‘Old Joy’ is a culmination of several different process based investigations initially using photography. But particularly this time round an intrigue in hand rendered colour upon photographs. Through hand rendering photographs, it allows me to put my own personal stamp on these places. Much as these places have had on me. Running parallel to these experiments were photographic/text manipulation tests that were based around an interest in odd and unusual scientific imagery predominantly ‘appropriated’ from second hand books and text from my own personal journals. Taking snippets from my personal thoughts/memento’s is something I always end up doing, making them public, for the world to see.
As for following through with these ‘text versus image’ experiments I felt they weren’t substantial enough to carry on with, but the use of text I kept, and particularly enjoyed using as I was becoming more interested in the use of ‘signage’, and what artists were using this method in their work. For example Tracy Emin.
As this curiosity in signage developed I started to become more aware of my surroundings, photographing new areas of my hometown Herne Bay I had never previously visited photography wise. An interesting new venture for, which was heightened further after visiting the latest Gordon Matta-Clark exhibition at the Barbican Centre. The ideas he put forward about our surroundings particular the idea that urban surroundings where metaphorical voids, gaps, and spaces that would survive through documentation and ephemera. His work was substantially based around urban decay, with people interpreting it as hostility, but in fact was an internal dialogue between Matta-Clark and such buildings. An un-spoken conversation communicated through the ‘re-adjustment’ and dissection of buildings such as Pier 52.
Much how Matta-Clark’s main location of work was downtown 1970’s New York, the main location of my work is present day Herne Bay…a set. A place that I have romanticised endlessly through art. Not dis-similar to Matta-Clark/downtown New York, Herne Bay (which sits on the south east coast of England) is going through the same. It is deteriorating. Due in part to the plight of fishing in the surrounding areas, and perhaps more importantly the disappearance of tourism. These counties (Kent & Thanet) were once herald as the kings of ‘The Great British Holiday’. Now all that exists is a wasteland of hyped up regeneration projects. Focusing on art as the saviour to the local economy.
Although the work is aesthetically based around Herne Bay, this time around the work has a more central idea. This being how visual information travels/translated and sorted. Which is an idea I have adapted from my last piece ‘That Mystic’, where it was more how language, but more importantly verbal information travelled. ‘That Mystic’ had an air of conspiracy about it, which I think ‘Old Joy’ has carried on. With the use of satellite imagery in the fanzines that exist alongside a series of prints & rendered photographs. I have a created a set of boundaries for these images to exist in. A ‘flow diagram’, forever repeating and going in on itself.
‘Old Joy’ is a collection of ephemera. It is temporary. Ink will fade, as paper will perish.
Now that this piece is at a stage of realisation, it has brought to my attention a few ideas and issues. Particularly the idea of ‘psychic geography’. This is the interest in examining the interaction between spaces and people, and is also a way of thinking about those spaces and people, in which it is assumed that the space has the upper hand and a desire to confound, betray, or destroy the people who inhabit it. Thus, the culprit of any crime is the space in which it took place (and possibly, by association, the people who designed that space).
I have also been curious about the escalation of mapping. Which has increased due to new global technologies available to the common man. The Internet, and more importantly Google maps (perhaps the most widespread mapping service). The Internet is itself a vast global map – if not of holistic global culture.
The Internet connects us to a vast global village, a place where we punch in our personal information, a place so easily accessible, a place where we now ‘exist’ socially. We are all part of it someway or another, and thus the world is now at our fingertips.