Simon Sweeney | Informing contexts: A Sea of Images

Informing contexts: A Sea of Images

March 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
A quote by Grundberg, 1999, p216. 
“No longer are photographic images regarded as ‘mirrors with a memory’ merely reflecting the world back at us in a simple one-to-one translation. Rather they construct the world for us, helping to create the comfortable illusions by which we live”.

I agree with part of Grundberg’s reasoning’s. In my opinion ‘images’ do construct the world for us. The interpretation of illusion is debatable. An individuals’ interpretation that is. Is he saying that the photograph – the images are an illusion, an illusion of what was there? Or the illusion of the comfortable world in which we live (our bubble) or the whole world around us? 

This has still made me question my own practice and ideology. I would say my practice is based on low light and astrophotography-landscape, a documentary, reality ideology. With only light post production manipulation to the overall affect. Therefore, my images ‘are’ as “mirrors with a memory”. Yes, the overall images may not be how the eye would have seen them, like in a mirror. That is not saying the image wasn’t there. This is not an illusion just technology allowing you to see. Like wearing glasses. I try to interrogate my images to show the stars as clearly as possible I would also deem that most my images are of a reproduction nature. 
The stars and the Milky Way have been shot countless amount of times. Some specific areas/locations known for astrophotography have obviously already been captured and I have deliberately tried to reproduce some concepts. Where my practice differs, is that of a time-lapse nature. I have not come across any of the locations where I have photographed, have captured a time lapse… just a single exposure. 
“It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for real” Jean Baudrillard, The Precession of Simulacra 2.
The difficult task with regards to my project, is not that of reproduction but the flow from light polluted areas to that of a dark sky. I want my viewers (the public) to read the concept for what it is. Not for what they see. It is hard to change ones’ opinion for what is beautiful but is it hard to say that it is wrong?


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