Week 2 – Mediation

It is good to try to get my head around the subjects of appropriation, mediation and remixing. I start with a view that the current copyright laws give too much ownership to that which has been captured. I put two riders on this. One is I know it is quite difficult to pursue copyright action. Two is I need to recognise there is a cost to the producer to make their work and this has to somehow be recognised. In this digital age once something is digitised it is very hard to stop it being used in all sorts of unexpected ways. One way to avoid that misuse is not to put it up in digital form.

Examples of the problem help.

This is a photograph of a still life by Sharon Core that I saw last week in Madrid. It is a wonderful work as Sharon grows the flowers herself, constructs the props and arrives at this magical moment. Seen live they are so good I wanted to go and touch the flowers and smell them. Sharon is reproducing still life images from famous paintings from the past. She does not put up any reference to that work with her photograph. When asked she said she sees her work as an original piece of photography albeit inspired by something else. I am comfortable with what she is doing but I am sure there are many people who would not be.

I am interested to know what the status of this image is. For my project ‘The Truth & Beauty of Me’ I am taking self portraits for inclusion in the work. I conceived this shot last week at the William Klein show at PhotoEspaña in Madrid last week. On the wall behind me is an image of Klein’s and I inserted myself in front of the image holding a folio provided by a colleague to connect me with the walker behind me. Another colleague took the shot with my camera.

We were free to take photographs without any constraints. We were not informed of any restrictions on the use of the photographs we took. I will always be happy to make reference to the William Klein element of this image. However, if this image were to become famous there is a question as to whose image it is and how the rights are shared around.

Had I known I was doing mediation this week I could have asked William for his opinion on the matter.

On a related matter I heard Tim Berners Lee talk about inventing the world wide web and making it freely available to the world. IBM, military and others were keen to buy it and own it but Tim felt it was for mankind to use as was seen fit. By doing so the world wide web grew faster and more freely than would have been the case. We have not stopped seeing efforts by others to try to own it as companies like Google, Amazon and Apple increase their control of it. Tim invented the world wide web but chose to give it away rather than make a personal fortune from it.

Categories: Coursework, Surfaces and Strategies

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.