PHO705: Assessment Period Reflection

So what has been happing of late?

  • Making new work.
  • Planning going public. (which requires new work)
  • Ramping up the professional
  • Ramping up the quality of work

Overall, an exciting period of practice development.

Concluding, is the intense period of reading and learning putting substance behind research based practice. Going are the days of creating themes in support of project narratives.

For visual language development samples of themes have been created.

  • Father mitochondria layered on mother image (mitochondria as transmitter). Biological markers ready to be layered in next stage.
  • Stills dropped out of newsreel of 100 years ago montaged into project examples
  • Family archive motherline photograph layered with glow image (mitochondria)
  • graphic development of DNA and cellular imagery and text

A rather busy and very worthwhile period indeed.

Three months of work to finish off a professional portfolio of high quality to be taken public Reacquainting with the MA Photography requirements caused a close look at example work created so far.

There were then many ups and downs hinging on the practice of being fully digital in the making. With much time spent in the digital darkroom the methodology was fully re-examined and especially following the digital imaging Symposium at Westminster University.

The Symposium was good and gave access to several key scientists in skincare and medical forensics. For those that know about the project the relevance should be clear. Much was confirmed around the artist’s assumptions of biological science as applied here.

The quality of the work then came under deep scrutiny anticipating cramming a lifework into a meagre 10MB PDF file without undue loss of image quality. The answer is InDesign and the methods documented in the FMP block.

However, any signs of a borderline quality entering the process and the situation will only worsen. Were there signs in current work?

Previous bad experience of transferring to mobile working and lack of connectivity in the Scottish Highlands led to a deliverable quality issue. It was never planned to be like that – the cohort will remember those events.

In an attempt to avoid technical issues deep scrutiny was performed on the work. A solarisation filter is quick to pick up on banding faults and pixelation (not in the original but from processing).

How to resolve this? Some very detailed analysis and comparison trials showed how and where different algorithms broke down affecting an unacceptable number of images.

During the last week of the “break” or so called University Assessment Period, and to which this blog post pertains work continued urgently to sort out technical issues. A number of workshops and external resources were called upon and a growing amount of time was soaked up.

This continued into Week 13. The current blog post is a retrospective. That is how important it was to resolve quality, instigate testing and build a professional approach to practice. Time normally spent learning and researching art and photography began to make way to working the critical methodology during the FMP blocks.

It would be great to have visual examples accompanying this post but for now it is important to continue making and delivering images elsewhere. Return later when priorities resolve.

There has been much catching up to do. After 10 weeks of being slain by the aftereffects of two bouts of flu, it is sad to note the passing of two more family members in the run-up to year-end.

In a way, the losses underline the importance of the project being made complete to pass on to others. The pay-off would be in gathering the technique that others may wish to use with their own, alongside forever unfolding events on a world stage, whether that be a 9/11 or something else.

PHO705: Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art

Project development: rhymes, art and naming of the photo project.

Oxford definition.

This post is an extension of the Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art (McNamee, 2019) feature in the blog post, PHO705: Research Artsci, Communicating Science Visually, Computational Biology and a new Avant-Garde

The intention is to deliver something art-based (rhyme or graphic text or image titles) over the upcoming period between terms as noted in the Final Proposal. An intention is to experiment to discover if contextualisation and visual language can be built with Recombinant Rhymes or DNA Art.

The idea is to use imagination in selecting words like TELEOLOGICAL that contain DNA base letters ACGT and combine them for effect, perhaps making a video with a reading of a rhyme. Words are intended to be selected for their connection to narratives of the project.

Select from the following ACGT words for some connected meaning:

Base-words-ACGT

Examples:

  • Advocating 
  • Fracturing conflagrations
  • Countervailing 
  • Lethargic contagiousness

Interestingly, the validated list contains the terms Abstracting and Photographic.

Project naming

In short, “Motherline” is the name presently chosen. This is less politically charged than the earlier proposed project name “Matriarchy”.

Matriarchy like patriarchy has political overtones, so is not so attuned to the themes of the work.

Motherline is derived here from the post PHO705: Visual Language of DNA Testing and the terms:

  • Family Ancestry (autosomal DNA)
  • Motherline Ancestry (mtDNA)
  • Fatherline Ancestry (Y-DNA)

Bibliography

McNamee, A. (2019) ‘Art of Now Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art’. A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002rkb