Social Media

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

 

Figure 1

Visits continue at the show, fig 1.

I was pleased to see two other pieces of media activity; Leon Trimble (AV artist) , who advised and taught me to use Madmapper, visited and commented on Twitter, fig 2 and his Great Expectations character citing was insightful.  He also noted his favourite concrete piece.

Grain, the regional photography hub for the Midlands also attended (notably ‘swiveling one of my images!) and the Gallery promoted the work too, fig 3

All of this is pleasing progress.

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Figure 3

Footnote

The serendipity of browsing Twitter sometimes unearths nice surprises; in this instance, from a person, I do not know, fig 4

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Figure 4
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Feedback

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

Considered, measured, informed and applicable feedback is highly important for my own growth and to form the submission to my university as a critique of this exhibition, not only as a final product, but the ongoing evolution of practice.

Warm and lovely words were spoken to me at the launch and subsequently.  Yet the cold, analytical word is harder to come by.  I did solicit it in several quarters and some came.

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A senior tutor from the Birmingham City University photography BA course was the only person, to date, to use the feedback cards left for noting upon.  Figure 1 sets out his note and observations.  I do agree with his analysis; my ‘style’ is not wholly evolved and I am aware that it is not visually managed to the extent that I believe I can develop.

The director of New Art West Midlands came to the launch which was welcome as he gave me a portfolio review in December 2017.  He asked me to meet again for coffee and we talked about the 2019 Coventry biennale and related issues.  Interesting he and I talked whilst holding the demonstration concrete tablet I placed in the upper gallery – this was a strong reminder of the tactile quality of the three-dimensional work and the disadvantage of it being displayed on the gallery walls.

I received two email responses to the show, which I extract thus;

“Apologies for leaving early on Thursday. I had to get down to the Conservatoire for a concert. It was important for me to be there.

You were downstairs chatting when I left so I didn’t feel I wanted to interrupt you.

I thought your exhibition provocative in that amongst the fossilised remains of past architecture and the witnesses to human occupation and activity (Dundee Cake particularly appealed to me ). There was a yearning for something to come next.

Quite why this quotation from Orwell comes into my mind I really do not know——-“who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past”. The course of inspiration perhaps and story telling rather than political control  that Orwell had in mind .

It was good to see old friends and better to see the exhibition.”

This was a cheering receipt – as the reference to ‘fossilised’ was an appropriate word applied to the work, given that I had not used it myself.   It is always interesting when people pick out one image for particular celebration or examination.  I am pondering the Orwell quotation and it will rest with me.  The ‘Dundee Cake tin’ was referenced by others as being appealing – I clearly would, if I had the opportunity, ask why, meanwhile I assume it was because of its textual reference, orange colour ad the fact I found it percted on dim wooden structures that helped it stand out.

The second email was thus;

“Firstly thank you for your kind invitation to the opening of your exhibition at the Argentea.  I imagine it has required a huge amount of effort and a great deal of self-confidence to be able to publicly display what is, in reality, hugely personal work.

I heard many positive comments during the discussions I had, and you must have been pleased at the large turnout. I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to give you my feedback by email rather than on the reverse of the card.

I thought the exhibition was professionally curated, the images on concrete in particular being very striking not only in their presentation but also in concept. I felt the images all bore a warmth that spoke to the affection you felt for your subject, almost as if they were shot on film.

I’ve seen many abandoned buildings during my career, and all the items just left behind when the people and processes move out. Your work captures something that is truly fleeting, that evokes a moment in time when all that was, at one moment, useful and maybe essential is just left behind as something no longer needed and unimportant. All of the material will be consigned to the skip.

Well done for this evening and I really hope you enjoyed what I thought was a very successful event.”

 

This was appreciated as it noted the effort and sense of exposure that made the show what it was in terms of a personal endeavour and time investment that risked or conveyed a personal observation, journey and development.  The film reference I believe came from the nature of the decal film that was commented upon my a handful of people I spoke to, as it has a mat finish and a degree of translucency that allows the concrete surface and patina to bed with the images as viewed.

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One person who attended told me he though this image, fig 2 (Roundhouse) was the “saddest on show” which was intriguing as it is not how I read the image, I believe he was seeing a dying ember at the death throes to extinguishment.  Plus to refer to it as the saddest perhaps calibrates it to a show of sad emotion and this is perhaps the most extreme example, in his mind

Social media tends to be engaged with when people have been provoked in a response, positive or negative two were notable as they resulted in retweets and comments.  The first, fig 3, was the outcome from a rather nice surprise in that Beanland said the nicest things which perhaps do not further one’s critical awareness do however help promote th show and the practice, thus (I encountered this on Instagram and Twitter).  The second, fig 4, referenced my history of working in regenration and thus having an involvement with change and thus demolition and refurbishment.

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Figure 3

 

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Figure 4

Other Reflections

Because there had been debate amongst tutors and the gallerist about the mounting and framing of the three prints that had while lines around the edges (between the photographic frame and mask) I felt prepared to address and acknowledge it.  It did not come.  This clearly does not indicate acceptance, but it was not highlighted.

I watched a number of people in the projection space and the dwell time tended to be over 5 minutes.  The stream of images was under 4 minutes, thus they were watching the full diptych roll all the way through.  Some walked through the two projector beams to position themselves at the far side of the space, others tucked in to the left side of the space entry opening which, in my view, having tested locations, was the optimum viewing point for two screens.  It is perhaps a little ambitious an observation but people seemed to be entranced by the roll.

 

Publicity Shoot – Building the Story

Practice Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

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Figure 1

The breadth of the MA comes into play when, in learning how to write proposals to potential clients, I created a real one for the Birmingham Civic Society (see snap-shot Notes below) early in 2017.  This was a detailed proposal to ‘shoot’ the Victoria statue in the eponymous square at the heart of Birmingham’s civic quarter.  It proposed accessing the work, which is quite elevated, and creating composite images at full scale and exhibiting them in a gallery space as an appreciation of the sculptor’s detail and a more ‘democratic’ a way of seeing that is ordinarily denied.

All went quiet until an invitation to make images from the scaffold that had been erected for a cleaning process, part-funded by the Civic Society, came to me.

I was thus able to spend two hours at three different levels of the scaffold in May 2018, figs 1-6.

As the images could be of local interest I appointed Edwin Ellis Media to create text and link with the communications team at the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (appointed to oversee the works) and the Civic Society.  The amalgam of the texts was then issued as a press release, fig 7.  Whilst all the copyrighted images were available via a link, the one chosen by the comm’s teams to headline (not my favourite) was used by social media and the Birmingham Post newspaper.

I was pleased with the social media activity, for example, fig 8, there were 9 retweets, 17 likes and 2 comments.

The key here was deliberate mention of the Pause Project and the forthcoming exhibition.  I have always believed that a story builds, it rarely works with only one mention in the media, so the strategy here is to launch the exhibition on the basis of this mention.

I used a photograph of the half-page article in the Birmingham Post, page 11, 10th May 2018 in my social media via Twitter and Instagram.

Figures 2-6

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Figure 7

 

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Figure 8

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Figure 9

 

Notes

All images by Philip Singleton

The overview of the proposals made to the Birmingham Civic Society in 2017.

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Social Media – Progress Report

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 4, Sustainable Prospects.

During this module I have been developing my activity on social media and I present a number of highlights here;

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figure 1

I have increased my Instagram following to 356 by judicious selection of imagery and hashtags.  This remains, evidentially, my principal point of exposure.

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I use two Twitter accounts, one focused on wider professional groups and the other specifically on my photographic practice and interest.  I have increased followers to a combined total of 1,687.  I aim to increase the followers on my photographic account.

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Figure 4

I have a Facebook account for Facilitate Urban Photography as a practice page.  Not only can I track and compare ‘likes’ for each post I am able to note the ‘reach’ i.e. the exposure of each activity.  In the case of figure 4 it is 139.

Figures 5, 6

I have been active also in LinkedIn, not least because this is a different and wider network of people (I have 2,450 plus connections) but also my new agent is active on here as well as all of the above services.  The useful pages on this platform allow you to analyse a breakdown of the exposure of a ‘post’, in this instance, figures 5, 6 there are 76 with a CEO/Executive Director job title that have viewed the entry.  This may prove more fertile as I develop my marketing strategy further in 2018.

ends