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Video results

My uni results came in this evening, and my video project did spectacularly badly. The video itself got 37%, which is quite the achievement – I don’t know of anyone who’s managed a lower score. The how-i-made-it documentation pulled the overall mark up to 40%, which is the lowest possible mark to still get a third. They had two major problems with it: the lack of research, which I hold my hands up to, and the concept, which was ‘inconceivable’ and totally unrealistic. I don’t want to whine, but it seems reasonable to mention this is from the teachers who, when ... Read More »

Video: done

I handed in the video today, which is quite the weight off my mind. I spent most of Christmas worrying about it, one way and another, and while it didn’t spoil things, it’s still nice to nuke that nagging voice. The module was far harder than I anticipated – I thought it’d be fun, but producing three minutes of moving footage that doesn’t seem too hacked-together was surprisingly stressful. Lighting is the main problem – with a photo you can just bounce a flash off a wall and it’ll probably look ok; with video a similar effect is only possible ... Read More »

The Self and The Penis

This term at uni was rather odd. There was surprisingly little work, and very few lectures. Of the few, though, two stood out. One was about properly interesting philosophy, although nothing to do with photography. And one was about how racism is caused by penises. You see, when you’re growing up you pay a lot of attention to parental genitalia. It may seem like you don’t, but let’s pretend you do. If you’re male, you get very upset that your mother doesn’t have a penis. If you’re female, you get very upset that your father has a penis and you ... Read More »

Plugging skepticism, badly

I’m studying video this term, and the module project is to produce a 3-5 minute film by early January. Today was proposals day, and I pitched a documentary-ish thing based around skepticism. I started out by introducing the concept of skepticism as an organised movement, followed by skeptics and the kinds of things we’re interested in, and I’m not sure I did a very good job. For starters, one of the teachers was pretty hostile. She immediately asked if I’d heard the modern view that science just ‘proves’ whatever it wants to prove1, and later called skeptics ‘annoying’. Another was clearly ... Read More »

Drifting

I shouldn’t really do this, but it made me laugh. Last term I wrote an essay about Flickr, which did far better than I expected, but I’ve only just today seen the full feedback. It includes this: [The essay is] a little evangelical and defensive at times (and in the process it becomes clear that you do skirt around the shortcomings of Flickr culture in which browsing is enshrined as some kind of right, access is elevated over meaning, and drifting becomes the ideal mode of attention). I do indeed skirt over these things. I’m also told I should read Allan Sekula’s ... Read More »

Happy Humanists

I’ve been mentioning my ‘Happy Humanists’ project for about six months, but I’m not sure whether I’ve ever properly explained it. It’s coming to a conclusion this weekend, so I figure a proper writeup can’t hurt. It started as an idea for my uni documentary module. The idea was to take portraits of as many humanists as I could, and ask them all the same question: ‘What are you happy about?’. Nothing deep or profound – just a feel-good little book; something to maybe help counter the idea of humanists / atheists as grumpy and reactionary. My teachers hated it from the ... Read More »

My degree is stupid

The first bunch of marks just came in, and I’m forced to conclude my degree is broken. Theory side: The module this term was ‘Contemporary Photographic Practices’, which is pretty much what it sounds like, if you pretend it’s 1997. One of the guest lecturers actually puts his photos on the Internet, but only one, and I don’t think Flickr was mentioned once. It was all about photobooks and gallery spaces, which are the primary practices of contemporary wanky photography, and I didn’t feel anything at all. Last term’s module, with its focus on anti-scientific Freudian bullshit, annoyed me no end. ... Read More »

All done

Everything’s handed in, and the second year of uni is over. Now to do the many, many things I’ve put off for the last few months. And pick up my guitar, which I’ve barely touched since February. And tidy up. And perhaps try to lift my blog out of this interminably boring phase1. Still, it’s quite the relief to have all that out of the way. Half-way through the course now… ymmv [↩] Read More »

Cutting it fine

The success or epic fail of today was entirely reliant upon the vagaries of UPS and the Royal Mail – I really needed them to deliver my projects in time for me to get to London before 17:00. This was a dumb situation to get myself into, but into it I nevertheless got, and my inability to do anything other than wait made for a spectacularly annoying morning. I didn’t sleep much last night, and was up pretty early, glancing out of the window every few seconds for any sight of a UPS van. My secondary project turned up in ... Read More »

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