The Material is a series about the interaction with the physical world of books. It takes no feat of the imagination to speculate on the role of the printed book in the future. I found it an important time to investigate the physicality of the boards and bindings of the insignificant as well as the culturally relevant. The arrangements reflect an organization, a mode of ordering within the structure of the interior space. How we think about the material world of books relates to the ways we read them. As we forge ahead into the virtual, how will our necessary conditions for understanding change with how we acquire information?
Brendan George Ko
I remember as a kid I used to cover my face with my hands and peek at the world through my fingers. I could see the world, but the world couldn't see me. Nowadays, I find myself assimilating with the hybrid, a creature I share a betwixt nature with, for we are both between two worlds, having multiple origins, and demand our own realm, such as a gothic castle, a tomb, or limbo to serve as a haven. I seek to create a peace with a conflict of belonging. The Barking Wall serves as a vault; a collection of visual memories that cross-pollinate with lived experience, and extended history (of past generations, oral tradition and cinema), and spawn new hybrid moments. Applied layer after layer, these confused memories let go of specific places and time, and drift like phantoms, roaming free through the fields of imagination, meeting the visitor halfway, and letting one create their own narrative.
I see this group of images as a contemporary look at our social landscape through the windshields, or windscreens, of parked cars. I am fascinated by how these unique personal spaces can be rendered in a photographic image. A car's interior defines the line between public and private space. While peering into these spaces, I wonder if the interior, often littered with personal articles, can describe the way language, religion, economy, government and other cultural phenomena play a role in the owner's life. The largest challenge of the project is taking something as iconic as the automobile and adding something new to a conversation that has been going on since its inception. The gasoline-powered vehicles that were introduced in 1896 represented freedom, hope, exploration and independence—quintessentially American ideals. By 1947, when the photographer Wright Morris made his image of an aging Model T, those early ideals had already begun to deteriorate. Like Morris's pictures, Windscreen is about a culture that is disappearing. When combing through neighborhoods for cars, I look first for the way light enters a car and renders color. If I find nothing inside its cabin that tells something about its owner, I move on. Above all, the car needs to be drivable or just recently taken off the road. If a car sits for too long uninhabited, it loses something. The composite of this space reflects who we are, where we come from and possibly where we are going.
Cristina De Middel
In 1964, still leaving the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first african on the moon catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. Only a few optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts , a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit. That is how the heroic initiative turned into an exotic episode of the african history, surrounded by wars, violence, droughts and hunger. As a photojournalist I have always been attracted by the eccentric lines of story-telling avoiding the same old subjects told in the same old ways. Now, with my personal projects, I respect the basis of the truth but allow myself to break the rules of veracity trying to push the audience into analyzing the patterns of the stories we consume as real. Afronauts is based on the documentation of an impossible dream that only lives in the pictures. I start from a real fact that took place 50 years ago and rebuild the documents adapting them to my personal imagery.
In the Orbit of El Teide, 2010-2011, is a visual and psychological approach to the notion of the perspective. [Since] my 2009 project, The Point of View, I have been looking at various aspects of the viewing process and, consequently, decision making in photography, in terms of the perspective and, even more so, the framing. [I've also been examining] the consequences these processes have on the way we [perceive] specific places by showing them each in multiple, [but] very similar views. In the Orbit of El Teide now focuses on the question of what can be seen, or how much information can be gathered, from only one single point of view, versus the information, visual or abstract, one could gather by orbiting an object, question or focus point. In this way, two different points of views of the same subject matter could differ in their look or feel tremendously and might not even be recognized as the same subject matter anymore. Like pieces in a puzzle, every image from In the Orbit of El Teide holds different visual aspects of the same subject, in this case the mountain El Teide. But other than a piece in a puzzle, each image appears to strongly stand on its own. And it is only through looking at these images one-by-one that one realizes how much more information, visual aspects, perspectives or stories-to-be-told there are to just one single mountain—or to any subject matter, basically.