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T206 Fall Midterm Alexander Wright


Before I started the project I had already made up my mind that I wanted to capture a depressing aesthetic, or mis-enscene, of a song that matched that sort of depression. Since I took a photography class my sophomore year I knew what to expect when capturing a series versus a sequence, and how much difference a string of the same subject matter can affect the visual aesthetic opposed to a group of images that explore a certain mood. I didn’t have much to work with at the start, being confined to Bloomington campus, so I decided to find the loneliest part of campus (the forest behind Swain Hall). Since I felt that was the only isolated section of campus (and I wanted to get a little creative in my apartment), I set up images in the place where depression is most evident: at home. I chose to make all of the pictures black and white for two reasons: it drains the color and it creates a noir effect. The absence of color, in a sense, drains the photo of life, leading into the noir effect that is most associated with film: giving the series of shots (images) the feeling of dreary hopelessness. The grainy quality also gives a distorted quality, which can be explained by the semiotic meaning of confusion and doubt.


Johnny Cash’s Hurt (first verse) I hurt myself today to see if I still feel I focus on the pain the only thing that's real the needle tears a hole the old familiar sting try to kill it all away but I remember everything what have I become? my sweetest friend everyone I know goes away in the end and you could have it all my empire of dirt

(From official music video) This very short (one second) shot that I took from the music video was my basis for my whole visual aesthetic. First and foremost, this song was an interpretation of the Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” Their original version fell mostly on the use of drugs, while Johnny Cash (and I) chose the metaphor of reminiscence of the past in relation to nearing the end of life. This image, ironically, was meant to reflect the times he did spend in jail- once due to trafficking narcotics.


T206 Midterm