Had a great day yesterday of free form researching (improv researching?) online.
Here’s what I found, starting with following this link from artist Lyndsey Perth on (https://twitter.com/lippi) on Twitter:
‘Manipulated Photographs, Manipulated Memories‘
An interesting blog post by a neuroscientist working with memory – especially interested in the last paragraph about the use of photographs to strengthen autobiographical memoir, and this quote, in the final paragraph:
“we should begin to explore how photography can be used in both helpful and harmful ways. How should we as individuals and as a society use photography to help maintain an accurate and precise history?”
I then followed this link, which discussed how the brain makes memories from photographic images: ‘Memories, Photographs, and the Human Brain‘
Then, a look at visual anthropology, finding this website www.visualanthropology.net/‎which contains some useful links, papers and publications. I chanced upon a post on conference in 2003 at the Tate about the relationship between anthropology and art which I found intriguing. http://www.visualanthropology.net/reviews/moffat.p… I then had a look at the MA in Visual Anthropology course information at Manchester University – I’m hoping to chat to someone about to start the course and wanted to get a handle on what the subject involves.
I can’t remember how, but I then stumbled upon a book by Gillian Rose photography, ‘Doing Family Photography: The Domestic, the Public and the Politics of Sentiment’
Gillan Rose is Professor of Cultural Geography at The Open University, and her current research interests lie broadly within the field of visual culture. Reading an excerpt, I found the text refreshingly directly and without jargon. I found her blog, which again is very accessible and wide-ranging ttp://visualmethodculture.wordpress.com/more-about-gillian-rose/
Though the print version of ‘Doing Family Photography’ is very expensive, I managed to find an ebook version on Scribd for just over £4 (the cost of a 24 hour subscription) http://www.scribd.com/doc/99659160/Gillian-Rose-Do….
I’m not far into it but I’m already completely hooked, as it focusses not just the content or the politics of domestic photographs, but how they are used:
“Family photos are particular sorts of images embedded in specific practices , and it is the specifity of those practices that define a photograph as a family photo as much as, if not more than, what it pictures. What is important in a family photograph is: who took it; who it shows; where and how it is kept; who made copies of it and sent them to other people; who those other people are; and how it gets looked at by all those people.”
This brings me back to my own key statement about what my own project is essentially about:
‘How people use, and make meaning from their family photographs’.
I suspect this book is going to open up so much new thinking and inquiry. Hurrah for the internet.
Oh, and I finally Storyfied my Twiiter and Facebook responses to the question ‘What do you do with your family photographs?”