Part of my project strategy in this module is to engage much less in the course content and focus more on my own vision and not get distracted with long drawn-out discussions. This appears to have worked well with other students, and as long I can produce work which satisfies the course requirements then that’s good enough for me and my university, So instead I will research more and experiment as I want and develop my skills, which is, for the most part, is what I have been doing in my first year of the course.
During my break, I have been looking more into my own work and how it can develop further. And also how this can be sustained into the future. I m looking more about why I am doing this project and this kind of work, and where it’s all going.
I felt that I needed to look deeper into my project and look more into the symbolic nature of my work and the methodology of my work, so I have been looking at the nature of the cultural dimensions of my work such as the social representations in a global media landscape and the economic and commercial and nostalgic aspects of my work. The global cultural flows with my project are wide and varied and to try to understand this more I have been reading the book “Modernity at Large” by (Appadurai, 1996) and in particular the framework for exploring what Arjun calls the five dimensions of global cultural flows Ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes.
These scapes or Landscapes are in effect the foundations of what Benedict Anderson describes in Appadurai book as the imagined worlds. This framework or imagined worlds reflects a relationship with my project and teaches me that the grey lines between commercial and economic aspect and the symbolic representations such as a USA flag draped over the wall of a barbershop are only perhaps only symbolic of the freedom, not of the nationalistic aspect of one’s origin or any economic or cultural connections.
The nostalgia or vintage aspects of the barbershop related photographs I take are to a great extent what (Appadurai, 2010) describes as “Nostalgia for the present, stylized presentation of the present as if it was already slipped away, characterizes a very large number of television advertisements, especially those directed at the youth market.”
Appadurai goes on to say ” We may wish to label much of this aesthetic as based on a kind of”Histoire Noire.” bracketing the present in this peculiar way, and thus making it already the object of historical sensibility, these images put the consumer in an already periodized present, thus even readier prey to the velocity of fashion. Buy now, not because you will otherwise be out of date but because your period will soon be out of date.”
This is true to a large extent, in that the marketing aspect of barber shops is more geared to the younger generations, but the subtle differences within these images do have a value to the historic value of these images.
My photography practice in terms of outside of my MA project is really still developing and is as varied as it’s always been I am still keen to expand my experience in different kinds of photography such as events or photography that allows some creative slant, which improves my work and future plans.
Appadurai, A. (2010). Modernity at large. 9th ed. Minneapolis: Public Works Publications, p.77.
Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. [online] pp.33-37. Available at: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/falmouth-ebooks/detail.action?docID=310379 [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].