Notes: A3 & A4 Blurring of Self and Other

  • A key concern in today’s social climate is difference as people focus on religion, skin colour, language, place of birth – as resources seem under threat due to climate change, resulting wars, economic struggles etc.
  • Similar concerns for economic reasons were seen in the run up to the second world war and with particular reference to the Holocaust (see end of Family Frames)
  • Therefore, any work that potentially deals with similarity, commonality between individuals and groups is political, even if it doesn’t immediately seem so
  • Research – perhaps post-war work (Giacometti, think of others that specifically deal with humanity) and work today that is attempting to explore difference, identity
  • What are potential objections to such a project (and they do indeed come from both left and right ideologies)?
  • Perhaps look at colonialism (heavily explored in course document in parts 1 and 2)
  • First person action research – living life as an inquiry? How to incorporate this? How to make this clear? How this affects what I’m looking at and how? Why this approach?
  • Ever since Darwin told the world about evolution (and even before that when we learned the earth was not the centre of the universe) white western man has been faced with coming to terms that the triangle of being is/was an unreliable and constructed dichotomy. Modern scientific theories go much further and reality is looked afresh, resulting in fundamental questions about what a self is, and therefore how other relate. Semiotics – essentially the study of linguistic categorisation might show us this flux
  • What artists are looking at this? And how?

Research: Useful links


Thinking forward to A4:

Write a critical essay in response to ONE of the following questions:

  • What is your understanding of self and what bearing does your personal use of photography have upon it?
  • How does the visual work of Rosy Martin, informed by psychotherapeutic theory, link personal memory to the construction of self?
  • Discuss the blurring of self and other within the work of a photographer of your choosing
  • What are the dangers in representing people other than your-self?
  • Using case studies, discuss whether single images can ever fairly represent others or self?
  • Your essay must be situated within a theoretical framework. It is suggested that you draw from the essays, theories and books outlined within this course.

I am likely to write about something to do with the word ‘feminism’, and collecting information which might be useful here. This will tie in with the work I plan for A3, which in some ways leads on from A2 and much of the work I have done prior to starting S&O. I am interested in the phrase the ‘digital feminist’. I suspect I can link this to the single image question above quite neatly. As well as some of the essays we are asked to look at in the course it will be useful to research elsewhere. Below are a couple of useful bits and pieces I have come across online recently. I will also interview a young  girl I have photographed, who models and received several A*, has a place at university which she has deferred and who thinks of herself as a feminist.

Thread about capital and sex:


A possible influence image wise –

Myths surrounding matriarchial goddess prehistory  –

See reports of ape’s finding symbols useful to distance themselves from low impulse control but be wary of lack of rigorous research methods as  – below for accurate reporting of various research programmes.