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The September edition of Crossing Lines was an interim meetup for participants in the Sensory Photography Workshop which LIP members Michael Rodgers & John Levett have created for the 2015 Urban Photo Fest at Goldsmiths College. An initial all-day event in August kicked off the workshop with the final presentation session being in October.

The purpose of the Crossing Lines Group was to hammer out matters of interpretation regarding Sensory Photography & its possible modes of practice.

Michael Rodgers initial introduction to the workshop (below) will give a hint of the scope of this approach to ‘photographic’ practice which can involve no photography at all.

“I feel like a large theme is exploring photography beyond the immediate impact it has a visual medium. We are not looking to ask what a photograph of urban space might look like. The photograph will answer that for itself. With your mention of urban space as a ‘constructed repository of memory’ and my desire to emphasize experience over appearance, I feel the themes together are asking ‘How can the individual use photography to explore their own relationship with urban space?’. I think we’re talking conception of perception, without getting too Conceptual!”

“Sensory photography – treating photography as a non-visual medium, or de-emphasizing the visual aspect of photography. Getting away from the city- as-spectacle and focusing first on one’s own experience of a place, its meaning, and then using the camera to connect to that experience (not necessarily to capture it.)”

What we intended to do:
To explore ways in which photographers can use their own memory as a platform for engaging with the city.
To apply photography as an experiential medium in the urban environment.
To reflect upon the relationship between photographer and the city – before, during, and after the process of taking pictures.

Michael continues: “I found myself writing question like “What preparations can the photographer make before taking the photograph? Before picking up the camera? Before leaving the house?” “What is left to unpick after the photographs are taken?”

“I think there’s a structure we could employ based on this before/during/after sequence. I know my own way of moving through the city and taking pictures changed the more I went through the process of asking myself what I want from the city, what I am looking for, etc. before heading out. In some ways, the consideration-before and reflection-after was more important than the snapping-during. The middle bit is just the execution! The preparation feeds into the execution, and the reflections feeds into the re-execution.”

We put a limit of sixteen on the workshop & all but four were able to attend this interim meeting.

October’s Crossing Lines meeting will welcome Rob Horsley who will be showing his film of the Aylesbury Estate followed by recent work on the estate by Barry Cole. All Crossing Lines meeting are open to all LIP members. [Contact John Levett to be placed on the notification list:]

John Levett [Convenor Crossing Lines Group]