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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place In Process

Urbex

Beauty in Decay: On-line slideshows to music


Short documentary video

I do not find this as powerful as the still shot slideshows.

 
Read on-line http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ixdny_download-beauty-in-decay-urbex-free-books_news

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place In Process

New Topographics

“New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” was  curated by William Jenkins at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House (Rochester, New York) in January 1975. In his introduction to the catalogue, Jenkins defined the common denominator of the show as “a problem of style:” “stylistic anonymity”, an alleged absence of style.

The exhibition was a reaction to the idealised landscape photography  of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and was influenced by Ed Ruscha who, in the 60s, had made a series of artist’s books with self-explanatory titles such as Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Some Los Angeles Apartments, Every Building on the Sunset Strip and  Walker Evans, who had photographed the vernacular iconography of America in road signs, billboards, motels and shop.

“The pictures were stripped of any artistic frills and reduced to an essentially topographic state, conveying substantial amounts of visual information but eschewing entirely the aspects of beauty, emotion and opinion,.” “[…] rigorous purity, deadpan humor and a casual disregard for the importance of the images.” Technically, half the photographers were working with 8″×10″; (20 cm × 25 cm) large format view cameras; those who were not were using either square medium format (Deal, Gohlke), or in the case of Baltz, 35 mm Technical Pan, a slow and high-definition Kodak film that the photographer printed on 8″x10″ paper. Only Baltz and Wessel were using regular 35 mm cameras and film. A notable element of the show was that the artists were, or would be, linked with higher education as students, professors, or both—a change from the preceding generations.The shift from craft or self-teaching to academia had somewhat been started by photographers such as Ansel Adams and Minor White, but the new generation was turning away from the approach of these forebears. This was illustrated by the subject matter that the New Topographics chose as well as their commitment to casting a somewhat ironic or critical eye on what American society had become. They all depicted urban or suburban realities under changes in an allegedly detached approach. In most cases, they gradually revealed themselves as coming from rather critical vantage points, especially Robert Adams, Baltz, and Deal.

Photographers

Sean O’Hagan

The show consisted of 168 rigorously formal, black-and-white prints of streets, warehouses, city centres, industrial sites and suburban houses. Taken collectively, they seemed to posit an aesthetic of the banal. …Their stark, beautifully printed images of this mundane but oddly fascinating topography was both a reflection of the increasingly suburbanised world around them, and a reaction to the tyranny of idealised landscape photography that elevated the natural and the elemental.

The prints were in a 20 cm × 25 cm (8″×10″) format except for Joe Deal (32 cm × 32 cm), Gohlke (24 cm × 24 cm – close enough to 8”×10”), and the Bechers with typical European (for the time) 30 cm × 40 cm prints.

However despite their similarities, there were significant differences between the photographers in their reactions to, and portrayal of, the suburban environment and their political conclusions on responses to it.

See Greg Foster-Price and John Rohrbach ‘Re-framing the New Topographics’ 2013 University of Chicago Press

Robert Adams: disappearing wildernesses, pointed his camera at eerily empty streets, pristine trailer parks, rows of standardised tract houses, the steady creep of suburban development in all its regulated uniformity.

Lewis Baltz: stark photographs of the walls of office buildings and warehouses on industrial sites in Orange County.

Joe Deal

Frank Gohlke

Nicholas Nixon: innercity development: skyscrapers that dwarfed period buildings, freeways, gridded streets and the palpable unreality of certain American cities in which pedestrians seem like interlopers.

John Schott

Stephen Shore : shot in colour. It seemed to heighten the sense of detachment in his photographs of anonymous intersections and streets.

Henry Wessel, Jr

Bernd and Hilla Becher: stark images of Pennsylvania salt mines and giant coal breakers were as coolly architectural as their images of German cooling towers and industrial plants. The suggestion was that there was something determinedly European about this new American gaze.

Ecological citizenship and automobility

The works in different ways question our responsibility in relation to the natural environment. Taken at a time of rapid environmental change, commercialisation and often homogenised destruction of the natural wilderness romanticised by Ansel Adams, they aim to promote a sense of responsibility for what Robert Adams calls the ‘half wilderness’.

There is a general concern with the homogenisation and also isolation of much of modern construction and urban sprawl. Roads that cut of and surround dwellings that can only be accessed by cars.

They differ in their approaches to technological advances like the reliance on the motor car. For Shore and Schott however there is more of a celebration of the accessibility and democratisation of life. Shore in particular celebrates the colour and vibrancy of cities and parking lots.

‘Shore’s images may be seen as ignoring environmental degradation…Yet his photographs encourage a sense of wonder and appreciation, even in the most familiar, most mundane spaces’.

There is thus a core message of the exhibition as a whole: we need to notice and appreciate what is around us in the ‘semi-wilderness’ and make sure we preserve and protect what is valuable in it. In terms of human colour and nature. Not relegate ‘conservation’ to an ever-shrinking small protected area of idealised wilderness. It is all important.

Legacy

The exhibition was recreated in various locations: in 1981, six years after its original presentation, it was shown in reduced form at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK, under the auspices of Paul Graham and Jem Southam. A large scale presentation of the exhibition was organized in 2009 at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. “New Topographics” began an international tour in 2009, with stagings at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2011 the exhibition was on view at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and later at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in Spain.

Baltz, Gohlke, and Shore were later commissioned by the French government for the Mission de la DATAR.

The exhibition was very influential in the subsequent developments in both US and European landscape photography, including the work of Andreas Gursky, Paul Graham,  Candida Höfe and  Donovan Wylie.  See the following interviews with LA photographers discussing how they have been influenced by the photographers at the exhibition:

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place In Process

Brassai

Brassaï (1899-1984) was a Hungarian-born French photographer who created countless iconic images of 1920s Parisian life.

He moved to Paris in 1924, working as a journalist and joined a circle of Hungarian artists and writers. His seminal book Paris de Nuit (Paris by Night 1933) documented the nightlife of prostitutes, street cleaners, and other scenes in his neighborhood of Montparnasse.

He also documented high society, including the ballet, opera, and intellectuals—among them his friends and contemporaries, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Alberto Giacometti, and Henri Matisse. He was also interested in graffiti, seeing it as a form of Outsider Art that could open the door for new artistic expression.

His black and white images are very dark and moody with large areas of clipped black with rim lighting have influenced my work in Assignment 2.1 Bridge.

Showcases some of his most iconic photos

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place In Process

Psychogeography and the ‘Edgelands’ (notes)

!! more to be done on this to incorporate notes and large infographic I started to develop in a sketchbook for this module. Currently based on work for OCA Landscape Photography

Psychogeography is essentially the broad terrain where geography – in terms of the design and layout of a place – influences the experience, i.e. the psyche and behaviour, of the user.  It has walking as a central component (Alexander 2013 p74)

Guy Debord (1931–94) leader of The Situationist International defined psychogeography as follows:

“Psychogeography could set for itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, whether consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals. The charmingly vague adjective psychogeographical can be applied to the findings arrived at by this type of investigation, to their influence on human feelings, and more generally to any situation or conduct that seems to reflect the same spirit of discovery.”
(http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/presitu/geography.html quoted Alexander 2013 p74)

Psychogeography in literature has a long history.   London, as imagined by writers including William Blake (1757–1827), Daniel Defoe (1659–1731), Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94), Stevenson in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), have all been identified as a place where early traces of psychogeography can be found.
It has also veered between being:

  • mode of artistic expression
  • associated with Marxist ideology and political and social change.

Two inter-linked terms that are key to understanding psychogeography:

  • The dérive is a key method of psychogeographical enquiry. The literal translation from the French is ‘drift’ and a dérive is a spontaneous, unplanned walk through a city, guided by the individual’s responses to the geography, architecture and ambience of its quarters.The dérive can be seen as one strategy to help bridge the gap between the actual, physical observations of the stroller and their subconscious. Similar techniques have been used in geography, sociology and anthropology as a means of research that opens up possibilities and new questions based on direct observation.
  • The flâneur (a term that originates from Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin) is essentially the protagonist of the dérive, but more generally the ‘gentleman stroller’ (as Baudelaire put it) who enjoys the aesthetic pleasures of the sights and sounds he experiences. The emphasis here is more on the aesthetic interpretation of the observer and emotional responses to the views and events that unfold. The flâneur has been identified in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Man of the Crowd (1840) and in the shady figure lurking in the corner of Edouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Listen to Philip Pullman discussing Manet’s painting in depth.
  • Brassai (1899-1984) flaneur
  • Robert Adams
  • Mark Power
  • Moriyama

However, alternative arbitrary methodologies have also been employed, championed initially by the Situationist movement as a necessary means – as they would see it – to subvert capitalist ideas about correctly engaging and functioning within the city. Other strategies included:

  • the production of alternative maps, such as Debord’s The Naked City (1957), which attempted to facilitate users to experience the city according to their emotional state and responses.
  • Robert MacFarlane’s simple alternative strategy of tracing a circle around the rim of a glass on a map and walking it, you can leave yourself open to new subject matter and unthought-of creative possibilities (see MacFarlane in Coverley, 2010, p.9).

The genre of street photography is often taken (and often mistaken) as evidence of psychogeography today. But although psychogeographical enquiry has traditionally been associated with the city, in more recent years it has expanded beyond its traditional boundaries, and is nowadays less associated with left-wing politics, having returned to a literary position.

  • Iain Sinclair:  fictional and non-fictional literary responses. In the book (and accompanying film) London Orbital (2002), Sinclair chronicles his epic walk along the M25 which encircles the capital, taking him to golf courses, retail and business parks, and other generic spaces.
  • Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts’ book Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness (2011), celebrates subjects as diverse as shipping containers, landfill sites and wooden pallets.
  • Some have identified the urban sport of parkour (or ‘freerunning’) and even the Occupy movement with psychogeography.

‘Edgelands’

Initial reactions to ‘Wire’ and ‘Power’ – I found the descriptions evocative and also reminiscent of forbidden forays of my own early teenage life with my best friend or my dog into old bombed sites and semi-urban lanes on the outskirts of Manchester – with their potential threats of meeting with men in wait for teenage girls, gang knife fights between rival football teams and the odd murder.

Many of the descriptions also resonate with areas along my daily walk in Cambridge that I have chosen for ‘Transitions’. And the book is definitely one source of inspiration to which I shall return many times as I progress with that project.

But I agree with Marion Shoard:

This book could perhaps have had more investigative rigour. The edgelands now need something beyond a merely subjective celebration of their identity. Far more than our towns and countryside, they are being subjected to ceaseless change. Wild space is being prettified at the expense of its character and creatures. Industrial ruins are being cleared away.

We could be in the process of losing this landscape just as we are discovering its charms. Should we be trying to conserve it, as we conserve the best of rural environments? Or would any attempt to regulate this space destroy the wildness that makes it special?

It is time for us to consider what relationship we want to see in the long term between our activity in the edgelands, their epic infrastructure, their unique wildlife and industrial archaeology and their peculiar place in our imagination. 

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place Inspiration

Edward Burtynsky

Edward BurtynskyOC (born February 22, 1955) is a Canadian photographer and artist known for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes. Burtynsky’s most famous photographs are sweeping views of landscapes altered by industry: mine tailings, quarries, scrap piles. The grand, awe-inspiring beauty of his images is often in tension with the compromised environments they depict.

Exploring the Residual Landscape

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.

Ed Burtynsky website

Oil  2009

His series Oil (2009) resolves an epiphany he had in 1997, when he realised just how tightly connected all of our global activity was to petrol and its raw material – oil.

The monograph is divided into three sections:

  • images of extraction and refinement;
  • the consumption of oil and motor culture;
  •  abandoned ‘oilfields run dry’ and motor vehicles of all descriptions resigned to huge scrap heaps.

The images within Oil  evoke a terrifying sense of the sublime. It is within the third section that the images have their most potent effect, for instance seemingly endless rows of impotent, rusting fighter jets in Arizona, or a channel cutting through a canyon of stacked worn car tyres in California. Some of the most striking images are those made at the Chittagong ship breakers in Bangladesh. The proportions of the structures that the workers pick apart, almost by hand, are awesome, and just as affecting are the horrendous conditions in which they work. Although not overtly critical in any explicitly rhetorical sense (i.e. like Kennard’s montages), it is impossible to read Burtynsky’s position as anything but one of grave concern for our consumption of this valuable substance.

Some images in Burtynsky’s Oil can be interpreted from different perspectives: great stacks of compressed oil drums or bits of car parts might speak of excess and consumption but, whilst they refer to manufacturing in a past tense, these are also the raw materials for current industries, ready to be melted down and turned into new things.

China

He has made several excursions to China to photograph that country’s industrial emergence, and construction of one of the world’s largest engineering projects, the Three Gorges Dam.

Burtynsky discussing his work made in China

Other work

Wikipedia

Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. His parents had immigrated to Canada in 1951 from Ukraine and his father found work on the production line at the local General Motors plant. Burtynsky recalls playing by theWelland Canal and watching ships pass through the locks. When he was 11, his father purchased a darkroom, including cameras and instruction manuals, from a widow whose late husband practiced amateur photography.With his father, Burtynsky learned how to make black-and-white photographic prints and together with his older sister established a small business taking portraits at the local Ukrainian center. In the early ’70s, Burtynsky found work in printing and he started night classes in photography, later enrolling at the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.

From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, Burtynsky formally studied graphic arts and photography. He obtained a diploma in graphic arts from Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, in 1976, and a BAA in Photographic Arts (Media Studies Program) from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Ontario, in 1982.

His early influences include Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eadweard Muybridge, and Carleton Watkins, whose prints he saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1980s. Another group whose body of work shares similar themes and photographic approaches to Burtynsky’s work are the photographers who were involved in the exhibition New Topographics.

 

Photographic series

  • 1983 – 1985 Breaking Ground: Mines, Railcuts and Homesteads, Canada, USA
  • 1991 – 1992 Vermont Quarries, USA
  • 1997 – 1999 Urban Mines: Metal Recycling, Canada Tire Piles, USA
  • 1993 – Carrara Quarries, Italy
  • 1995 – 1996 Tailings, Canada
  • 1999 – 2010 Oil Canada, China, Azerbaijan, USA
  • 2000 – Makrana Quarries, India
  • 2000 – 2001 Shipbreaking, Bangladesh
  • 2004 – 2006 China
  • 2006 – Iberia Quarries, Portugal
  • 2007 – Australian Mines, Western Australia
  • 2009 – 2013 Water Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Iceland, India

Video: Manufactured Landscapes

In 2006, Burtynsky was the subject of the documentary film, Manufactured Landscapes, that was shown at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Video: Watermark

Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal, who was his director on the 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes, are co-directors of the 2013 documentary film, Watermark. The film is part of his five-year project Water focusing on the way water is used and managed.

 

Technique

Most of Burtynsky’s exhibited photography (pre 2007) was taken with a large format field camera on large 4×5-inch sheet film and developed into high-resolution, large-dimension prints of various sizes and editions ranging from 18 x 22 inches to 60 x 80 inches. He often positions himself at high-vantage points over the landscape using elevated platforms, the natural topography, and more currently helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Burtynsky describes the act of taking a photograph in terms of “The Contemplated Moment”, evoking and in contrast to, “The Decisive Moment” of Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 2007 he began using a high-resolution digital camera.

The Long Now Foundation

In July 2008 Burtynsky delivered a seminar for the Long Now Foundation entitled “The 10,000 year Gallery”. The foundation promotes very long-term thinking and is managing various projects including the Clock of the Long Now, which is a clock designed to run for 10,000 years. Burtynsky was invited by clock designer Danny Hillis to contribute to the Long Now project, and Burtynsky proposed a gallery to accompany the clock. In his seminar, he suggested that a gallery of photographs which captured the essence of their time, like the cave paintings at Lascaux, could be curated annually and then taken down and stored. He outlined his research into a carbon-transfer process for printing photographs that would use inert stone pigments suspended in a hardened gelatine colloid and printed onto thick watercolour paper. He believes that these photographs would persist over the 10,000 year time-frame when stored away from moisture.

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place Screenprinting Technique

Screenprinting

See tutorials etc on my Printmaking blog: http://print.zemniimages.info/screenprinting/

Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil.

I used screenprinting as a supporting technique in:

Printing technique

There are various terms used for what is essentially the same technique. But they all have the following in common:

  • Use of a frame (generally wood or aluminium) on which a mesh  is mounted under tension. The mesh can be of different types: eg silk, polyester, nylon or metal and of varying degrees of fineness depending on the type of surface to be printed.
  • A stencil is formed on the mesh by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear on the substrate. The stencil can be made through different techniques: direct stencils made with photoscreen techniques or using masking solutions and indirect stencils used as masks.
  • Mesh/frame preparation: The surface to be printed (commonly referred to as a pallet) is coated with a wide ‘pallet tape’ to protect the ‘pallet’ from any unwanted ink leaking through the screen and potentially staining the ‘pallet’ or transferring unwanted ink onto the next substrate. Next, the screen and frame are lined with a tape. The type of tape used in for this purpose often depends upon the ink that is to be printed onto the substrate. These aggressive tapes are generally used for UV and water-based inks due to the inks’ lower viscosities. The last process in the ‘pre-press’ is blocking out any unwanted ‘pin-holes’ in the emulsion. If these holes are left in the emulsion, the ink will continue through and leave unwanted marks. To block out these holes, materials such as tapes, speciality emulsions and ‘block-out pens’ may be used effectively.
  • A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill or ‘flood’ the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then prints the image as the screen touches the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed.
  • One colour is printed at a time, so several screens are layered to produce a multicoloured image or design. Hinge clamps keep the screen in place for easy registration

Bibliography

Adam, R. & Robertson, C., (2003) Screenprinting: the complete water-based system, London: Thames & Hudson.

Barker, D., Traditional Techniques in Contemporary Chinese Printmaking, London: A & C Black.

D’arcy Hughes, A. & Vernon-Morris, H., (2008) The Printmaking Bible: the complete guide to materials and techniques, San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Grabowski, B. & Flick, B., (2009) Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and processes, London: Lawrence King Publishing.

Griffiths, A., (1980) Prints and Printmaking: An introduction to the history and techniques, London: British Museum Press.

Martin, J., (1993) The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques,London: Quarto Publishing.

Pogue, D., (2012) Printmaking Revolution : new advancements in technology, safety and sustainability, New York: watson-guptill publications.

Stobart, J., (2001) Printmaking for Beginners, London: A&C Black.

Stromquist, A., (2004) Simple Screenprinting: basic techniques and creative projects, New York: Lark Books.

Williamson, C., (2011) Reinventing Screenprinting, London: A&C Black.

Woods, L., (2011) The Printmaking Handbook: Simple techniques and step-be-step projects, London: Search Press.

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place

Hiroshi Sugimoto

A sensitive and comprehensive portrait made with Sugimoto that discusses his life, vision and focuses particularly on his recent works on ‘Lightning Fields’ and electricity, sculpted and photographed forms from mathematical formulae, reviving ancient Japanese traditions from Shinto and theatre and a gallery to communicate his vision to next generations.

Hiroshi Sugimoto is a contemporary Japanese photographer, born in 1948 and dividing his time between Japan and New York. His use of an 8×10 large-format camera and extremely long exposures have given Sugimoto a reputation as a photographer of the highest technical ability. He has spoken of his work as an expression of ‘time exposed’, or photographs serving as a time capsule for a series of events in time. His work focuses on transience of life, and the conflict between life and death. A lot of his work also relates to scientific concepts – electricity and origins of life and visual forms from mathematical formulae. His work has been a key inspiration for by black and white photography in:

  • 2.2.1 Bridge where in my treatment of the bridge shapes I am inspired by the dramatic black white contrasts of his Conceptual Forms and Joe, and his work on the branching forms of electricity has influenced my working of the algae and other textures.
  • 2.2.2 Shutterscapes: Lake District my series on cloudscapes and mountains has been influenced by Seascapes.

Sugimoto’s vision

Sugimoto’s website

[Photography is] a kind of contrivance to externalize my internal vision. The world exists and so do I. But does the world exist as I see it? It may be that each individual is seeing the world differently. And all share the same fantasy of how this world should look like.

Thousands of years of history are in me.

We see what must be seen. Then disappear into the sea.

‘Capitalism won’t stop until we have depleted all resources….my work hopefully gives us an opportunity to think before destroying ourselves’

He works in series projects. The images that have been most influential on my own work are those that are highly abstract, dealing with light, dark and time as a way of making us think about life and our place in a fragile world in an immediate and haunting way.

Discussion by Sugimoto of the evolution of his photographic approach and concept, particularly towards his seascapes and more minimalist works. The underpinnings are not just meditative awe at the beauty of minimalist landscapes and a wish to reflect on what is timeless – we have been changing the land, but seascapes are what our earliest ancestors saw. He links this to our responsibility for our future ‘Capitalism won’t stop until we have depleted all resources….my work hopefully gives us an opportunity to think before destroying ourselves’
A catalogue of some of Sugimoto’s best known work by Ted Forbes, explaining his aims and techniques: Movie Theatres, Seascapes, Chamber of Horrors, Architecture, In Praise of Shadows – a series of abstract images of candles burning down and picures of wax works.

The series that have been most influential on my own work are those that are highly abstract, dealing with light and time as a way of making us think about life and our place in a fragile world.

Seascapes  

The seascapes are a series of very large black and white prints all have the same middle horizon line. These images have inspired my reworking of:

So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence…Let’s just say that there happened to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe, we search in vain for another similar example. Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing.

This beautiful series of very large black and white prints all have the same middle horizon line. When presented here as an on-line presentation the different light and weather conditions around the same horizon line merge into each other in a really haunting way.

Their minimalist abstraction and meditative impact has been compared to that of Rothko’s paintings – but strangely the painting appear more ‘realistic’ than the photographs.

A discussion of a Pace exhibition in London and catalogue comparing the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto and Mark Rothko in terms of compositions.

Revolution

In this series he is at his most minimalist: ‘horizontality’, verticality and diagonals of Angst. With dramatic, eerie splashes of light.

For a long time it was my job to stand on cliffs and gaze at the sea, the horizon where it touches the sky. The horizon is not a straight line, but a segment of a great arc. One day, standing atop a lone island peak in a remote sea, the horizon encompassing my entire field of vision, for a moment I was floating in the centre of a vast basin. But then, as I viewed the horizon encircle me, I had a distinct sensation of the earth as a watery globe, a clear vision of the horizon not as an endless expanse but the edge of an oceanic sphere…There remains… a great divide between comprehending (i.e. explaining) the world and being able to explain what we ourselves are. And even then, what we can explain of the world is far less than what we cannot ― though people tend be more attracted by the unexplained. In all this, I somehow feel we are nearing an era when religion and art will once again cast doubts upon science, or else an era when things better seen through to a scientific conclusion will bow to religious judgement.

This French video discusses Sugimoto’s approach to time and abstraction. In this series he is at his most minimalist: ‘horizontality’, verticality and diagonals of Angst. With splashes of light.

Joe and Conceptual Forms

Like a work of architecture, this sculpture has to be experienced by walking around and through it… Joe is different according to the time of the day, the season, and the viewer’s position. It is in the visitor’s memory that the sculpture “takes shape” in the most complete way…Using a photographic technique involving areas of extremely soft light and blurred darkness, he sculpted views that seem like aspects of visual memory: the arts of photography and sculpture overlap and memories of the two-and the three-dimensional mix.

See: https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/joe-1 and https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/new-page-24

Drive-in Theatre

Its eerie light and blank picture on nothingness.

https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/drivein-theatre

Lightning Fields

The idea of observing the effects of electrical discharges on photographic dry plates reflects my desire to re-create the major discoveries of these scientific pioneers in the darkroom and verify them with my own eyes. His process is discussed in detail in

See: https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/new-page-28

Further ideas I want to explore

Architecture

 I decided to trace the beginnings of our age via architecture. Pushing my old large-format camera’s focal length out to twice-infinity―with no stops on the bellows rail, the view through the lens was an utter blur―I discovered that superlative architecture survives, however dissolved, the onslaught of blurred photography. Thus I began erosion-testing architecture for durability, completely melting away many of the buildings in the process.

See: https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/new-page-5

Chamber of Horrors

People in olden times were apparently less fearful and grievous of death than we are today. To some it was even an honour to be chosen by the gods as a sacrificial victim, a liberation from the sufferings and strife of this life…Must we moderns be so sheltered from death?

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place 4: Audience: Shifting Edges 5.3: Edgescapes 5: Presentation: Zemni 2021 In Process

Daido Moriyama

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place 5: Presentation: Zemni 2021 Printmaking

Photolithography

Using drawings and tusche on mylar as the plate

Preparing photographs

All digital images or photographs need to be converted to greyscale and printed in black ink only onto transparent film using an inkjet or laser printer. If an image contains greys it is better to darken them as they are likely to overexpose and not show up in the print.

  • Image sizes:Image resolution: 300ppi.
  • Plate sizes: A3 37x45cms allow 6cms border so height 39cms and constrain proportions. A4: 38×25.3cms

Use CMYK? 8bit. Convert to bitmap. Output 700dpi. Method Halftone screen OK. Frequency 47 lines/inch, angle 30 degrees, Shape round.

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2.1: Bridge 2: Landscapes of Place In Process

Photoshop: duotone for printmaking

Preparing photographic positives

To prepare photographic positives for photoscreen and photolithography all digital images or photographs need to be converted to greyscale and printed in black ink only onto transparent film using an inkjet or laser printer. If an image contains greys it is better to darken them as they are likely to overexpose and not show up in the print.

  • Image sizes:Image resolution: 300ppi.
  • Plate sizes: A3 37x45cms allow 6cms border so height 39cms and constrain proportions. A4: 38×25.3cms

Use CMYK? 8bit. Convert to bitmap. Output 700dpi. Method Halftone screen OK. Frequency 47 lines/inch, angle 30 degrees, Shape round.