Over the Christmas break, I started to really think about what I really wanted to achieve out of my Final Major Project 1) What am I interested in? 2) What’s personal to me that I can make Universal for everyone? 3) What is practical for me to do and still manage pacing myself in order to keep well and as free as possible of the M.E/CFS.
Here I am in France, a week prepared to work in peace on planning for my FMP, and I find myself staring at a blank sheet of paper. For someone with loads of ideas, mostly that I cannot contain, suddenly nothing is coming. I guess I am torn a little between consolidating the work of the first four Modules with the science, the underlying theory and research progress of the condition and escaping into something completely new!
( On an aside, I was wondering on the renewed stimulation of artistic ideas that this course and the photography seems to have created. I am left wondering if this was anything to do with the complete physical and neurological shut down I experienced in the early days of M.E. Am I becoming more right-hand brain efficient, or was I always more right-hand brain efficient but scientific work defined me and its way of structured left-hand brain organisation. If this is the case, I am grateful, it seems it is like experiencing two lives in one.)
To continue…..Post MA, I have a Mapping project lined up to do. Hopefully to revisit re-map the Sub-Alp region of the Gorge de Verdon area of Southern France, that I mapped for my first degree. My love of geology and being free to roam those mountains again would be a dream come true. My M.E will limit how much I can achieve but I am scouting the area end of January on my way home from our Xmas vacation in France. Health dependent since I seem to have severely pulled a back muscle which is preventing me right at the moment from doing much at all. One of the downsides of having a low immune system and never knowing quite what is around the next corner.
So after some struggling and deliberating, I have decided to combine the two, a) visit the science of M.E/CFS, this will satisfy the finisher-completer in me and its an area of photography I am keen to explore. Photographing images with other scientific technology will all be new to me and likely I will appropriate these or combine images from research already formed with my own. b) Use my knowledge of geological landscape, the continuation of ‘absent landscape’ work completed in a previous module as a way of metaphorically showing the personal blocks we not only come up against in M.E/CFS but also in everyone’s life as they face maybe an illness such as depression, or a change in their life that maybe catches or takes their breath away for just an instant or maybe for months or years as they come to terms with their personal events. To link this to mapping as a theme for this project and in mind for others.
So where to start….
(Slight hiccup, my main lens decided it needed a spare part and instead of a few days to get it to me in France, it took 3 weeks and valuable time missed. However, I discovered, I could shoot film for my OP and short film with a macro and interestingly got me to think about the long view and short view of image making and the portrait lens proved useful too.)
I sketched out a basic plan, in the mind-maps above and will start to…
- Plan out my next 6-7 months of work.
- Write up a few preliminary blogs pre start of the course as a way of setting the scene going forwards.
- As planned make contact with ME Research centres for access to imagery and text that will not only sustain me throughout my FMP but maybe define my work post MA.
- Experiment with the creation of images that have a scientific feel. Work within landscape ready to add in scientific images at a later date.
- Complete my one to one with Aline Smithson, Los Angeles Photographer and Editor of LensScratch, which, apparently sounds like (A-l-e-e-n), highlighted on her home page of her website, and this I know, will probably be all I can focus on during our session. Well hopefully NOT mis-pronouncing her name and making a fool of myself!
- Develop my reading and particularly around the following; philosophies around the science and art in photography, the art of photography in science, contemporary art and its place in the International Market, the Science of M.E/CFS (well catching up really on the latest research where the funding is being applied).
- A look at how photographers define themselves, make their work unique in this field,
- Writing up on contemporary art. (Within this course, it seems there is no attention to writing and this is a shame, left to our own devices until the last moment and the looming FMP, I know I need to become part master in this.)
- Review various biographies for contemporary photographers and start to compile a list of those that will be most useful visually and for similar topics to mine.
- Research similar contemporary photographers work, collaborations with an art and scientific aspect or collaboration.
- General technical updates to software and websites need reviewing.
- Make a preliminary decision on publications but I think the contact with the research centres will define this as I go along.
- Confirming the name ‘Mapping 1’ as the title of my work.