I took my photography students out on a practical this morning around the local woods. My idea is always to introduce learners to the multitude of possibilities that photography offers and the means of self expression that it allows.
I’ve decided to become a Conceptual Artist ( but will probably change my mind tomorrow ). By ‘become’ I mean I’m declaring I am one, right here right now, at this very moment. I’m assuming I don’t need any qualifications and I don’t need to have been to Art College or University or whatever they call these Institutions now to make this declaration and even if I have I don’t care because I’m a Conceptual Artist now. In the name of Conceptual Art I can do pretty much whatever I please. I must say as I write this I feel a sort of liberation come over me. Don’t panic my friends I’ll still make images ( that’s what we call it now ) in the name of Contemporary Photography, it’s just that another string to my bow, another part of my oeuvre is that now I’m a Contemporary Artist. The only issue I’ve got at the moment is by making this declaration, that I’m a Contemporary Artist, does that by turn invalidate my claim or do I first need to make some Conceptual Art ? Should I as a Conceptual Artist just keep quiet about it and get on with it in the name of Conceptual Art or do I have to tell someone ? I’ll ponder this for a while longer. One thing I do want is to be as the art critics often say ‘difficult to pin down’, “as an Artist he’s difficult to pin down”. I texted my lifelong mate Brian to tell him ” I’ve decided to become a Conceptual Artist” but as I write this I’ve not had a reply. I expect it will be encouraging. Making some Conceptual Art isn’t going to be a problem, I’ve got loads of ideas already. Some I had this morning while walking the dog. I might even declare that my dog is also a Conceptual Artist but then again I feel it’s a decision he alone should take. I hope he will because then we could collaborate. The obvious start of course is to declare ( here I go again ) that my whole life from start to finish is a Conceptual Art piece. Everything I do, and I mean everything etc is a Conceptual Art work ! Other ideas I’m not prepared to reveal because I don’t want anyone stealing them. People are good at stealing ideas. Another idea was a message in The Times ” Conceptual Artist Would Not Like to Meet other Conceptual Artists. Do Not Respond to this Box No “. Another idea involves an Argos Catalogue or an Ikea Catalogue or both and I’ll title the pieces Ikea Catalogue No 1 etc. I won’t be doing things like drawing a continuous line on a piece of paper or canning my own shit because that’s already been done or by doing so would that be also an act of Conceptual Art i.e. repeating other well known Conceptual Art pieces ? Now there’s a thought ! The more I write this the more I realise how much there is to ponder with this Conceptual Art malarky.
So now I’m a Conceptual Artist I really ought to get on with it. Welcome to my first official out in the public domain Conceptual Art piece, the above article with accompanying photo. Print it off and keep safely.
Organic Chemistry – Alcohol, Ethanol etc etc
The Big Bang Theory – the real one, not the popular American comedy show.
Dark Matter – does it matter ?
How television works
How telephones work
Genetics – DNA and all that. Two black mice mate and out pop four black ones and one white one ?
Colour Theory and the Spectrum
Don’t walk, don’t run, don’t speed, don’t exceed the speed limit, don’t drive, don’t slow down, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat, don’t eat past sell by date, don’t feed the horses, don’t feed the dog, don’t feed the animals, don’t shoot me I’m only the piano player, don’t lean over, don’t litter, don’t switch off, don’t switch on, don’t unplug, don’t leave unattended. don’t fasten bicycles to this railing, don’t you forget about me, don’t look up, don’t look down, don’t leave until you’ve visited this, don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, don’t leave without paying, don’t fear the reaper, don’t push, don’t pull, don’t open, don’t close, don’t step off the pavement, don’t cross until light on green, don’t put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington, don’t flush while train in station, don’t forget to turn off the lights, don’t you want me baby, don’t forget to wash your hands, don’t fall, don’t vote it only encourages em.
According to the Daily Star ( so it must be true ) a second town here in the UK is being over run by giant super rats. Somebody must be feeding them ! Apparently we’re told, we’re only ever a few feet away from a rat. I once stood in the middle of an open field and I couldn’t see one, the lying bastards ! I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this. The chaos order theory which states that we are only a short distance between chaos and order or order and chaos. That from order, things can quickly descend into chaos The media love the chaos order theory. They simply wouldn’t exist without it. Alfred Hitchcock, he liked the chaos order theory too. That, apparently is what his film ‘The Birds’ is all about. A society which descends into a muck stew when it is attacked by some angry birds. The birds are a metaphor for chaos. I’m assuming James Herbert’s book ‘The Rats’ is a similar horrific tale of rats on the rampage; overturning cars, setting buildings on fire, swearing in pubs and other unruly behaviour but since I’ve never read it I’m merely speculating. I’d sooner read John Steinbeck.
I see our Prime Minister is fighting for his political life. It’s thought he’s been sidling up to some tax evaders who’ve got that much money they can both evade tax and donate money to the Tory Party who as thanks will turn a blind eye to the tax evading. The Labour Party won’t come out of it smiling either, probably. The politicians and Establishment walking the tightrope of chaos and order. Ho hum. Just before drifting back off to sleep I realised that Star written backwards is ‘Daily Rats !’ … so that was nice.
My photography class started last night. I’m teaching a beginners class. There were ten people who put their names down to attend but only seven turned up. The class needs at least ten before it can go ahead. Before it’s financially viable. I gave it my best shot, showed my students to the camera as a light tight box with a hole at one end and introduced them to Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Robert Capa, Sebastio Salgado and Don McCullin. I like to start as I mean to go on.
I’m in a photo group on Facebook and yesterday some bloke posted a post saying ” Life without love is like a forest without trees”. Call me pedantic but a forest without trees wouldn’t be a forest, it would be something else like a ‘field’, since a forest is, by it’s very definition a large collection of trees. So the statement doesn’t make sense. A forest without trees is not a forest in the first place. It’s something else. I told him so and he replied ‘exactly’. I don’t think he got what I was trying to say.
My discarded glove series continues.