P A R A C H U T
Welcome to Parachute 02. There is a single strand that runs through this profusion of photography both still and moving; the values, creativity and critical prowess all point to one factor. From crazed pop fans to life–size photograms, from celebrations of behemoths of Art to micro aquatic environments. The BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography programme at Stockport continues to produce students of discernment and quality, as it has over a period of 20 years and counting. A close critical friend of the course suggested we needed to start to tell people how interesting and valuable the course is; the values it promotes and the experiences it provides. So we agreed. Yes, it is important to let people know about what happens here, both in terms of the work and the way the students, staff and alumni are willing to get involved in, not just this venture, but other external events and exhibitions of work. Parachute is a case in point. Graduates and alumni have been closely involved in the production through collaboration with the BA (Hons) Graphic Arts and Design students who share the same skill, ability and commitment to producing an excellent outcome; which they have achieved—well done. Finally it is important to mention professional collaborations with external partners. The initiatives running with both Stockport Homes (middle spread) and Manchester Museum (throughout) show the quality of work the students produce and the experience they receive as a result of this important link to the professional environment. It augurs well for their professional futures and it also makes the work relevant and meaningful. I wish to thank all involved here; the work looks great, the design is spot on, and the sense of excitement and possibility is clear.
Stockport College BA (Hons)
Contemporary Photography Richard Mulhearn Programme Leader BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography University Centre
Stockport College—October 2012
Reflections One of the notable things about getting older is that change becomes easier to spot. Too easy, in fact: it's everywhere, getting out of control, spreading like a contagion, like wildfire… This isn't true, of course; it's a paranoid distortion based on the principle that unfamiliar things are disproportionately conspicuous amid the familiar. Nevertheless, we are living through a period of accelerated change, one of a series of such era that punctuate the history of western civilization. Information technology has come to define the times we live in. In nature, change can be catastrophic: adapt or die, is the faux– Darwinian maxim often applied to the marketplace, an arena in which death is generally metaphoric. As a race, humanity has supposedly tamed nature; we have become ‘masters of our own destiny’ (a self–evidently foolhardy delusion). Individually, we don’t necessarily have to embrace change, but it is advisable to accept that it's happening, otherwise—ironically—your life can be trammeled by it. Unfortunately, in my experience, advancing age and the ability to cope with change tend to operate in inverse proportion.
on adapting When you're young, you accept intellectually that the fabric and nature of our culture is in a state of flux, but you don't quite believe it until you've seen and experienced it, until you've lived it. This is the upside of passing beyond your prime. In my faltering attempts to propound social comment, I now find that the dependency on historical documentation —books, annals, archives, etc—is augmented by another resource: memory. And with experience at my disposal, the impulse to theorize fulsomely (or rant) about how we live becomes correspondingly more urgent. Having survived a full half–century, my commentary is informed by the knowledge of a world in which certain everyday phenomena did not exist, enabling me to make revealing observations about their arrival and proliferation; surely now my opinions are worthy of declaration from the proverbial rooftop. And this might even be true except for one problem: the advantage of experience is largely negated by the tendency to regard all things new as alien and incompatible, based on the age/adaptability formulation proposed earlier. Naturally, I have a theory about why this occurs. I suspect that radical change constitutes a disruption to my personal paradigm, the model of the world into which I was conditioned at a formative age—a complex interconnection between modes of activity, their enactment through the operation of physical (often consumer–based) objects, and the value system that underpins all of this. Or, to put it simply, what I do, how I do it and why I do it. Change can be absorbed, but only within certain parameters; I can generally accommodate variations on a theme, but not wholesale innovation. This can be a fine line, however. For example, the mobile phone is essentially a ‘variation on a theme,’ a development defined by the addition of the function of mobility—on the face of it, a perfectly palatable step forward. And yet its introduction (in conjunction with other related technical advancements) has effectively rewritten the rubric for human communication, fundamentally changing the way we live. This makes me uncomfortable; it has destabilized my utopian paradigm (a world made perfect purely by its passing). I therefore see it myopically, through skeptical blinkers; and I don't even have the economic excuse of the Luddite.
t o t h e v i r t u a l l i f e
On the plus side, I have gained some small insight into how difficult it must have been to adjust to other quantum leaps in lifestyle—those intermittent historical step–changes I mentioned earlier. The emergence of the automobile as a standard form of transport in the early 20th Century, for example—part of a bigger paradigm–shift in which the world became mechanized and industrialized, taking on the grandeur of the mammoth: the factory, the skyscraper, the ocean liner and the passenger plane. The adjustment that my generation has had to make is of a diametrically opposite order. Whereas the previous revolution turned the manmade world into a place of awe–inspiring enormity, the digital revolution has effectively reversed this, shrinking the world, rendering it as code, moving us away from the tangible and toward the virtual, the quasi– magical. We now have everything, and nothing, at our fingertips. With every choice I make online (yes, I have succumbed), I am shaping and refining my meta–profile, creating a version of myself that—at least for the time being—exists only as data, yet has a binary delineation that is strangely alluring, probably because it negates existential uncertainty: ‘Oh right,’ I am tempted to say, ‘that's who I am.’
There is one area, however, where my polemical commentary has a modicum of credibility: photography. I have practiced photography, taught photography, and engaged with its critical discourse. The advent of digital imaging has effectively dematerialized photography (no film, no print), necessitating a redefinition of the medium—or not, depending on which side of the argument you subscribe to. Taking sides is important, because at present the central critical question is not concerned with the substance of a new photographic philosophy befitting the digital era, but whether that philosophy is necessary at all. In other words: do we need new seminal texts or is it sufficient to pass the issues pertaining to digitalization through the prism of the old (i.e. Sontag, Barthes, et al)? I believe that a radical rethinking is required, if only for the purposes of challenging the orthodoxy, the recourse to a critical comfort zone. Too much critical theory is circumscribed by a dominant agenda, the gospel according to the original pioneers. This may be the result of academics seeking to forge a niche within the established discourse, taking up nuanced positions that are rigorously contextualized and substantiated but generally fail to transform your understanding or take your breath away. If I appear to have set myself up to propose such a radical manifesto, then I am due to disappoint. Sadly I don't have the intellectual wherewithal to conjure up a cogent alternative theory of photography, although I do aspire to produce something that is at least oblique in its perspective.
The engine of contemporary culture, indeed its apparent raison d'être, is communication, epitomized by the inexorable rise of social–media platforms. These function symbiotically, feeding off each other in order to generate content in prodigious quantities, creating a bloated and grotesque monster that is in fact neither bloated nor grotesque—indeed not a monster at all—thanks to its basis in the pixel, which renders the world neat and tidy to the point of nonexistence. We cannot see the true condition of contemporary culture because it lacks manifestation and the attendant appraisal that comes with materiality, with objects that take up measurable space rather than cyberspace and therefore have to be negotiated physically. This insubstantiality raises issues over location and provenance. Much of the information I receive on a screen prompts me to ask: What am I really looking at and how did it get there? Photography, and more particularly cinema, posed similar questions for the uninitiated upon their invention; hence the famous reports of inaugural audiences shifting in their seats to avoid the onrushing train. ( We might find this comically naïve, but have you ever flinched at a 3D –movie effect?) What we don't understand threatens us—an adage that speaks to my point about maturity engendering recalcitrance. Has ignorance made me paranoid? Possibly, but the fact remains that for me the digital realm is the Other, the thing I am unable fully to reconcile with my version of the habitable world. I can marshal arguments against it that are moderately coherent, even convincing, but the truth is that they are fundamentally undermined by a deep–seated prejudice encapsulated in the colloquial refrain: It wasn't like that in my day. As a result, I live in the Hellerian paradox of a firm conviction that I am nevertheless obliged to distrust.
Greg Leach Staff—BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography
Thanks to Paul Proctor, Greg Leach, Lucy Brown, Mishka Henner Richard Higginbottom, Alex Keep, Katherine Smith, Radomir Mikulas Henry Mcghie and Bryan Stitch at Manchester Museum, Helen Alderson, Becky Horton and Peter Egerton at Stockport Homes, Paul Hermann at Redeye, Rachael at Manchester Digital Laboratory, Karen Newman at Open Eye All the contributors… Printed by Mortons Print Ltd
What follows, then, are three ‘word–pictures’ scattered through the rest of this issue. They constitute a hybrid form, operating at the intersection between observation and theorization, t wo pursuits I have attempted in the past. I used to take documentary photographs that were self–contained ‘social critiques’, turning serendipitous moments into iconic encapsulations, which in turn accumulated into a grand commentary (or so I'd like to think). Now I make up stories in which elevating descriptions of the ordinary play a pivotal role. The passages featured here contain neither, and both. They are accounts of ordinary/remarkable moments that I failed, for one reason or another, to record photographically. I attempt to tease out their significance through the discipline and the poetry of description. Because description is the vessel for so many other related activities, including interpretation, theorization and evaluation. To study is to understand. That said, I embrace inaccuracy, reveling in its ability to foster greater truths. Please be aware: willful misremembering and reimagining has occurred in the construction of these accounts. Their selection is based on a single, immutable criterion: they all relate to the issues raised above—my attempt to understand how digitalization feeds into and affects contemporary culture. Here's a taster: I recently heard a media–friendly social commentator preface a remark with the phrase, ‘When we go offline and enter the real world…’ This surely implies that being online is the default human condition. Am I wrong to be scared…?
The reality of life post–graduation is a world brimming with questions, decisions and possibility. Exciting opportunities arise but circumstance can often intervene, acting as icebergs on the horizon that encourage you to alter your course. It is these icebergs that can force you to question your methodology, integrity as an artist and what I would refer to as your ‘creative conscience’. How do we, as graduates deal with one’s unforeseen circumstance? Although I would consider myself fortunate in that I gained full–time employment within six weeks of graduating, this did not come without its own set of complex problems. My role as ‘Digital Artist’ allowed me to showcase my skills in a genuinely practical and ‘real’ industry environment but this was certainly a departure from my original plan. I found myself having to sacrifice my earlier intention to explore the gallery and curatorial route and instead, plunge myself into the commercial industry. Generally the work undertaken by a Digital Artist is volume–based and this became my first obstacle. I had very specific tasks and briefs to complete which, although they required a high level of proficiency, did not demand the ‘all round package’ of critical thinking, creative practice and technical competency of University projects. A lack of artistic stimulation also encouraged me to try to complete personal work but this was indeed, a futile effort. Work without structure, support and reasoning has no depth and cannot fulfil its potential. I started to ask questions such as, “How can you push through a creative block?” and my answer came in the form of re–focusing my energy. Industry was to be my new ‘project’ and one in which I would give my all. As the months progressed, it became clear that this approach was not working. Offering my whole skillset in many varied forms was quite simply, not required. This was a curious concept for me. The environment in which pushing the boundaries and applying every niche skill you have had clearly disappeared and instead, I was faced with an industry in which I had to become ‘fit for purpose’.
Fit For Purpose Am I good enough to do the job I was designed to do? Why would I be giving industry this huge set of specialist knowledge and skills when they were only paying for me to ‘get the job done’? They wanted the task finished to specification but my desire to apply 100% of myself had lead me to essentially give myself away for free. Had I somehow become ‘too good’ for the job I was designed to do? Restlessness and frustration can lead you to seek new creative outlets. This for me came in the form of Post–Graduate study as this would give my ideas a purpose and provide the creative environment I was yearning for. However, it became clear with some research and deliberation, this choice would be motivated by sheer frustration and embarking on that crucial journey was essentially a quick fix solution to a long–term issue. I found myself in a position where pushing forward in either direction would be detrimental if I were to continue on that plotted course. The only logical solution to the issues I had identified was to change my approach yet again. A transformation was required to morph myself into a ‘tool’. Rather than offering industry every aspect of my creative thinking, I began to offer knowledge and expertise that I had gained whilst working on previous personal projects. I continued to apply myself, but only provided skills that were useful and fit for purpose. This move enabled me to still withhold some of what I would consider my artistic integrity and gave me the discipline to generate high quality work, direct to specification. It also gave me space to reevaluate my methodology and approach to finding the time and purpose to develop my personal practice.
Alexander Keep Alumni—Graduated Summer 2011
My first year as a graduate has involved a hectic twelve months of instability, internal questioning and almost constant reevaluation. This steep learning curve has enabled me to feel closer to answering the initially posed question, “Am I good enough for the job I was designed to do?” The simple answer is yes. But I feel that a new idea has arisen from this first line of questioning; “Have I been designed to do a better job?”
Alexander J McCorkle Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
R i c h t e r e d
Staff—BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography
A Question for Mishka Henner Ed Ruscha's recollection of events leading him to start creating photobooks in an interview from 2003, “I guess maybe I woke up in a cold sweat once and just had this light bulb go off of doing a book of some sort.” How do you recall events leading you to methods of appropriating images, and also, your use of photobooks in your own work?
from Colette Longden
I'd been making books for a long time before I got into photography. I used to write short stories, illustrate them, then make photocopied booklets that I'd sell in bars and to people on the street. Books are the perfect vehicle for ideas. They cost almost nothing to make, you can keep them in your pocket, pass them on to anyone you like and even drop them from a great height. Try doing that with an iPad or a Kindle. When I started working with photography I had the same feeling about photobooks and for years worked on documentary projects with the photobook as an end product in mind. Appropriation came later on when I started taking an interest in artists who were working with photographs. They had a very different attitude to images than photographers seem to have. If you think about the effort and cost that goes into the production of images that
are all around you and then think about how easy it is to transform those images just by changing their context, it tells you something about how slippery images really are. In that sense, images are no different to language. A word or a phrase is easily transformed just by the way it's said, or by putting it into a different context. It's interesting that copyright protection can be applied to images but not to words, yet there are so many more images in the world than there are words. You'd think it should be the other way around. So the process of using appropriated images really came from those ideas. Besides, even when making work with our own cameras, we're always thinking of other people's imagery. Isn't that why we describe it as ‘taking pictures’? The pictures are always already there. The camera simply captures them.
Woman the Hunter
Andrea Jane Smith Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
M u s e u m
Alison Hagger Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
P i e c e
Eating chips all day
and having parties Andy Moseley Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
The collaborative project between BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography and Stockport Homes involves students working with residents of different areas, teaching photography and setting projects for the residents about their immediate environment.
Colette Longden Current Student
Richard Mulhearn Programme Leader
Stockport College—July 2012
“Working with Stockport Homes and the people from both community groups has been an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience for the students and staff of the BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography at Stockport College. The experience for our students has provided a vocational opportunity alongside their academic and creative study, and this opportunity will prove vital in the post–study environment. This initiative indicates a very interesting and exciting future for students on our degree programme; it gives them the chance to independently confirm the skills and approach they are learning on the course in an external professional environment.”
Sophie Almy Current Student
“There is an ongoing commitment to supporting students at Stockport college to gain an appreciation of the demands of working in partnership in a business environment and developing skills that will be useful to students once they have graduated. We have an understanding of students' needs in bridging the gap between education and business needs and are keen to develop a good working relationship with Stockport Homes that is mutually beneficial.”
Rebecca Horton Customer Involvement Officer
Stockport Homes—July 2012
Unrecovered (No. 1) 2012 Bori Pocz Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
I take my son to swimming lessons on Saturdays at the local sports and leisure centre. It's a singular half hour in my week. I watch him with a mixture of concern, interest and pride, emotions that have incrementally diminished over time, in direct proportion to his growing ability to function independently in the water, in the world.
July 2012 There is very limited provision for spectating in this small–town amenity. It's a confined, claustrophobic, over–heated space consisting of plastic chairs and junk–food dispensers. Parents vie for space in front of the viewing window, which has a door in it with a notice forbidding obstruction, but people obstruct anyway, because space is at a premium. The newer parents have the sharpest elbows. I often wonder what it looks like from the other side of the glass, this gaggle of onlookers, framed, incarcerated, clothed, yearning for the liberation of the swimming pool, with its abundance of air, light, water.
Today I am in the second tier, chatting about football to a father whose name I should know, but we've inadvertently exceeded the period in which the simple question What's your name? is socially acceptable, so now we're stuck with mutual anonymity. This is a male thing; women always establish names. We're discussing his team, Liverpool—whether Andy Carroll makes them one–dimensional (a subject that later becomes academic). He shares transfer rumours about foreign players I've never heard of. Occasionally I glance through the window to see someone who may or may not be my son cavorting in the water. Directly in front of me a small blond– haired boy sits at his grandmother's feet, playing with a yellow toy truck. I catch his eye and he returns my smile, coyly. To the right of him is another, older boy—maybe eight—with his back to me, facing the window but not looking through it. He is a spectator, however. He's holding a state–of–the–art smartphone about a foot from his face, watching a moving image of himself on the screen, the content of which corresponds, with only a split–second delay, to the expressions he's pulling. The form of these expressions, their particular contortion, is dictated by how well he feels they transfer to the screen. I cannot see the boy's actual face from my position, only the shrunken, slightly jerky version that appears on the phone, pulled out of shape by the wide–angle camera lens. He simultaneously shifts the tilt of his head and of the phone, leering at himself, seeking out the grotesque but without resorting to cartoon antics. It's a compelling performance, simultaneously comical and disturbing.
I am reminded, at first, of the fairground mirror, but it's a crude comparison. Then I think of this boy as a juvenile Narcissus, an analogy no doubt prompted by the expanse of water beyond the window. But he is not captivated by his own reflection, because this is not a mirror image; its form of mediation offers something more interestingly (and permissively) nuanced. No putative or implicit vanity attends these actions, which is why he is unselfconscious: he is not gazing at his image per se, he is creating another version of himself. He is, in an idle moment, rehearsing what society is encouraging him to become: a series of virtual profiles, a protean cyber–being, trapped in a realm of collective isolation to which he is inured, wary of anything that carries the label ‘reality’ without a qualifying adjective.
At that moment I notice a seated spectator, a mother, looking towards my feet and smiling warmly. I follow her gaze, and there is the blond toddler gazing up at me, holding out his yellow toy truck, presenting it to me. I am humbled. Has he seen the strain in my face and responded with this symbolic salve for my neurosis? What could be more solid and reliable in the life of a boy than a toy truck? I accept it with enthusiastic gratitude, alive to the privilege of this benefaction. I take a moment to study and appreciate it, pointing out some of its admirable qualities before giving it back to him. These are the kinds of things that once never happened to me. Despite —or perhaps because of—my resistance to all forms of remote communication, I am more connected to the world than I ever have been.
Martin Barnes “I could see and understand the planning that had gone into making these pieces as I know how logistically difficult it is to make work such as this. The uniqueness of the prints and the process as part of the artwork is crucial to a philosophical and conceptual understanding of camera–less photography, and I was pleased to see that you had grasped and understood this. Your subject matter—your own body and its changes in the stages of pregnancy—was an aptly chosen. I liked the way you had included the element of a salt solution to the water you were floating in to make the images. To me, this suggested the child growing inside you, suspended in a saline solution, just as you yourself were floating in saline solution: an invisible floating body inside another floating body made visible by the process of camera–less photography.” Senior Curator of Photographs Word and Image Department, V&A Museum, London
I n t e r n a l
S h a d o w Patrycja Poludniak Graduate—Summer 2012
Richard Higginbottom Alumniâ€”Graduated Summer 2011
Chris Ecclestone Alumniâ€”Graduated Summer 2011
August 2012 Unsurprisingly, perhaps, I have an unhealthy attachment to aspects of cultural life that achieve continuity in our fast –changing world, particularly in the mass media. The Today programme on Radio 4 is a primary example—although even it has had to embrace the curious recalibration of the newsworthy that the Internet has engendered.
Incident 2 It's seven o'clock in the morning. The pips have just resonated around the bathroom. I am standing over the washbasin, water dripping from my bristly chin, trying to decide whether I can be bothered to shave or not. I can waste considerable amounts of time deliberating on such matters. The newsreader delivers the day's headlines in his dulcet tones. Top is Syria, the quotidian litany of murder and mayhem that barely registers. This is followed by the revelation that a teenager has said something crass and insulting about another teenager. What…? Am I hearing things…? I abate my ablutions and rapidly work myself into another sort of lather, turning my ire on the radio, asking it, with suitably outraged incredulity, how such a story can be worthy of a place on the international news agenda—let alone second in the running order. Answer, of course, comes there none.
Granted, the recipient of this insult is Tom Daley, the precocious Olympian diver, and granted (again) the defamatory remark concerns Daley's father, who died recently, making it all the more egregious. But still, but still… Had the insult been delivered in passing on the street, would we have heard about it? Perhaps the real story here is its platform: Twitter, which like so many forms of modern communication hovers uncertainly in the hinterland between formality and informality, between pub banter and publically articulated opinion. The law, I suspect (without having conducted the requisite Google–based research), remains equivocal on this matter, leaving the media free to apply its somewhat dubious standards to the process of selecting from it. We can be thankful, at least, that tomorrow it will all be virtual chip wrapping. And anyway, I have more pressing matters to deliberate upon: to shave or not to shave, that is the question this morning…
Joshua Fox Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
Rachel Samuels Graduateâ€”Summer 2012
September—November I have a fascination with time stopped; with the unfathomable poetic transformation of the photographic moment. Yet I have always disliked the single truth aspect of the medium, the role prescribed to it by cultural theorists as an instrument of collective memory, requiring it to be accurate, factual, truth bearing.
Richard Mulhearn Programme Leader BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography
Incident 3 Somewhat reluctantly, following a blissful summer sojourn, I am making my way back to work on the Buxton–to–Manchester train line, refamiliarizing myself with the landmarks, both the topographic ones beyond the window and the psychological ones that attend various stages of the journey. The childish game of musical chairs played out to the rhythm of the train's motion (the aim in this version being to secure as much isolation from other passengers as possible) is one in which I wholeheartedly engage, to my shame. Fortunately, this train has the luxury of space for all, so I can relax. Scanning my fellow travellers, I note a demographic shift since I last made this journey, due, I suspect, to the time of year. The young couple sitting in front of me exemplifies this. They are a conspicuously coupled couple, by which I mean they have a physical connection that remains unbroken throughout the journey. The ease of their intimacy strikes me as a very continental trait, and this is confirmed when I hear them speaking Spanish, clearly their mother tongue. The body language is typically patriarchal: the girl is turned at right angles to her beau, revealing her profile to me in the seat behind, whereas the boy merely tilts his body towards her by way of concession. Nevertheless, he returns her unstinting gaze with almost equal devotion. Further absence of Mediterranean machismo arrives when two female backpackers board the train and choose to stand up with their rucksacks. In a show of gallantry that strikes me as quaint, he offers to move his rucksack to free up a seat, even though there are numerous others available to the girls. His suggestion is made with charming old–world formality, in perfect English. In declining, the girls cannot match his finesse, seeing the redundancy of his offer as a cause for embarrassment. From the girlfriend's puppy–dog expression, I gain insight into why she's so smitten. We travel on. The couple continues to exchange intimacies under the cloak of a foreign language. Feeling uncomfortably voyeuristic, I try to divert my attention elsewhere—but then the young man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a mobile phone. He pushes one or two of its buttons and, in the manner that has lately become customary, raises it in the air rather than putting it to his ear. This is, of course, a photographic event, one that has become prevalent with the advent of the phone camera: the auto–portrait, which I am beginning to suspect is actually a self–monitoring process, a means to allay the momentary existential crises that strike us all from time to time. Instantaneously, our presence in the world can be verified via the resulting image—a use of photography that ironically relies on its alleged unique relationship with reality, one that digital imaging has helped put under such intense interrogation.
But perhaps I am doing our Spanish paramour a disservice. Perhaps he has a valid reason for wanting to commemorate the moment photographically. Perhaps, it occurs to me as their heads meet in readiness for the artificial click, perhaps these lovers are about to part, which would certainly explain their ardour, and her lack of a rucksack.
Staff—BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography
My view, through the gap between headrests, is an odd one: two conjoined backs of heads from which a single arm extends like a trunk, tipped by the tiny eye of the phone camera. The flash fires; the arm is lowered and the couple resume their previous positions. Having pushed a few more buttons, the young man holds up the phone again to show the girl the diaphanous image on the screen, inadvertently sharing it with me in the process. Although I view it for only a few seconds, it leaves a lasting impression. The t wo beaming faces are distillations of innocence and joy, as if the camera has serendipitously captured not only the spirit of the their current infatuation, but also the apogee of their individual lives. The phone snap, I realize—despite its inherent disposability— has some of the potency and durability of a treasured memento, like a locket warn for a lifetime.
Of course, the flipside to having only a fleeting glimpse is that it tempts you, subsequently, to interpolate around the incomplete impression forged. Memories are made of this, to a greater or lesser extent. And the more I think about this particular image, the more convinced I become that it contains a third, subsidiary subject. Me. This is based as much on a reflection of the image–capturing event as it is on my inchoate memory of the picture itself. Positionally—given the angle of the phone and the properties of camera–phone lenses—it seems likely that my face is floating somewhere in the background, and if so, what impact does my presence have on the purity of this euphoric frozen moment? Am I, in effect, a corrupting influence, a spectre of cynicism sent to poison an otherwise blissful future? No. Photographs are of the moment; they do not presage things to come. So why, then, can't I bring myself to turn and look at their sweet faces when I pass them on my way to the doors…?
BA (Hons) Contemporary Photography Programme Leader—Richard Mulhearn 0161 958 3446 Richard.Mulhearn@stockport.ac.uk www.stockport.ac.uk/content/ba-honours-contemporary-photography
BA (Hons) Graphic Arts and Design Programme Leader—Lucy Brown 0161 958 3513 Lucy.Brown@stockport.ac.uk www.stockport.ac.uk/content/ba-hons-graphic-arts-design
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