. As POST has the potential to grow and grow, I find it exciting how I could present my work in some many different ways.

For now check out Self Publish be Happy, hopefully the work you see on their inspires you as much as it has inspired me!

www.selfpublishbehappy.com

RED

•April 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As my postbox collection grows and I start laying out the photographs in possible combination. I begin to notice the speaks and flashes of red sweeping in and out of the images. It’s what holds the typology together. Its also the colour I instantly clock onto now when I’m in the street. I see it everywhere now, part and parcel of the POST curse!

So in my travels recently I started thinking about the colour red. What of its history? Why are Postboxes red in the UK but not the rest of the world? Originally I thought it was chosen as red could be associated as a royal colour. However Postboxes where originally green and later changed to red to simply be more visible (A fact I learned at Postal Museum).

Nevertheless I research a little further into the colours history to see if I could find a quirky fact or a piece of history which I could include on one of my postcards. Obviously this lead me to the obvious:

Red association with blood, fire, life, vigor, authority, beauty, love, eroticism, joy, danger, prohibition, childhood, luxury, celebrations, war, religion, opposition, rebellion, pleasure, good luck, and entertainment.

Unfortunately for all its good and bad connotations I couldn’t find anything that quirky or interesting asides from:

“In the West, from the most ancient epochs, the colour red has been associated with the portrayal of power and the sacred.”

Which relates to my early idea of why I thought red was the colour of all British postboxes. Otherwise the best discovery is that in Russia, the word for “red” (красный) means beautiful.

Which is strangely fitting as the colour red in relation to photography reminds me of the Ukraine photographer Boris Mikhailov and his project “Red series” (1968-75).A project where Mikhailov obsessively documented fragments of reds in his daily travels. Photographing groups of people, objects and city life.

Boris Mikhailov
“Red series”
1968-75

With red being the colour of communism the colour features everywhere, red literally dominates every photograph in the series. Which aside from the political differences makes a nice change from the drab colour platte you usually see in the towns or cities in the UK.

Boris Mikhailov
“Red series”
1968-75

I really liked the series when I first saw it in the Tate Modern. Arranged rather haphazardly across the wall, In someways Mikhailov “Red series” is an unconventional typology. Worlds apart from the Bechers. Let I would be lying if I didn’t say Mikhailov has inspired me in someway. Lets hope POST has the same aesthetic beauty as Mikhailov “Red series.” Maybe then I will have achieved something!

Boris Mikhailov
“Red series”
1968-75
At the Tate Modern, where I first viewed his work.

Maps

•April 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

One of the aspects I love about psychogeography is mapping, recording the routes you’ve taken and plotting routes for future journeys. As a kid I’ve always been fascinated by maps, they are practical pieces of art.

During POST I’ve been using maps pretty regularly, I don’t think I’ve left the house without one in tucked in my pocket. Print outs from google, tubes maps, and postbox maps. Have traveled with me for days, getting beat up, creased, and in some cases eventually tearing into pieces.

Personally I feel it isn’t effective to simply scan in all my maps during the project here on this blog. I feel you will lose the physical nature of the map. By seeing it as an image as a pose to an worn object. So as result I’ve been putting together a journal to stick all my findings together. Filled with maps, with hand drawn journeys plotted across them, photographs, and mementos from my trips. The journal is a scrap book a hand crafted look into my travels. It’s imperfect and spontaneous.

As maps and atlases interest me I’ve also constructed a series of map related postcards which look at the nature of mapping and my journeys. Some of these consist of hand drawn routes, arial photographs of the location of the postbox. As well as quotes and personal reflections.

To prove how much of a map loving geek I am here are a selection of map related videos and sites of cool things I’ve found on the internet the past couple of weeks.

Mapped: Oyster Card touch ins and outs

Discovered this video via Timeout which records Oyster Card users (Like myself) Touch in and out of the tube through out the day.

As a result of being shown in the London Transport Museum exhibit ‘Sense and the city’ it inspired Jo Wood from the University of London to create this trippy visual of the first five million Boris bike journeys.

http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2012/10/05/mapped-boris-bikes-journeys-in-lights/

Alternative Tube Maps

In keeping with the London Underground a seres of alternative tube maps found on Londonist.com. What attracts me to these maps is how you take the classic design and complete transform it into something new and exciting.

http://londonist.com/tags/alternative-tube-maps

New York Subway Guide

Ok so maybe I am a little obsessed, but this is beautiful! I would love to have a copy of this 1972 New York Subway Guide. Click on the link to read more about the design!

www.thisisdisplay.org/bookstore/new_york_subway_guide_massimo_vignelli

Find My Nearest Postbox

Ok this site along side google maps has helped me out and lot. Simply type in your post code and it will flag up every single postbox in your area. I’ve used it all over the place and has become a great asset to my work especially for plotting journies. The majority of the maps you find in my journal are from this site!

http://dracos.co.uk/made/nearest-postbox/

The Great Post Project

•April 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

If you have been following my blogs recently then you might be wondering where are these postcards I keep referring to? Of course these are the photographs the public and I have been taking over the last four to five months, but where are they you ask?

Well to make things easier a while ago I set up a new blog site just for the project. You can find it here:

www.thegreatpostproject.wordpress.com

I decided as I have set up a mail art project it should have its own dedicated site removed from the rest of my uni projects. Built upon simplicity the blog simply showcases all the postcards I have received. With easy navigation people can access the ‘About’ page to learn more about the project or click on ‘How to get involved!’ page to…well you get the idea.

The blog site has been really successful when promoting my project to the public. It allows direct access to all contributions. Which I feel helps get people involved as they to can be a part of something on going.

The blog site has a long way to go still, but its working and gathering followers every week.

Feel free to check it out and get involved!