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thesis defense

thesis defense
by

frank donato

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of thesis defense

A Park Bench 8 weeks later... To perceive photography as... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I began engaging
the act of
photography
as a way to learn
how it changes
and defines context.


I wanted others to experience the interaction of a photograph depicting the space while it existed dynamically within the space. I wanted to make the engagement with my photographs more experiential; more tactile. To emphasis the reinsertion of images back into
their original context. I was still thinking
about the experience of photography
as being tactile;
as weight
rather
than
image. I began shooting polaroids; thousands of them, only to end up struggling with the necessity to catagorize them. It became important to
call this struggle into question. To make photography preceivable
without the capacity to catagorize it.
It was a way to understand what something meant to me through my own efforts. This was a way to evaluate my own intentions, efforts and results; disconnected from how photography is expected to be used... T Then I read Walter Benjamin... ...the aura... ...and then i bought an iphone.
All that work... needed to come together... And finally begin understanding myself as an individual. I began working with a politicized subject. During which, I decided
to focus on one thing; something managible, something I could learn
about entirely on my own terms.
...became fascinated with Susan Meiselas
and how she reinserted her photographs
into their original context... ...and I could not
get enough of Roland
Barthes... The Tunnel Prior to Graduate School... In order to experience a
space and its photograph. Re-inserting images back in their original context The goal was to use the
same space to both create
from and later exhibit in. I came to Grad School in New York. Times Square I read Guy Debord. And of course, I went to the spectacle... ...straight to the source. I got a little lost there,
not knowing exactly which way to go. I read alot... which only helped confuse things more. I felt I was learning
so much from the experience.
I just could not explain what
exactly it was. ...and then I realized;
I would never be able to use someone else's words to articulate precisely what
I learned from my own actions. I began to be hyper sensitive of the difference between context, especially between an original context and that of the context created through the act of photography. SOUND I went back to reading... So I took the image away from its original context. and filmed it coexisting with people; like a hollywood backdrop. I went back and filmed the park bench.
I put all the video together. It merged a number of different context... But still no grand conclusions came from it. ...It posed interesting questions. And thats when I began to see what I was actually doing.
To enrich my unique understanding of the world around me. and all that different context... Everything I did, I did for me first. ...and understood. It was all done to learn through my own means.
To focus on my own actions and interpret them. And become a spectacle within the spectacle.
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