‘Interaction’ black-and-white project

After much panic and rushing about I finished putting the project together at 1940 on Thursday, and presented it this afternoon. Well, it wasn’t so much a presentation as a ‘critical assessment’, in which we split into groups, each critiquing the works of another and presenting their thoughts to everyone – it’s a little less stressful than an individual presentation + Q&A, although not much. The brief was 2-5 black and white prints on the theme of ‘interaction’ – basically an introductory project to get some indication of our abilities, I suspect – and my final display looked like this:

Interaction Project - 1 of 5 Interaction Project - 2 of 5

Interaction Project - 3 of 5

Interaction Project - 4 of 5 Interaction Project - 5 of 5

We were told not to say much about our intentions and let the images speak for themselves, so I’ll stay quiet.

It was the first time I’d seen everyone else’s work, and I was totally unable to get any perspective on my own project – I genuinely had no clue how it compared, or what people would think. The others had some great results, though, and I’m looking forward to an upcoming project where we work in teams.

The group’s reaction to my project was generally favourable: they liked the idea and thought the second image (knife in pumpkin) was the strongest, but recommended I remove the last two shots as they were weaker (particularly the final one), just leaving the first three more abstract photos.

Once they finished giving their opinions it was opened to the entire class, who said some nice things, and then the two teachers. They immediately completely disagreed, suggesting that if anything I should remove the first three as they didn’t seem to add anything to the concept and weren’t as good as the much stronger final two images anyway. The course leader recommended I enlarge the two to A3 and present them as a diptych.

It’s interesting to get such contradictory reactions and advice, neither of which I’d anticipated. I suppose the teachers have much more experience of this kind of work, and are, you know, grading it, but I want to produce work that appeals to my peers too. I’m not going to go into my intentions, but I don’t think I expressed my idea particularly well since neither the assessment group nor the teachers really picked up on the overall concept in my head. Having said that, at least one person definitely did have it all figured out, so there must be something there. It’s tricky to get any perspective now – I’ll take another look at them in a couple of weeks and try to see what works and what doesn’t. Plenty of food for thought, anyway. Thanks again to Nod for being a willing Pumpkin Man.

It’s a while since I’ve had a deadline project like this, and I’ve learnt a hell of a lot about how to manage my time. Major point: don’t end up doing it all in a week! The next project is entirely studio-based, which means playing with toys complex lighting equipment toys. Should be fun.