Definition and Mapping of final project

Purity of nature attracted me photographing the sky scapes, but soon enough I discovered that human intervention becomes visible with a closer look. Documenting human traces within the edges of my frame unconsciously became my practice. All locations photographed are distant from society. While traveling through Europe by airplane I found myself witnessing the beauty of the skies. Ever since I take advantage of my trips to collect those landscapes. The second part of the project is about the airport and its infrastructure. Restricted access of the particular spaces, intrigued me to look closer to the mundane objects that assist the complex operation of air transportation. I am considering to publish it in print.

Important aspect of this project is that I cannot finalise it in a few days. I have come to understand that in order to dedicate myself into a project I need time. And this time is either for researching the topics or spending it with my subject in a more relaxed fashion, letting spontaneity invade my plans. Rob Hornstra dubbed this in The Sochi Project as slow photojournalism. I can certainly relate to the term, especially in the age of information overflow, where words like slow and relaxed become strange, foreign.

Simon Norfolk has made a tremendous impact upon my work, ever since I researched his work for a an essay. His landscapes can often be mistaken as calm and peaceful, but in reality through his lens he registers tortured lands, not by the elements of nature, but the destructive force of humans in conflict. Similarly Edward Burtynsky documents massive landscape transformation by our industrial apparatus.

Richard Mosse, only recently being awarded the Deutsche Börse photography prize, for his multichannel video installation, documenting human conflict in Congo in an extraordinary way. His work calls for attention to the long-lasting issues of Congo, by using as a beauty as a tool, as Simon would say, to captivate the audience. Unlike traditional documentary Richard used an old reconnaissance infrared film to create unusual aesthetics that draw your attention, while as he said it registers the invisible, referring to the lack of awareness.

Indirectly, through the aforementioned practitioners, I have described you the ways I will follow in order to document topics of sociopolitical interest, which at the moment might only be a few lines on my notebook or an image but I feel confident in terms of direction.

I have been documenting nature for quite some time, and the I have realised that there is little or none of the pure untouched environment that used to exist before the industrial revolution. It has been this my current focus, to visualise even the most subtle human intervention, even the ones that try hard to hide from the visual spectrum, something that Trevor Paglen has been meticulously been documenting with the assistance of various technological devices.

Over the summer I will be looking into further education, through other photographic communities and the experience gained from the working environment. I have already applied for the International School of Photography in Latvia, and chose workshops from Simon Norfolk – “Photographing the Past”,  Rafal Milach’s and Ania Nalecka’s workshop “The Photobook: from Idea to Completion”, which is accepted will give me an opportunity to expand my skills and network with people from the international photographic community.

Exhibition Text Panel

Somewhere above Continental Europe, there are no borders.
One will come across temporal landscapes.
Details fade away and our traces become less.
The horizon dominates.

I have chosen to keep my text panel as minimal as possible to match the aesthetics of the photographs. These specific set of photographs are open to interpretation, and basically could address anyone. I have though addressed the general feeling that the create for me, which is about societal traces, control and authority.  The reason I did not reveal all information about this project in the gallery space, is because it would not be the appropriate medium for disseminating it. I decided to create a body of work that could appeal to the a greater audience, by using beauty as a way to attract one into the story, to paraphrase Simon Norfolk. In a way this exhibition was used to see the responses of people and take that “data” into account before I continue.

final set of images:

photograph below, courtesy of Christopher Trafford and
click on the image to get directed on the virtual exhibition website Alex Edwards and I developed for the purposes of the degree show.

joseph kesisoglou


Curatorial Decisions

Even before I had selected the final set of photographs to be mounted I was certain of the frame type and colour. White is a conscious decision as it makes the prints look bolder than without any frame. Due to space restrictions in the gallery. Due to space restrictions in the gallery I had to determine appropriate size for the prints and then the frames. After the curatorial team meeting, we had calculated, with some new walls put up, that each of the 19 exhibitors can have up to 2.5 metres.

With this in mind I decided to go for an A2 cropped in square, which translates into 420x420mm. Keeping in mind that I didn’t want the frames to become a distraction to the prints I deliberately choose 30mm wooden frames with glass and white finish. A perceptual ratio of frame thickness and print size was simulated beforehand in photoshop. The prints are to mounted from edge to edge, without gaps, in order to dominate within the borders of the frames. Also I think the specific thickness is just about right compared with the size of the photographic elements.

Since I was still unsure four which of the six would be mounted, I printed six proofs. After all is much easier to judge with the artefacts in hand rather than on a screen. The photographs looked better in a mat finish. I printed them on a 240gsm paper with inkjet pigment-based inks.

Although I have edited on a calibrated screen, printed colours were over saturated and I banding was noticeable, even though all my files are in raw format, taken on a an 21MP image sensor.

I re-edited the images on photoshop and this time lowered the saturation and contrast, to adjust to the printer’s specifications. Resizing the images to 42cm from the native 31cm was not an issue, since all the elements are smooth enough that pixelation or other artefacts associated with up-sampling.


Second set of photographs, to be edited down to 4:

Final Photographic Project Information

As explained in the previous post I am presenting only a part of the whole project which still doesn’t have a name, but certainly identified its objectives. I am documenting the vast network of air transport around the globe, a project that will take a significant amount of time since access has been limited so far, only as a traveler, and it is highly unlikely it will increase due to strict regulations. This doesn’t mean though I will not attempt to gain access through standard procedures. To this end, I am hoping that exhibiting this project could create an opportunity to approach the spaces of interest.

Two years ago, when I began photographing Ground Support Equipment, I did not have this in mind, and it only occur to me that air transportation is basically a network. Landing points are nodes of the network, that have many similarities with the internet protocols. An airport is an intelligent building that makes several operations by utilising several other sub-networks. An internet router works using the technique of storing and forwarding information. My previous background in electronics and telecommunications has been mixed with principles of documentary photography, and sociopolitical interest.

Soon after I graduate, I am planing to publish a book acting as introductory point.. Every published body of work will be a chapter of the greater project on the invisible or mundane/ordinary networks that we have been built around the planet. I am not expecting to keep a visual coherency throughout the chapters of the project, because each one is unique and looks at the same subject from different angles, so it needs to be presented and the most complementing way possible, either this is print or electronic media.

The body of work I am exhibiting at the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry 30th May – 5th June 2014 (digital exhibition at the website) is going to take the form of prints, since the visual aesthetics of the set, define this as the most suitable way to present in a white wall gallery.

This is body of work is still situated within a variation of social documentary discipline. In a conventional sense, social documentary has always been a documentation of disadvantaged people, as in war, poverty, natural disasters etc. On the contrary, I am interpreting the term as being the traces of human activity and the impact on society by giant power structures and networks. Primarily this project is exploring authority, social control, either state or corporate, and communication as an integral part of human evolution within social structures.

I am currently pulling in the research a broad selection of literature spanning from politics, philosophy, history, media and communications theories, systems and network theories as well as sociology.

I have been looking the works of political scientist Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and The Last Man), texts from Guy Debord (Society of The Spectacle), Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (A Thousand Plateaus), Antonio Negri (Empire) Paul Virilio (War and Cinema, The Information Bomb), media theory from Marshall McLuhan and Jürgen Habermas, science fiction writings from William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick. As well as many net criticism and cyber space texts. At the moment the material are very broad, but that will not be an issue once I start make connections between them.