01 November 2016

PROJECT #11: Dream(s) (DIGITAL)

The words studium & punctum come from a book about reading photographs by a French philosopher named Roland Barthes. In the book he reflects on the complex relationships between meaning, society, culture, and subjectivity when looking at images.

STUDIUM: (The symbolic meaning and interest in a photo) Denotes the cultural, linguistic, and political interpretation of a photograph. Basically, it is the element that creates interest in a photographic image. It shows the intention of the photographer. We experience this intention in reverse because we're the viewer. We are charged with having to find the meaning. The photographer thinks of the idea/intent, and we as the viewers act in the opposite way, interpreting the photograph and attempting to figure out meaning.

PUNCTUM: (The object or thing that stands out in a photo) Denotes the personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. Essentially, it is a small detail that jumps out at the viewer as special and important.

Andre Kertesz, 1921 - Tristan Tzara, Paris

Here's an example from the book. He mentions that he thinks this photograph is well composed, and has good value, shape, and line. But the element that draws him in - the punctum - is the dirt under Tzara's fingernails.

Make a group of photographs (8-10 minimum) that tell the story of a dream. The kind of dream is up to you.  Of course, make well-exposed images, but remember that the project is as much about the IDEA(s) and story that you tell through the photographs.

We will edit the final images down to 3-5 final images that tell the story. Yes, you will make more photos than needed, but by doing so you give yourself more options from which to choose the BEST TOLD story.

*We will be printing between 3-5 images for display.

How will you get inspired to create a dream sequence through photographs? 
Think: odd, unusual, unexpected, perplexing, surreal, and outside-the-box. Use the diagram provided to map your idea & objects/place/time/etc. so that you have concrete photographable ideas.

Arthur Tress article. CLICK HERE.