Rotation 1 Evaluation: Lens-based Media

The brief for this project was centred around the idea of Obsession. To connect this “psychological state within the historical context and process of analogue photography, and providing an insight into how easily we can find ourselves consumed by obsessions.” We were tasked with exploring this theme and visually communicating our own interpretations of it through a type of lens-based media, be it photography, film, animated GIF, etc.

My initial thoughts about this brief led me to think about the modern-day obsession many of us have with technology and social media, and our increasing reliance on them. I looked into the dictionary definitions of obsession to gain a clear understanding of the characteristics of obsessive behaviour, and I related these definitions to my ideas of technology and social media.

Although I had already formed some rough ideas for possible themes and carried out some brief visual research for this, I still created two mind maps as part of my research. The first considered the things that could come under the theme of obsession, and split them into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ sections. Branches on the mind map included culture, the media, addiction, materialism and power.

My next section of research was to study the work of three artists that I felt showed links to the theme of obsession. I looked at the “joiners” style of photography that David Hockney popularised, the “Body Dysmorphia” series by Scarlett Carlos Clarke, and Eric Pickersgill’s “Removed” series. From this artist research I gained a better understanding of the kind of direction I wanted to take my work, and the way that other people have approaced the obsessive side to social media.

After my research I began with two initial ideas. I then took forward ‘idea 2’ into development. As part of this development I went out and took a small selection of test shots around Newcastle to investigate potential environments for the ‘outside’ portion of the timelapse video. This helped me to decide that the area around Grey’s Monument, Grainger Street for example, would be an ideal location to capture timelapse footage of a bustling environment that represented the movement and business of life outside of social media and our phones.


Unfortunately, I was unable to resolve this project into the final piece that I had planned because of issues including time and the availability of equipment. Had I completed the time-lapse piece as I had planned I feel it would have been a strong ending to the project and would have shown in a very direct way the message that I was trying to get across in relation to obsession. Despite not having the completed final piece to show, I think the idea itself is successful and makes full and effective use of lens-based media techniques.

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