Session 8 (and We Are All Thieves)

For my final lecture we returned to where we started with Fred Ritchin’s insight on the subject. Here we also looked at Ian MacDonalds work and process. Before I finally looked at “We Are Thieves” as an extra task, that id missed out.

These are the class notes on the work followed by the points that stood out to me.



  • It’s important how people perceive it
  • Only see their own image, allow themselves to see an image in a certain way
  • Part of a transition – move forward but reverting back to the old
  • Reactive waits for something bad and responds to it
  • Proactive knowing is something is going to happen and trying to make a change


The points that Ritchin made were similar to that of…

MANSOUR: ‘The story comes first, the photography comes later’ as his definition of reactive and proactive is that the bad needs to happen for it to be documented. While for the proactive something needs to be they’re leading up to something bad so to make a change. That way your either showing what’s happening from what we already have or waiting for it to happen before responding.

MAYES/HETHERINGTON: This point was also similar to Ritchin’s point of view as felt that photography was part of a transition where old is what we revert back to. Which was also the same point as Mayes/Hetherington’s point of view of “We understand the new in terms of the old”.

HUEY: This was the main point that stood out in similarity to me as Ritchin said that people only see their own image even if it has text with it because they view the image with their beliefs, judgments etc. So only allow them selves to see an image in a certain way. Which was along the lines of what Huey said of people who buy a magazine or view your work do so because they can agree with it and hold the same point of view. Instead we have to confront those who don’t or won’t consider the same point of view.


This talk I found to be interesting as it was a sense of an overall thought from the first practitioners whose thought we heard to then being hearing his thoughts on the subject and other points of view that had come after his. Making it feel as if the work had come full circle.



  • Depicts time and change gradually fading away
  • Tell a story and part of an adventure
  • Interested in the surface, weight, how it exists captures images by sharing others experiences with them
  • Have to say what you are in an image


BLEASDALE: CREATES IMAGES TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THE WORLD, this was the main similarity that struck me from both photographers as Bleasdale tries to use photography as a way of stopping wrong doing from happening through confronting the ones with their behavior or making people realize what they are doing is wrong. While MacDonlds imagery is mainly based on the affect he creates in his images to express his thoughts so that the image are clear to read.

BROOK: Photographs are experiences rather than documentation.. This is similar to MacDonald’s point on when you tell a story you also tell part of an adventure. Showing that the story you tell is from what your adventure was that you experienced.

DAVIDMAN: Feels that the photograph is as much about the participant as the photographer which is the same as what MacDonald said who put it as a photograph tells what you [photographer] what you are.



The main piece that interested me was the way in which you could read MacDonalds imagery and the expression put in the pieces. However, I was also interested in the point about expressing yourself in the photograph to show what you are and the point of how people aren’t only interested in the imagery but the aspects of how it is printed, weight of it etc. This is due to the fact my interest and life is based a lot around music or my background so my work does actually express me any how as I feel it’s what I know best but seeing the way others work in the concept is something I find interesting to do especially as I also have an interest of stepping into the area of unknown so to learn about something new. While the idea that someone is more interested in the physicality of a picture rather than the picture itself was unusual to me and at the time something I wasn’t expecting to hear as it is not a common thought. Yet subconsciously and has been spoken about a lot, there is a feeling to holding a photograph a sense of holding the time. Yet with it I didn’t consider it to be more important than the image itself even though when creating final images it is on par with the image when it comes to how to present it. So even though the idea of someone having more of an interest in the printing method etc. afterwards it does feel like of course why wouldn’t someone be interested in that also even though its not something that sticks out to you.



  • Photographic reproduction can’t be improved by technology
  • Change in technology changed the photographs themselves
  • Most popular – cloud gate = a fun house mirror on steroids
  • Having an experience has become identical to taking a picture of it
  • Bionic man – half man, half camera = self-portrait in a mirror (selfies). Created through flicker.
  • Most photography is an act of reference
  • Is the photographer or art whose the “photographer”?
  • Photographic reproduction is the collection and re-contextualization of visual data
  • People bring their own beliefs, stigma’s etc to a photograph even if the image has a meaning. The viewers then use that to express their own opinion.
  • Went around photographing the places as saw them that day
  • Allowed people to take print so long as person made an offering in return – helped keep art centers and categories open
  • Photographic reproduction is to freeze meaning.
  • A photograph is a ghost of reality and its meaning
  • The decision of when to reproduce and not to decides whether it’s a good image or not
  • Work is not valued unless seen
  • Everything exists to end up in a book, a photograph or online
  • Ritchin – digital images are discreet and are malleable images of the visible that can and will be linked, transmitted, contextualized and fabricated
  • How will anyone see an image without the Internet?



  • Having an experience has become identical to taking a picture of it
  • Most photography is an act of reference
  • Allowed people to take print so long as person made an offering in return – helped keep art centers and categories open


Alongside Shaffer comparing his thoughts to Ritchin and Sontag’s during the talk. I also noticed similarities and differences with other points that had recently been raised. These were that of…

MANSOUR: The story comes first the photography comes later which is the opposite of Shaffer’s opinion who feels that most of photography today has the point of “Having an experience has become identical to taking a picture of it” so that while the story is happening so is the photography. Although he does express through the talk that he also feels that the world makes the art, we just photograph and re-contextualizes what it creates.

HUEY: Feels that we should confront those who don’t consider the other thoughts. As the ones we mainly reach ie magazine subscribers already see same point, which is why they buy that magazine. Shaffer also agrees with this as he also feels people see imagery through their own point of view. This point is also shared with Ritchin with “people only see their own image even if it has text with it because they view the image with their beliefs, judgments etc. So only allow them selves to see an image in a certain way”.


This talk raised points and ideas that interested me as I felt they were unique; this was mainly the act of reference with the world (nature) creating the image and people as photographers as capturing it. This I found interesting, as I had considered this thought before based when regularly seeing how the morning light rising always fell close to the same spot during my journey and caught a picturesque scene within an industrial area. Yet I never saw it as me seeing it but more of what nature itself had created and if I was to capture a picture of it id only be documenting nature’s artwork. Alongside this I was also interested by the way in which he used his imagery so to gather support for charity reasons and to make funds but also at same time gather pieces that may help not only support his work but create a new project so turn his work into being a continuous cycle.








One thought on “Session 8 (and We Are All Thieves)

  1. Pingback: Met of the Learning Outcomes | deanachantler

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