I propose to discuss research which investigated the construction and representation of the ‘figure and the ground’ in both photography’s old and new technologies through overlapping temporal and spatial renderings of the same subject within single photographic images. This included a critical investigation of the representation of time, perspective, and location in historical and contemporary photography with particular attention to the synthesis, imitation, and distinction of characteristics of human vision in this medium especially where they are indicative of consciousness of space and attention to presence. These inform a radical refiguring of the premise of the genre of the photographic portrait and its setting, especially within the unstructured environment of the Central Victorian ironbark forests and goldfields. Analogue and digital photographic experiments were conducted in superimposed shifts in camera position and their convergence on significant points of ‘focus’ through repeated exposures across different time scales. The images correspond to a stage in human stereo perception before fusion, to represent the attention of the viewer, where, in these images, the ‘portrait’ is located. These findings were then applied to the large format camera production of high-definition images that extended the range and effectiveness of selected pictorial structures such as selective focus, relative scale, superimposition, multiple exposures and interference patterns. The outcome was exhibition at Smrynios Gallery in Melbourne, at the University of Tasmania School of Art in Hobart, and at Bendigo Regional Art Gallery. My paper will include discussion of relevant work of significant Australian practitioners Daniel Crooks and David Stephenson alongside the traditions of the phenomenology and sciences of spatial perception.
- Dr. James McArdle, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
Full text (PDF) p. 337-339