After two years of frequenting a one mile stretch of rock in the Fluerieu, it took an additional twelve months to integrate, both bodily and intellectually the journey i had embarked upon. Through the completion of an Honours Degree in Visual Arts, (end of year exhibition pictured above) assisted by dozens of one-to-one and group crits on the work I was producing, I was enabled to articulate the experience and motivation behind why I was so impassioned to get intimate with a challenging piece of coast with an old 20th century wooden camera strapped to my back.
In many ways the process has been one of getting to know myself as an artist as well a my influences. It was both conscious and unconscious, and took a degree of unseeing, doing everything I could to lose the anchor of simply re-presenting the literal in one form or another. I realised over time i was tapping into a conversation that is happening across diverse fields of inquiry. Karen Barad's quantum theory of Agential Realism and Eduardo Kohn's material semiotic take on ecosystems invite an application of seeing beyond the literal.
Since its inception photography has been predominantly obsessed with what it sees, through its mechanical eye and/or that of the photographer. Some of the most inspired works stand as testament to the medium's function as a tool of visual reproduction (and even Man Ray's abstract photograms assert the medium's literalism). As we venture into the 21st century however, with the emergence of new materialism and its divergent resonance across multiple disciplines, the potential exists to expand photography's field of reference and include the materiality of process and the authoring power beyond the human as equal partners within the practice. What this looks like over the long term is anyone's guess but one thing is certain, it makes for fresh and exciting times.