Here is a set of redacted images created by me manually. Note that I have shown them in portrait style as that presents the imagery better online but would probably aim to present the set differently if presented in physical form. For example, the first thing that viewers will notice is that I have created a set of 8 images rather than 9. This is to do with thinking about the end product and whether this would form a 2: 1 ratio image in a book or on a wall or a square image on a wall. But I don’t really have to concern myself with that now.
The thing that comes to mind when I look at the above set is just how diverse the images are in terms of aesthetic values. This has the effect of weakening any evocation the images impart as a set. Because of that they seem much closer to the approach I used in Project 5 Evidence than the earlier sets produced for this project. But where that set offered a sort of faux documentary clarity this set offers nothing consistent – each image says its own thing. So I experimented in making the set more cohesive by processing the images into a monochrome form.
I don’t have a lot of thoughts just now about the set’s evocation. The monochrome treatment may offer greater aesthetic consistency but I am unclear what the set says. Maybe I need to put a little distance between me and the work in order to gain a better perspective on that.
However the process of making the images reminded me of Lev Manovich’s The Language of New Media and his discussion of low and high levels of automation (my previous set is an example of low level automation) and how that process compared to this manually created set.
Is manual always better the automated processes? In my first degree tutors pushed students to manually manipulate photos rather than rely on automated processes. However I think the reason for that was to get students to understand what was taking place and so a learning objective rather than any judgement linking process and outcome. I think I will spend the rest of the day exploring this issue.