Pitch for ‘New Worlds’

  • The Theme
  • Why it is worthy / justify it’s need in the world / ethical considerations
  • Intention. The effect you wish to have on audience?
  • Key Research (theory / practitioners)
  • The potential audience / end user context
  • Potential Forms e.g. garment, accessory, photos, illustrations. How specific do you want to be?
  • Methods / practical methods skills / problems to solve etc.
  • Why
    The premise for my final major project idea is to explore my love of Geography through the medium of photography. I am very much interested in human Geography and how human life relates to the environment and resources. My intention is to have my audience imagine a Utopian or Apocalyptic world based on human kinds responsibility to the planet.
  • Politics
    On climate change, Trump famously claimed that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. He pledged to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement and to stop Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Trump opposed the wind farms that can be seen from his golf courses and during his campaign, he promised to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whose responsibility is to regulate CO2 emissions. Overall, on the environment, he said: “We’ll be fine, we can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.” This is an example of how the environment is not taken seriously in politics, which is why I wanted my final project to address how humans have a huge responsibility to protect it.
  • People seem to be more interested when the environment is presented in a film for entertainment (e.g.  romanticise fighting an alien race to protect our resources), rather than actually look after the planet.
  • Ethical considerations – choice of model (needs to be diverse as I am representing life on different planets).

Photography Inspiration 

  • Joan Fontcuberta
    For the project ‘Landscapes without Memory’ artist Fontcuberta used software developed by the US Air Force. It translates two-dimensional cartographic data into a three-dimensional image. Instead of feeding maps into the software, Fontcuberta inserts painted landscapes: from Gauguin to Van Gogh, from Cezanne to Turner and Constable. The software translates them into new, virtual landscapes that Fontcuberta calls ‘post-landscapes’. They form a no-man’s land between the virtual and the real, between truth and illusion.
  • Cedric Delsaux – ‘The Real and the Imaginary’
    Delsaux documents behind the scenes on film sets, such as the Star Wars films., his work is a fantasy narrative and encourages the audience to use their imagination to picture another world by using models that are supposed to be from another world, crossing the border between fiction and reality.
  • Tim Walker
    Tim Walker’s shoots are inspired by fairy-tales and English tradition where he uses British stories such as ‘Alice in Wonderland’ written by Lewis Carroll and uses a big production team and set to create the narrative.

Film Inspiration

I have looked into film as I believe it will provide me with good ideas or inspiration for my own shoots because I will be looking closely into the detail of costume and location.

Desert – ‘Mad Max’

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, from left, Abbey Lee as The Dag, Courtney Eaton as Cheedo the Fragile, Zoe Kravitz as Toast the Knowing, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa and Riley Keough as Capable, in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure film, “Mad Max:Fury Road," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Utopian Jungle – ‘Avatar’

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Wasteland – ‘Wall-E’

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City – ‘The Fifth Element’

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Feed back from the class and lectures 22/2/17:

After I presented my pitch for ‘New Worlds’ to the class I received feedback that people did not understand the title because the settings I want to photograph are not ‘new’ places or areas, so the title was confusing to the audience. New project title ideas where suggested instead: Eden, Post Arcadia, Fabrication, Optimistic Ideas. The feedback from the class was really beneficial and I could see why ‘New Worlds’ was not working as a title, instead I decided on ‘Utopia to Dystopia’.

Paintings such as ‘The Garden of Earthly Delight’ were suggested to me. This gave me ideas on the layout of my images when I take them and to consider presenting 3 images as a tripdych or a panoramic image, thinking about colour schemes in my final project.

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Henri Rousseau was also suggested to me, this Adam and Eve themed paintings have given me inspiration for my utopian setting and how I could experiment with taking nude images of my model instead of styling a costume for this image.

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  • Theorist, Jean Baudrillard and his work on ‘Hyperreality’ was suggested to me for theory behind my work

Baudrillard defined hyperreality as “the generation by models of a real without origin or reality”. Baudrillard believes hyperreality goes further than confusing or blending the ‘real’ with the symbol which represents it; it involves creating a symbol or set of signifiers which represent something that does not actually exist, suggesting that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more.

  • Simulacra – when a sign looses its reality, it then begins to simulate a simulation.
  • Simulation – the process in which a representation of something comes to replace the thing which is actually being represented.
  • Hyperreality – division between the real and simulation has collapsed, therefore an illusion of an object is no longer possible because the real object is no longer there.

In semiotics and postmodernism, hyperreality is an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced postmodern societies. Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.

I found Baudrillard’s work on Hyperreality inspiring as I myself want to create a copy world blending the ‘real’ with the symbol which represents it, which is a potential hyper-real world (a utopian world or dystopian world). 

  • David Lachapelle was suggested to me because of his use of narrative photography, which is what I am trying to achieve in my final project, therefore he was an excellent example as a visually similar artists.
  • The class suggested to me that more context and reason needed to be referenced in my work, writing more in depth why the worlds future could be utopian or dystopian. Steven Hawking was mentioned and how referencing his philosophy or ideas on the future would give my work more context.
    – Since this was suggested to me I have started to research some of the key thinkers and philosophers of the ideology Ecologism.
  • I was told I needed to experiment with a Green Screen – montage, collage – digital and handmade.

The class in summary got the following message from my work:

  • Real issues happening in the world that we should be concerned about.
  • Narratives inspired by Geographic events.

Foundation Studies, Final Project Proposal Template

Utopia to Dystopia

Review progress and achievement

Studying Foundation Photography for a year has given me a year to learn many more photographers I had never heard of, widening my knowledge in photography to artists such as: Nobuyoshi Araki, Hellen Van Meene and Alec Soth. The Foundation year also helped me achieve making my own documentary project on my Nan who suffers with Dementia. I was encouraged by my lecturers to look Philip Toledano’s work about his father’s memory loss, which was all too close to home as I could see too many similarities with my own Nan.

I will be starting my Geography Degree in Brighton this September; I am hoping to enter a career in environmental documentary film making or photography. The films that have inspired me would definitely be ‘Black Fish’ and ‘Cowspiracy’, as they challenged my understanding of subjects like animal conservation as well as the consequences of mass unnatural production within the Meat industry.

Project Concept

The premise for my final major project idea is to explore my love of Geography through the medium of photography. I am very much interested in human Geography and how human life relates to the environment and resources. My intention is to have my audience imagine a utopian or apocalyptic world based on human kinds responsibility to the planet. I will be researching into the work of philosophers such as Steven Hawking and their predictions on what the world will look like in the future, this will give me inspiration for where to shoot my locations. I am seeking to improve my skills in fashion styling as I have let my models in previous projects wear whatever they want. I believe this makes my projects seem quite lazy if I do not fully think about the visuals such as costume and set design in my photographs. I have researched into the following films to take inspiration from the characters outfits in the films: Wall-E, Mad Max, Planet of the Apes, Avatar and The Fifth Element. I have also considered the work of photographer Joan Fontcuberta – ‘Landscapes without Memory’ where he used software developed by the US Air Force and translated two-dimensional data into a three-dimensional images, Fontcuberta inserts painted landscapes from Gauguin to Van Gogh, changing them into new, virtual landscapes that form a no-man’s land between the virtual and the real, between truth and illusion, this work has inspired me to experiment with green screens for this project.

Evaluation

In my final major project I would like to reflect on how people seem to be more interested when the environment is presented in a film for entertainment where we romanticise fighting an alien race to protect resources, rather than actually look after the planet in real life. This project will be focused upon climate change and how those in power such as Trump claim “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. This is an example of how the environment is not taken seriously in politics, which is why I wanted my final project to address how humans have a huge responsibility to protect it.

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Bibliography

Costumes, M.M. (2001) Five wives. Available at: http://madmaxcostumes.com/five-wives/ (Accessed: 1 March 2017).

Delsaux, C. (no date) Work – Dark Lens. Available at: http://www.cedricdelsaux.com/en/photos/dark-lens.html (Accessed: 1 March 2017).

Dobai, S., Baetens, J., Green, D. and Lowry, J. (2009) Theatres of the Real. Brighton: Photoworks.

Galassi, P., Liotta, C. and Dicorcia, P.-L. (1996) Philip-Lorca Dicorcia (contemporaries: A photography series). 5th edn. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.

Harrington, R. and Insider (2016) President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t believe in climate change. Here’s his platform on the environment. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-climate-change-global-warming-environment-policies-plans-platforms-2016-10?r=US&IR=T (Accessed: 1 March 2017).

Heywood, A. (2012) Political ideologies: An introduction. 5th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.(Ecologism)

Hugo, P. (2011) Permanent Error. Munich: PRESTEL ART BOOKS.

Robinson, A. (2012) Jean Baudrillard: Hyperreality and Implosion. Available at: https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/in-theory-baudrillard-9/ (Accessed: 1 March 2017).

Sherman, C. and Danto, A.C. (1990) Untitled film stills. London: Jonathan Cape.

Sontag, S. (2001) On photography. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Woerner, M. (2013) Fifth element concept art reveals prince’s original look as Ruby Rhod. Available at: http://io9.gizmodo.com/fifth-element-concept-art-reveals-princes-original-loo-1458143168 (Accessed: 1 March 2017).

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