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  • Damien Williams

Week 2: Interdisciplinary Practice: Reflection

Updated: Sep 27, 2020


Finding themes to work on. It is only week 2, but already I am finding that not coming from a visual art background is presenting a challenge. I am thinking about my research project and struggling to think of visual themes. Most of what I want to research is technical, without narrative interest or momentum.

Discovering the breadth of photography and realising quite how broad the subject is. This is the most enjoyable challenge. I am absolutely loving the discovery of photography's history. Most of all, it's struggle for equality and the practitioners battle of acceptance as an Art form. The layers of 'brute force' cultural change of the Artistic mindset to the cynical essays written by non-photographers. It is enlightening as an artist and a social scientist. There simply isn't enough time. I could happily have done this as a 3 year full time course.

Singapore is still on lockdown: I have not been able to realise a theme or idea for myself. The scope of my photography is within the four walls of my accommodation. Which will soon limit my choices for pursuing a research project of the scope and depth that I wish to do to launch my career.


I am finding the pace alarmingly quick or my pace is less than pedestrian.

The broad-base of experience of my peers on the MA.

How small my historical knowledge is and how much I have to catch-up.

How few non-descriptive lockdown projects are currently around.

My thought process of thinking beyond simply operating the camera in order to generate work. Ref: Unbranded by Hank Willis

Knowledge gained

When investigating a photographer's work, looking for interviews about their work is usually a more rewarding experience.

My background in Film editing is going to be a useful touchstone when working in an interdisciplinary fashion.

I am really interested in the process of creating the ‘presenter portraits’ on SNL. It is clear to me that the thought processes that I am starting to enter into could lead this way.

I am starting to see photography ‘opportunities’ everywhere.

Interdisciplinary practice is not a large part of my practice so far, or so I thought. I am obsessed with identity as an over-arching theme. Usually fitting-in or being incongruent. The work I tend to do is overly descriptive and has some form of social commentary or achievement connected to it. A series that I am currently engaged with is called pain and gain based around the F45 movement. There really isn’t much depth to the series yet but could become a project if I can hold the images accountable to a discipline and refine my process in-camera and in post production. I am from a film background and really should lean into the sequencing more. May be as a ‘performance element’ structure the series by the progression of the subjects through the stages of the workouts or linked to their goals.

Consider how you think you might expand your practice through greater use of other disciplines, media and critical contexts.

For Pain and Gain, Follow closely specific people whom have a set of goals and make it more biographical to them. Weight, body composition, social interaction,.. Follow these or other ‘fields of cultural interest’.

For me in general, I want to go deeper into what identity is and really means.

I also want to be more inter-disciplinary and look at artistic and darkroom methods to produce a wider varieties of end products. Become more experimental in my vision or work.

I have discovered that I want to express a clearer sense of temporal and spatial control with how I take and make images. Montage has re-awakened as a interest. I also have seen a link (which will be much harder to demonstrate) between music and photography’s relation ship in regards to tempo, duration, texture, Rhythm (music) and temporal and spatial texture in photography. Both media produce and gain identity by manipulating space and time. Especially if you don’t dis-count video.

Sequencing in exhibitions and books is hugely important as a narrative tool. If a collection is narrative based then the order of presentation should also be a tool for storytelling.

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