Edgar Martins – Latest

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 17.47.53Figure 1

Keeping an eye out for the activities of Edgar Martins has become a regular delight as I  appreciate his work and regard him as an influence on my practice.

His Instagram account has recently announced two manifestations of his work. The ‘Poetic Impossibility to manage the Infinite’ is an exhibition in Leicester that I hope to visit.  It reflects Martins’ long-term work with the European Space Agency and his insightful images that capture the wonder and complexity of space flight and exploration, figs 1 and 2.

Quoted in Vice, 2014, Martins describes this current fascination “We are slowly getting a new picture of the universe that is pushing the limits of our understanding of current cosmological theories, making the confluence of the infinitely large and the infinitely small an ever more viable proposition.  I have no doubt that we are entering a new golden era of space exploration. But perhaps the most interesting realisation for me, throughout this process, was coming to terms with two simple ideas. The void and vacuum of space has become the busiest concept known to mankind. And, for all the advancements in technology and robotics, space exploration is still inherently dependent on the individual.”

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 17.46.10Figure 2

Secondly, with Martin’s relationship with Grain, the Midlands photographic network, images are beginning to emerge from his collaboration, facilitated via Grain, at a sensitive period related to the HM Prison, Birmingham. Little is revealed from this entry, fig 3, but this appears to be a fascinating body of work which I look forward to exploring.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 17.44.59Figure 3

 

Notes

Figure 1 screenshot, accessed 27.5.2018 https://www.visitleicester.info/whats-on/the-poetic-impossibility-to-manage-the-infinite-p739301

Figures 2 and 3 from https://www.instagram.com/edgarmartinsphotography/ accessed 27.5.2018

Quote from Vice, 2014, accessed 27.5.2018 https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/mv59bx/edgar-martins-explores-the-limits-of-the-european-space-agency

 

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Media Release

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

fb_invite_dustFigure 1

Working with a local PR firm, Edwin Ellis, for two months, I covered a shoot to raise the forthcoming exhibition and begin to build the personal story.  We had agreed on the final wording of the subsequent release and a sample of images from my website protfolio to diifer from the exhbition in part.

The release, I felt, read well and was a rounded view of the project and my background, fig 2.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.44.26Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.45.00screen-shot-2018-05-27-at-13-44-46.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-27 at 13.45.00Figure 2

I was able to retweet the use of the release thus, figs 2, 3;

Figures 3, 4

Brumpic used the released onto Twitter ahead of What’s On and that may explain the greater degree of retweeting and likes on those platforms.

I used the Brumpic coverage as a link alongside the invitation in circa 60 emails sent out on 24th May (the day before the new GDPR rules applied), thus;

Hi

Here is your invitation to my final MA show, plus a web link…

https://www.brumpic.com/homeblog/2018/5/23/birmingham-photographer-captures-changing-city-through-intimate-imagery

then fig 1 was inserted.

I have monitored the Twitter results thus;

Figures 5, 6

LinkedIn, numerically, provided the widest penetration, with 1,150 views of the invitation and 202 of the subsequent media coverage.  A sample of the analytics shows the type of people viewing the post, with 77 in very senior roles, fig 7.

IMG_92CF3F97F115-1

Figure 7

IMG_64EFD062E491-1

Figure 8

Instagram yielded 27 ‘likes’, fig 8.  Perhaps more usefully, the week created 36 profile visit, 1 click to my website from there and 1 email message, fig 9.

IMG_A3DC290F550C-1

Figure 9

I made a rare return to Facebook and my company page to promote the exhibition and, figs 10, 11 – I obtained a reach of 143 people with the invitation and 48 via the media coverage link.

Figures 10, 11

Finally, I have had 50 digital printed square cards to give out to people I meet face to face preceding the exhibition, fig 12.

IMG_3465Figure 12

 

In Summary

I see the media work as the key to the promotion and communication of the exhibition via all channels I am active upon.  I was compelled by the gallery’s more muted response, so ploughed on solo.  The results are acceptable, but not exceptional and this area remains a focus for future development.

Notes

Al data was reviewed on 27.5.2018

 

Solo? This isn’t a One Person Endeavour

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

Image making is very often sourced from the solo mind; the imagination, plans and ideas emerge from the sweep of the horizon of creativity or, conversely, the channelling of a deep, specific seam of excitement.  The masters course has led me through both of these approaches.  The final installation is complex in its conception and delivery.  I am conscious that the process of refining and defining will lead to what may appear to be a ‘clean and simple’ method if display as I have, through considered means and listening to advice, created a plan which will nevertheless, hopefully, be a journey through information, stimulation and the diversity of media.

To achieve this pre-show milestone I am caused to review, to write up who and what has supported this endeavour so that I can declare that and convey my appreciation. This is the ‘work in progress’ thank you sheet.  The masters is, of appropriate necessity, a solo undertaking, yet to deliver a show that entails, space, money, technical equipment, collateral, printers, concrete makers and above all people who have allowed me access to their buildings is a network of really quite amazing people.  Here is that review;

 

Birmingham Dust

Supporters

There are a wide range of people who have supported my image making endeavours over the last two years.

A number deserve special mention here

Jennie Anderson of course for hosting the installation and talking to me over the last year and a half about other artists she has shown and the positioning of Argentea.  Bringing contemporary photography to Birmingham is a seal of belief in the city.

John Heath of Pimlico Capital for the financial support brought to the project by investing in my limited edition prints in the Hong Kong office as well as forward purchase of some work related to this exhibition.  It is really hard for art to happen and be seen without this kind of support.

The many agents, architects, planning consultants, developers and building owners who put up with my cajoling for access to such a diverse range of spaces.  There is more to come.

Stephen Morgan for his editing advice and software tuition.

Leon Trimble for taking me from zero to somewhere in terms of learning about image projection.

Jaanika Okk for representing a selection of my imagery.

Rebecca Foster for her fine and patient design work on the zine that captures the exhibition and the wider Pause Project.

Mike Cooper for the decal transfer work which simply couldn’t be done with only one pair of hands.

Adam Carthy of Space Play for his patient collaboration on specification and then making not only the moulds but the concrete tablets.

Steve Palm of Palm Labs in Digbeth for his printing and Harris Moore for framing.

Stacey Barnfield for his PR work.

Bob Ghosh of K4 Architects for the residency opportunity

The numerous tutors at Falmouth University and its Institute of Photography who have pressed and prodded the learning that has taken both my mind and my eye to new and unexpected levels.

Millie Wilby and Mike Mounfield for being super friends and keeping me well fed.  You are my ‘moral’ supporters.

Finally, Pete James, the man who, in his absolutely able way, quietly supported and wrote about my work and infused a whole raft of advice on our many strolls through Warley Woods.  Those walks are no longer the same.  The man is missed.

Ideas come from Ideas

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 07.44.52Figure 1

I work two days a week at an organisation in the centre of Birmingham, here I had a discussion about the future and the plans for the Commonwealth Games, 2022.  In a little under 4 years and much of the world’s eyes will be on the city I have been part of for a long time.  As I am considering as an integral element of my practice light, projection, surfaces and architecture I came up with an idea that has sprung from my projection experiments.  A whole street projection.  The idea being that projectors are mounted within the first floor of buildings along a street and images are projected onto the opposing facades.  This would be installed on both sides of the street.  The images could be historic, abstract, or something else.  I this created a sketch, fig 1, to demonstrate the two streets that I currently judge to be potential candidates as they are historic and thus spatially complete and both lead to the principal square in the city which is likely to be a focal point for the duration of the Games.

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 07.58.51Figure 2

I held a conversation with a firm in Scrofland called Double Take Projections, (fig 2 shows a still from a demo video) which is intereted in talking about developing up the first stage technical approach and budget.  I was pelased to hear that their primary software tool is Madmapper, as this to the tool I am using.  The intention is to develop this further from a curatorial angle.

Notes

Double Take Projections http://doubletakeprojections.com/

 

Gallery Discussion – a Diary

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 11.09.02Figure 1

On 24th May I had my final pre-show meeting with the gallery.  It was not the most relaxed meeting I have ever had (a sort of sober reminder that one is ‘just’ a student…), but it enabled me to guide my work over the next two weeks.

The following is a brief synopsis of issues covered.

Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 11.09.15Screen Shot 2018-05-26 at 11.09.26Figures 2, 3

Plan – SketchUp and numerically referenced hanging schedule

I shared the latest version to discuss the hanging locations and media figs 1-3.  The gallerist was concerned about hanging the clusters of tablets (fig 4) as each would require a pair of the hanging wires (the conclusion from previous meetings); she felt that this was too much and may be visually cluttered.  I am to experiment with Velcro type tasters on trial tablets back at home.  I took 4 sample tablets along to show progress with the images and fixings.  I photographed one sample against the white wall of the upper gallery and the dark grey of the lower gallery – see figs 5 and 6 – note the distinct colour rendering of the concrete face in the two contrasting contexts.  The dark grey walls are the lower gallery colour that this work will be hung within.

 

Figure 4
Figures 5, 6

Timing to install – dates/times

As the lower gallery space is currently not showing work I can access the space, to commence hanging from 9th June.

Projection

I explained that I had ordered a Minimad projector controller that would make the ‘fire-up’ simple each day the gallery opens.  I need to test this out once the kit has arrived.

IMG_3506 2Figure 7

The principal image 

I advised the gallerist that I was still keen to show three of the A2 images, framed with museum glass, however, I had ordered a circa A1 size ‘hero’ image for hanging as the focal point upon entry to the space fig 7.

img_3369.jpgFigure 8

Staircase detail

I had noted that the stair-head was vacant and had a hanging rail over when I attended the launch of the Gökhan Tanriöver launch fig 8.  I suggested one concrete piece as an indicator of the installation downstairs, but the gallery refused this option, there will thus be no visible presence on the street or main gallery level.

Launch night details

We agreed on the timing as 18.00-20.00 on the 14th June.

Ruth Millington as writer

I suggested that the writing I had requested could be used in the gallery’s information sheet and as it was a neutral piece, observing the work it was best separated from my work in terms of who pays.  However, the gallery turned that down (despite precedents).  I shall thus be paying the writer, so there is a question of ethics on this issue.  I will need and be happy to say that Ruth was paid by me.

Comments; book or cards?

I am keen to engage with the audience and solicit feedback.  We agreed that a small table could be used for comments cards (in preference to a book that makes visible all comments) – I will need to print comments cards for the show.

Wall mounted information

These will need to be adhered to the wall directly via Velcro or similar.  Will be printed at A3 or A2.

Any special evenings/sessions?

I am working on ideas for this.

Jaanika Okk – Okk Arts

It was agreed that my commercial agent could create a video in the gallery during the show.

Pricing the work;

This was a fairly detailed discussion.  As the gallery has not funded the work it has agreed that commission would be less than the normal 40%. The gallery is not VAT registered.

The framed prints would be £450 framed (with museum glass) and £275 as prints (kodak Endura) all limited to 3.  I need to agree on a price on the newly printed and mounted ‘hero’ image as this is backed by 5mm Foamex board.

The concrete was a more debated artifact.  They are handcrafted and thus have a uniqueness but also an ordinariness. We disused the costly mould commission process and sizes, etc.  We agreed that the range should be £80/£90/£100 per piece with a 10% discount for a cluster.  Editions to be limited to 5.

Information sheet

The gallery’s handout sheet – it was agreed that this could be on grey paper to distinguish it from the normal white version, to emulate the concrete.  I need to choose a key image.

IMG_3490IMG_3487IMG_3488

Figures 9, 10, 11

Projection test

I ran another test in the small projection area and there were distinct problems with the dark grey of the walls, shown in fig 9 where there is significant image loss.  Fig 10 shows that the projector had to be tilted substantially to avoid ceiling projection and fig 11 illustrates that the image quads need to be tuned to the wall dimensions/distances.  It was agreed that I should purchase white sheeting to be suspended in the space from the hanging rails to create a purer reflective surface.

Notes

All images by Philip Singelton using iPhone.

Outdoor projection

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

IMG_3342 2Figure 1

Fearing I may run out of time to experiment out of the gallery and write about it, I was compelling myself to simply begin to analyse what it was like working at a scale larger than the compact gallery space or indeed indoors at home – so on a dry evening I gathered the kit and installed outside, fig 2

BB5B48BB-9415-47D8-AF43-DD35DCF062A2Figure 2

I tilted the projector up into chestnut trees in an adjacent garden that are some 20m high and used a moving, psychedelic pattern from YouTube and I was pleased with the intensity of light at some distance and height.

IMG_3334Figure 3

Working closer up, figs 1 and 4 demonstrate the clarity of the light and the shadows created using a pure red colour projection.

IMG_3343 2Figure 4

Conclusion

My premise that you can alter the perception of surface, texture and reconfigure form using lit images, has carried out into a wider realm.  I fully appreciate that these experiments are simplistic and unrefined and others are creating much more ambitious and resolved work, however, I was not using Madmapper to develop the solution (neither was it applying the images from the Pause Project), at this stage and clearly much more can be done, but this is a small step forward.  Much more experimenation will happen beyond the MA.

Final Zine

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.10.24Figure 1

The final chapter in the zine account will be its impending arrival.  300 zines to be delivered by Evolution Print, Sheffield, fig 1.  Chosen because of their co-operation to all queries, their willingness to send through a white paper mock up and because they, to quote their Instagram page “We use lots of ink, paper, & big sharp scissors. And still buy books. Often. Shortlisted PDMA Hardback Books & Best Own Marketing Print for My Top Tens” 

Choosing a graphic designer that understands photography, book-making and can bring a working method to a discerning client is critical, I also value the relationship and working knowledge designers have of the printing industry, its attuned firms and the appropriate methods.  In this case, Evolution is litho printing the zine on two paper types, so my expectations are high.

The submitting of the final graphics package was a milestone in its own right.  It represented a close collaboration between Rebecca Foster of the eponymous design company and myself.  Hours of debate and carefully considered and increasingly fine revisions to layout, adjacencies, white line separators, and not, text disposition, front cover choices, spell-checking, map work, paper choices, staple choices and then the correct image sizing and type all melded into the pot labeled zine.

We settled on A5 format with fold-out gatefold as it is portable and will make an impact for the viewer upon opening.  It has a planned life of up to one year as a marketing collateral tool.

I discussed the collaborative nature of this work with my MA tutor, Wendy McMurdo, and we agreed that to create a zine of quality and provide a liaison with printers is relevant and appropriate; clearly all of the imagery and narrative is created by me and the disposition and related matters are framed by the graphic designer.

The deadline was achieved and provided the final risk element is knocked away, that is to say, a bad print run, then all will be well.

These are the screenshots of the final version;

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 11.36.17Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.05.51Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.06.09Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.06.21Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.06.41Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.06.55Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 12.07.09

 

Notes

Rebecca Foster Design http://www.rebeccafosterdesign.co.uk/

Fig 1 from website accessed 27.5.2018 http://www.evolutionprint.co.uk/