Simon Sweeney | Informing Contexts: Responses & Responsibilities

Informing Contexts: Responses & Responsibilities

March 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

An import message is helped with the use of visual aids. I do believe an image or a motion picture can provoke change. By seeing or reliving the event form a different perspective only adds fuel to ones' thoughts. It inevitably provokes discussion and engraves a lasting memory. For example, if I was to mention the twin towers, I would personally automatically think of the visual stimulus I witnessed on the news that day of the planes hitting the towers. The still image ‘The Falling Man’ by Richard Drew is yet another lasting memory. These graphically images clearly helped provoke change and for troops to be deployed. 

Sometimes these memories do not want to be relived and even an image can provoke other senses being stimulated. My sense of smell is affected when I involuntary re-live a certain memory from a past conflict. I am confused whether to censor shocking subjective material as I believe it depends on the situation. I for one have mixed feelings on certain subjects and I am sure others do too.  As Sontag declares ‘Ideologies create substantiating archives of images, representative images which encapsulate common ideas of significance and trigger predicable thoughts, feelings. Poster ready photographs are the visual equivalent of sound bites’ Sontag, 2003, p.77). An image may affect people in different ways and I would argue it comes to ethics, politics or people’s beliefs. The photograph by Jeff Mitchell of the migrants and the way it was used by UKIP springs to mind.

Images create a better understanding, inevitably changing the perspective and even the belief of the viewer, whether this is ethical or true requires a further explanation.
My work is considered as a ‘message’. If I was financially capable to do so, I would travel further afield to gain ‘shocking subjective material’. I can relate to Nick Brandt's work and I'd love to implement a similar project. Climate change is happening. For 3 years in a row our GMST has risen every year. In this scenario, to provoke change through imagery I believe the material must be ‘shocking’.  This will have a negative impact on my own work. People’s opinions and interpretation of my light polluted times-lapses find them beautiful. Adding text and explanation to the motion automatically changes their subjective view and therefore they feel that they should not like it. My ideas and beliefs have not changed this week and I will continue to try and project my message.


No comments posted.