2 The Value of An Image

In order to clear up my work in progress with student projects and make space for the latest post-university projects (aka after assessment!) I am cleaning up the categories, but here are the CSM-specific categories just in case of need:
(and don’t forget to scroll down if you want to read through the development of a project from start to finish!)

Projects done around CSM

Year Two at Central Saint Martins (2012-2013):
Unit 5
Visual Language: International Klein Blue
Liberty’s Department Store into Flipbooks, a building translated into a book
Yves Klein by himself, a book translated into a building
Blast/Bless: Postcards from London, Luxembourg and Paris

Unit 6 – The Bigger Picture

Unit 7
Time is of the Essence: Student Organiser
What if Music Could Be Seen: Musical Perception
Pop Up Shop: &London Notebooks

Context / Dissertation
Unit 8-9

Year Three at Central Saint Martins (2013-2014):
Unit 10
Home Town: Luxembourg(ish)
The Value of an Image
A Do Something But Not Anything Manifesto
Public/Personal Space

TSI (Typography Special Interest Group)

Final Year Digital


Events & Exhibitions

Competitions & Collaborations & Live Briefs
Barnard & Westwood
Font Aid IV

An Illustration Workshop
An Internship at the Imprimerie du Marais
Art Auction 2013 Catalogue
D&AD British Council
D&AD Monotype



I have been looking back at the photographs that I took of the fake landscapes and topographies out of acrylics and am trying to find the most relevant images that I was able to take in order to edit them as well as to prepare them for assessment. I zoomed into the images and made them nearly panoramic in format to reflect the observer’s sight and see how I can make the images more intriguing as well as relevant to existing landscape and forms of nature.

A few previews:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 22.32.06 Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 22.32.18 Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 22.32.25

I am now trying to refind and put together my visual references that go with my projects.
Here are a few for now:

Daido Moriyama’s Tales of Tono:

Tales of Tono, photography book by Daido Moriyama

Sculptures by Christopher David White:

Untitled (Landscape) by Christopher David White

Derek Toye:

Black and White Landscapes by Derek Toye

Katja Ollendorff:

Katja Ollendorff, Shadows

Cody William Smith’s series A Moment’s Reflection:

A Moment’s Reflection, Series by Cody William Smith

Photography by Noemie Goudal:

Photography illusions by Noemie Goudal

Most of these projects work with illusion and deception. Instead of having one image, they are built with different depths and layers to dig into.

Yesterday I also went back for an afternoon in the black and white photography printing studio to reprint some more photos of my first film since my second film didn’t develop right and left me with an empty film roll. It didn’t help that the weather hasn’t been nice enough yet on the few free mornings that I could have gone up to Hampstead Heath to take more photographs. However I am planning on taking photographs in Luxembourg to combine them with photographs from London anyway so there is still enough work to be done.

printing effects of expired photography paper

printing effects of expired photography paper

I still have photography paper from when I first did a black and white film printing and processing workshop at the age of fourteen which my dad passed onto me. However that paper was already expired by then, so no it is even more expired. This means that the paper is lacking contrast abilities which isn’t helping in my process but it will be like that for now. I only had the time to work on one negative yesterday which I blew up to maximum height. Inside the image whose size was larger than double of my paper size so that the paper could lose itself in the format, the first testprint came out very weak and with weird black smudges on it, as seen on the first image (the pros of old paper: you never know what you are going to get out of it). I suppose it is a residue of developing liquid from ten years ago. It gives the image an interesting feeling. It is however the only printed picture that did this for now, so I’ll see how I’ll continue from that. Adding seconds and seconds onto the testprints, the photograph only came out with more contrast in opposition to ghost photographs from 55 seconds onwards and with a 5 contrast filter. I then went over 115 seconds and an 8 contrast filter (meaning two filters layered) which created an acceptable set of contrasts considering the weak printing paper as well as the lack of contrast on my negatives which are still only the test–negatives. From that onwards, I started experimenting with layering and trying to get different dimensions. However waiting for two minutes to pass and going through two clickings as the lightcounter stops at 99 seconds took a lot of waiting and patience. Luckily the paper fitted through the mechanical printing machine so that saved me a lot of time to do all of the testprints. I started playing around and covered the paper one over the other to show hidden and less exposed fractions of the same image. As I continued I reduced the size of the image which allowed me to reduce the time as well. Now I am left with another stack of testprints which I can at least use for the mid–point review to show in which directions I am trying to go with my self–directed project.

Here are a few snaps of the results:

Why am I doing this? During my self–directed project I have been (and am still) looking at the value of the image as well as the process of seeing, information capturing and processing, triggering intrigue and self–awareness in a specific environment. The photographs in forests and of trees remind me of my home country Luxembourg with whose landscapes I have a love/bored relationship which started the motive of the forrest as a comparison between Luxembourg and London. I specifically searched for nature in London that looks similar to the one present in Luxembourg and as a second layer I want to be able to combine pictures of Luxembourg together with those that I take in London, creating a confusion between similar things that you can see but don’t necessarily capture as being from different places. So the project is influenced by how the personal perspective onto things chance if they are something that you are not used to seeing compared to what you are used to having around yourself and growing up in which sort of translate to being bored from my home landscapes and environments. This boredom of my home landscape is however also influenced by my personal opinion that there is not much going on in Luxembourg in general in terms of news and life which reflects in the opinion of what I can see. I have to however also add that this concerns mostly the landscapes that are close to my village; there are a lot of beautiful spots in Luxembourg which I don’t call boring.
All in all, I am trying to create deceptive images/models that create confusion in a second layer and hopefully a questioning of what it is that you are looking at and can see in (or not see).

Yesterday I was finally able to have the film processing and printing workshop, so I can use the facilities for printing and developing now. I printed a few versions of the photographs that I took for the first self–initiated project, and (unsurprisingly) they look a lot more interesting in terms of contrasts and textures than those I had printed last week in order to be able to present them at last week’s final crit with Luise.

Here are a few results:

Photo7012 Photo7032




After my camera broke just before I was able to finish the series I was doing for the self–initated brief, I brought back a branch with which I was walking around for the whole day today between tutorial and discussions with Rathna and Gary as well as the meeting with Hanna for the overall degree show identity (which we presented on January 15th and were selected to continue working on it with 11 other projects). Apparently it is too thin to be cast according to the casting workshop tutor, so I am going to have to find a way around that somehow, maybe with 3D printing or modelling it so that I would be able to destort/print with it.

The landscapes which I started working on as well at the beginning of this week are starting to dry, hopefully in time for Thursday.


So I’m nearly prepared for the final crit for our self–initiated project with Luise on Thursday, and the phone–test–shots look interesting, that’s that.

To start the second term, we had a whole-day-briefing session where we presented our self-directed project research which we are going to be working on for the next three weeks.

My initial proposal before the christmas break started with the keywords intrigue, awareness, textures, interactive, and the question What if a series of created (print?) objects could intrigue the user?
Associated tasks:
– find a collection of textures related to different kind of printmaking
– find a variation of different context/content
– look at the value of image/decoration/meaning

While I was preparing today’s presentation and looking back at the research I had done so far, it sort of didn’t match with the proposal that I had in mind (which had changed from the initial proposal).
Other questions occured:
What is an image? It is first of all a visual stimulation (to which other factors are then added (I am not going to start talking about my dissertation again (or I’ll try!)) This is not what I want to focus on, but rather the experience of seeing something, or maybe an installation/set. At least that is what is floating vaguely in my head. So I continued to another question: How would a landscape/image translated into a 2D or 3D environment? Keywords being: landscape, texture, illusion, intrigue, optical, installation, experimentation. But this still left me a bit concerned about the 3-week-brief ahead of me.

Research examples (see posts below):

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The feedback I got during the meeting was to look at how something can be translated into 2D and 3D, how it would be experienced from a different perspective (as for example a child playing hide and seek), to maybe relate it to the landscapes that I know from home (Luxembourg, which I described as nothing there during the presentation, while trying to explain my fascination with landscapes probably because of their ever–changing textures), create a series of prints, look at the artist Gregor Schneider at the Maison Rouge, and some more.
It still left me sceptical, but the day wasn’t over yet. We set aims, targeted audience, looked at tasks to complete and a vague three-week-schedule planning.
It was then that I decided my aim was to create illusions that make sight doubt.
After a further discussion with Rathna during which I was encouraged to go back to the first question and try out a landscape with different techniques (drawing, illustration, typography, etc), showing a different aspect each time, as well as different from the original place in Luxembourg. Even though I am sort of sceptical about the boundaries between creating an artwork and a design work, and about representational design/work, I suppose I should just start doing in order to get somewhere, and I have another route with illusions in mind which I am going to try out as well as the representational route.

Let’s see what will happen!