List of blog posts for Unit 2


Seesaw photography magazine: more American photographers of the subjective documentary genre.

Photographers of post-Katrina New Orleans: comparison of their technical choices and their treatment of their subject.

Robert Polidori on his work: about the treatment of his subject, how his philosophical viewpoint influences it, and the question of aestheticizing tragic events.

‘Last address’ by Ira Sachs: an example of architecturally-themed video-art where the underlying subject is not architecture but human and social (AIDS). How art can deal with human issues while showing buildings rather than people.


My documentary photographs used in a blog about outsider art environments.


Video tutorial compiling tips from 4 reference books about meaningful cinematography and editing tecniques for low-budget short films and video. Focuses on the concepts of treatment (that is, the subjective/philosophical/moral/ political viewpoint adopted by the filmmamker) of a subject (the raw events of the plot, regardless of the subjective googles chosen by the filmmakers) and establising film mood, and the technical choices that contribute to this. 10 000 words pdf that counts as several blog posts for the purpose of Unit 2 assessment. I chose to write a standalone document rather than blog posts because I thought a printable standalone document was more useful and practical to myself and people interested in learning the techniques. I also wanted to train myself to write a structured course-type document in case I go into teaching after graduating.

Pecha-kucha presentation for group tutorial (Symposium).

Symposium: comments on my pecha-kucha presentation (very limited because I could not take part in the audio-conference).

‘Ghost House’ video: new and improved edit incorporating new footage as well as better technical knowledge learnt while writing the tutorial.

‘Disciplinary Institutions’ video: new and improved edit incorporating new footage as well as better technical knowledge learnt while writing the tutorial.


Degree show planning: starting to think about what to present and how to show it.

Contextualising my practice within digital moving image: reading report about artists who use digital technologies (such as sensors and randomness-generating algorithm) together with moving image and share my themes of predilection, and reflexion of how I could go about using more cutting-edge digital techniques in future work while still focusing on my non-technology-related themes.

Contextualising my practice within experimental film and traditional video-art: reading report about artists who share my themes of predilection. Identification of a longstanding tradition of the ‘psychodrama’ genre from the 1940s till now, and of further relevant reading (P. Adams Sitney, ‘Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde’, bought but not read yet). This gave me more relevant references within gallery-based video-art and underground/experimental film, whereas many of my early references were within recognised art cinema.

Photography tutorial (shooting tips, general principle of exposure, specialised tips for architectural photography) compiled from two reference books. Contains tips I learnt slowly over the past year but had never formally written down, and I wanted to share them (and stop having to hunt through post-it bookmarks in books whenever I needed a refresher before shooting something new 🙂 )Like the previous video tutorial, this is a 1550 words pdf formally structured as a course and counts as several blog posts for the purpose of assessment.

Round up of other MA Digital Art/Media degree shows: discussion of the type of student work, and critics’ opinions about the way it is presented to try and find useful tips for our own show.

Professional development: applying to Phds (UAL, Brighton, Le Fresnoy): summary of how I went about applying to further studies, which I spent a lot of time doing in May and June. Reflexion on what went well or not, and how the process of writing 3 proposals made me reflect on my practice and how to develop it in the future, even outside of a Phd context.

Sum-up of theoretical research about cognitive film theory.


‘Disciplinary Institutions’ video shown at a commercial gallery in London.

Made a website to showcase my work in a more organised, succint and professional manner.

Woodlawn House short video: video of an empty mansion with ornamented decor, with an mood inspired by ‘Last year in Marienbad’. This is a work in progress because I do not have enough footage yet, and need to find similar places to make a longer composite video.

Technical Tutorial: Digital Photograph Post-Processing Workflow (in Photoshop). 2500 word structured course-type document in pdf format, counts as several blog posts for the purpose of assessment.

Post-processing and enhancement of photographs (practical examples using the previous tutorial)

Experiment with HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing, even though I decided in the end to use a different, more creatively appropriate processing.

Section of documentary and architectural photography and video added to website, in order to showcase a possible commercial development for my practice.

Research to continue my abandoned buildings photography and video practice

‘Ghost House’ screened at Optica festival (Madrid, 16-18 September).

Photographs of my space at the MA Digital Art 2011 show.

Written paper evaluating your practice and future development (1000 words)

List of blog posts for Unit 1

September 2009
My background and practice in other media pre-MA
Project proposal as presented when applying to the MA
The genesis of the Ghost House project
Map of location visited in Ireland Summer 2009

Trying to isolate key points of what I do for project proposal. Methodology issues: trying to make sense of working intuitively. Trying to make sense of what attracts me in other’s work.

October 2009
Psychogeography, concept and early practitionners.
Project proposal draft 1. ‘Metaphysics of places’ and simulated madness in Surrealist practice.
Report of a ‘Psychogeography’ related art performance.
Photography practice experiment at my grandmother’s house.
Photography practice experiment: Dérive in Marcel Duchamp’s birthplace village.

November 2009
Project Proposal draft 2.
Project Proposal Final version. Explicit reference to Surrealism has faded a bit. The core of the research now concerns the relationship between the artist and the audience via the artwork as a communication medium.
How to use sound design in a moving image work to create specific feelings in the audience. This post will later inspire the research paper.
How to use camera placement and editing in a moving image work to create doubt and confusion in the audience. This post will later inspire the research paper.

January 2010
Photographs selected for an online show by The Photographer’s Gallery.
Short presentation of the work of photographer Jerry Uelsmann.
Parallel theory: explanation of the concept of “Disciplinary Institutions” developed by Michel Foucault in “Discipline and Punish”. My practice: how this concept influenced my new photography and video project: “Disciplinary Institutions” started in summer 2009 for the MA.
Presentation of the work of Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjörk, and how I feel his way of looking at his subjects reflects my own concerns.

February 2010
Cultural Blogging in Europe survey conducted by the European Cultural Foundation.
Presentation of work of photographer Paul Seawright.
Presentation of work of photographer Mark Ellis. How the look of the photographs creates an uneasy ambiguity between documentary or fiction, and how I aim to achieve a similar effect in my own photographs.
Presentation of Donovan Wylie’s photographic series “Maze”. Reflection on the difficulty of creating artworks on a politically sensitive subject, because every little detail such as the choice of a word can spark unplanned controversy.
Presentation of the photographic work of the New topographics and Wim Wenders. Conclusion drawn from this post and the previous ones presenting other photographers: “I think what catches my eye in a documentary photograph is a cinematic look with dramatic lighting and colours that creates an ambiguous contrast with the unstaged nature of the scene.”
A photograph selected for the Women Art Show in Basinstoke.
Jaques Derrida comments on the ghostly nature of photography and fim.

March 2010
Photographs and video art in a joint exhibition in Norwich.
First edit of the Disciplinary Institutions and Ghost House videos, shot in summer 2009.
Photos from my joint exhibition at Norwich Arts Centre, showing how the work was laid out and displayed.
Screening of a pre-MA work of video art at a festival in Southend on Sea.

April 2010
Mid Point Review Presentation. Where I explicitly express my concern in communicating with the audience on an intuitive level, not just an intellectual art criticism level, and try to devise an experiment to find out how the audience reacts to this aim.
Report of ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’ exhibition at the V&A museum.
Comments from classmates on my Mid Point Review presentation.
Presentation of work of video artists Jane and Louise Wilson.

July 2010
First draft of the research paper abstract, focusing on the ambiguous nature of lens-based images, and to use use them to interact with the viewer on an intuitive/subconscious level.

September 2010
Reading notes from the Canterbury University Symposium “Video art: between documentary and fiction”, that discussed lens-based images creating an awkward feeling of ambiguity regarding their documentary or staged nature, something I came to identify as a key concern in my practice.
Theoretical research on photography and cinema within Surrealist practice.
Surrealist art theory, studied through historical surrealist texts.
Walter Benjamin on Surrealism and Photography (historical critical theory).
Review of contemporary critical articles on Surrealism.
The Concept of Chronotope and its relevance to cinema (Critical theory).
Review of various critical articles discussing documentary, fiction and the problem of truth, which I identified as a key concern in my practice.

October 2010
Reading notes of Freud’s ‘The Uncanny’ and ‘The unconscious’ (parallel theory). I am interested in psychoanalysis both because of its influence on Surrealism, and because of my interest in affecting my audience on an unconscious/intuitive level.
Review of lots of critical essays on David Lynch’s movies. David Lynch is one my key influences, I love the look and ambiguous atmosphere of his films, and share his concern with producing work that does not come with a ready-made explanation, that requires the audience to come up with their own explanation.
Presentation of the psychoanalytical theories of Carl Jung (parallel theory). Particularly his concept of the Shadow because it came up in critical articles about David Lynch.
Presentation of the psychoanalytical theories of Jacques Lacan (parallel theory). These theories are rather obscure and clear sources are hard to find, therefore this piece is research probably contains many inaccuracies.
Reading notes on Deleuze’s Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 (Critical theory).
Reading notes from the book ‘Madness and cinema’ by Patrick Fuery, with discussion of some arguments.
Reading notes from the book ‘Place’ by Jeremy Millar and Tacita Dean, which surveys different interpretation of the theme “Place” in contemporary art. I found a few relevant critical quotes and artists whose practice is similar to mine. Further iconographic research on these artists.
Reading notes from the book ‘Video Art’ by Sylvia Martin, and further iconographic research on artists relevant to my practice.
Various reading notes on critical theory loosely linked to David Lynch. Focussing on the genre of Film Noir and introducing the concept of the modern condition as a labyrinth via Sartre.

December 2010
Various quotations relevant to my concerns on place, cinema and art.
Long post containing full reading notes from all books read for the research paper concerning the concept of ‘mental space’ in general.
Long post containing full reading notes from all books read for the research paper concerning the concept of ‘mental space’ as present in David Lynch’s “Lost Highway”.
Long post containing full reading notes from all books read for the research paper concerning the concept of ‘mental space’ as present in Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”.
Long post containing full reading notes from all books read for the research paper concerning the concept of ‘mental space’ as present in Alain Resnais’ “Last year in Marienbad”.
Link to submitted version of research paper. Removed sections presented for information, along to discussion as to why they were edited out. General criticism of my paper, what I feel I could have done better and why I did not actually manage to do so.

January 2011
Statistics of visitors to my blog, and discussion of what people seem to find useful on it and why.

The following posts were written ‘late’, that is they present research and practical work that I had done all through Unit 1 but had never blogged about.
Reading notes from Nicolas Bourriaud’s “Relational Aesthetics” and discussion.
Reading notes from Roland Barthes’ “Camera Lucida” and discussion.
Review of Exhibition ‘Surreal Friends’ featuring Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna.
Review of Exhibition ‘Myth, Manners and Memory: Photographers of the American South’.
Ghost House video shown at a video art festival in Australia.
Photography experiment inspired by Lars Tunbjörk.
A photograph selected for the RWA Open photography exhibition 2011.
Review of an article about Ghost towns in the USA (Detroit and New Orleans), their link to ‘disaster capitalism’ and their status of contemporary icons.
John Ruskin’s concept of illth.
Comparing the concepts of ‘flâneur’ (decadent and surrealist) and ‘dérive’ (situationist).
Robert Polidori, his visual style and philosophy, and why I feel my own photography work shares similar concerns.
Sarah Turner’s film ‘Perestroika’, dealing with memory, truth/fiction and psychogeography.
Preview pictures from the Catacombes of Paris, where I shot photographs and videos in December 2010.
Documentary pictures of a Raw Art House in Gravelines, 59, France.
Photographs taken at St John’s College Library, Cambridge. Architectural Photography experiment.
Preview of places visited in Ireland during Summer 2010, where I shot further photographs and video footage for the ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Disciplinary Institutions’ projects.
Street photography in Detroit, Michigan.
Photographs from the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor Raw Art environment in a Detroit neighborhood.

My Blog yearly statistics (provided by WordPress)

WordPress provides a yearly summary of its hosted blogs’ activity. I was particularly interested to learn what searches led people to my blog: because it is not a reference site, it must not rank very highly on google; therefore, if it ranks high enough in a particular search’s results for people to go to it, it implies that quality information on this particular topic is lacking, and that I am providing a useful public service of some sort.

Indeed, the searches that led people there concerned particular photographers for which I had skimmed google images from top to bottom, and compiled all good images in one place. Especially my two favourite surrealist (or having influenced the surrealists…) photographers, Brassaï and Eugène Atget, about whom there is not so much information in English.

The most popular post is my ‘Lacan for dummies’ 😉 post where I try to make sense of the three orders. This is probably because there is just nowhere online explaining simply and clearly Lacan’s theory of the three orders, and I tried to present the various versions I found in order to provide a somewhat balanced (if probably not accurate) introduction to it. Complete beginners like me must have found it useful. Indeed I received a thank you comment from a total stranger saying this post was really helpful (though I warned them I was not a specialist so they should not take my word for truth!)

All in all, I am happy to know random people found information they judged valuable and helpful on this blog.


The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 57 posts. There were 13 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 30mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 8th with 66 views. The most popular post that day was Jacques Lacan – The Symbolic – The Imaginary – The Real.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,, WordPress Dashboard, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for new topographics, jerry uelsmann, jerry uelsmann photography, atget, and brassai.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Jacques Lacan – The Symbolic – The Imaginary – The Real October 2010


Donovan Wylie: Maze Prison (Long Kesh/ H-Blocks) February 2010
1 comment


Photographing suburban America: New Topographics / Wim Wenders February 2010


Jerry Uelsmann January 2010


Surrealism, Photography, Cinema September 2010