In order to undertake additional research across a breadth of photographers and photography genres, a forthcoming project will “steal” the ideas of fellow students in the hope of providing insight into the way they and I perceive the same subject matter. The intention is to escape beyond my comfort zone and using foreign ideas may serve as a mechanism to pursue this.
An original intention of the project is to highlight that ideas cannot be stolen because the method and creativity which lies behind the artist is different to another. Images are stolen all the time on the internet, laws have recently been passed which attempt to provide compensation to an original artist whose ‘orphan works’ are stolen and used online (The Instagram Act). (Available at The National Archives)
I find it interesting that one can take inspiration from another and recreate a derivate or new work of art. What’s the difference between stealing or copying an idea or paying homage to another artist? Is there even a definition for this and would the victim or celebrated individual agree to the fact they’ve been ripped off Daily Post (2013) or respected? BBC (2009) .
We all see the world in different ways, and this may become the foundation of the project, the message I wish to portray, it’s purpose is to highlight that it’s possible to recreate without theft nor homage, just by simply seeing things in different ways. Berger (1972)
Ordinarily, people cannot learn new subjects, or develop in their skill set unless risks are taken and attempts are made to trial something new. For me, it is the reason for undertaking further education in photography.
The above image is a sample shot based on the idea of a retired mathematics teacher, who is undertaking further education in photography. The original idea of the student was to rearrange clothes pegs in precise and specific geometric patterns. I had not seen her original images nor spoke with her about her idea however, after arranging pegs into a geometric shape myself and taking a few shots, I was satisfied with the result. This increased my determination to use other people’s ideas for my own project and the development on my own part is to do so, without stealing, without homage and without offence. If offence is taken, it’s theirs to take.
I also wish to research the artists which my fellow students have researched as research is an area I am lacking. I am unfamiliar with so many photographers and artists; it’s difficult to appreciate both photographs and photographers. I hope that by researching their inspiration, at least eleven different photographers and/or genres I will benefit by enhancing my own understanding of photography while appreciating both the joy and difficulty in creating photographs.
I believe the project has a strong concept, which I can demonstrate, yet the challenge is to ensure the project is not simply a collection of random images based on an idea, or a collection of ideas. Even if the viewer does not understand, or care about the concept, they must find the final set of images aesthetically pleasing when presented together. They should speak for themselves without the need for introduction. Susan Sontag (1977) The thought of invading their ideas with my own photographs, featuring a part of me in some format appeals. I intended to conceptually belong within the picture, not just to sequestrate the idea.
Each photograph will use its own technique which may harm the visual impact of the overall project. For instance, an idea for a single image is to take dozens of photographs then rearrange them into a final image, not different to David Hockney’s photo collages. How could I unify this concept with the above image of pegs?
I welcome the challenge, not just for the additional research and burying myself in other peoples works, for my own research in understanding how very different concepts can belong together in conceptual thought.