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


Student mentor opportunity

In April I was asked by my tutor Caroline Molloy to assist her in the lighting sessions she was doing for the first year’s module, Working With Light. I find this a very interesting opportunity as I know how the studio works and always enjoy teaching. We agreed upon 4 dates, once a week, commencing on the 16th of April till the 7th of May where photographer Michael Collins would come in to give a lecture and workshop on large format cameras. Unfortunately I working at Media Loan Shop during the lecture but I had the chance to be at the workshop. He gave me some great tips, as I consider using one for a long term project.

First session with Caroline and first year students, we did an induction to the studio and went through all the health and safety procedures. I explained how one is meant to power on and off the light heads and all their key features. Caroline had booked all the necessary equipment so as to demonstrate the creative control you can have in a studio. After I went through the basic steps in order to change a light shaper, such as light box, snoot or an umbrella the students used the studios on a brief set by Caroline.

Second session, on the 23rd of April, I was assigned with a group of students and Paul Smith to go on location and make use of the different conditions you can find outdoors. Outdoors can be harder to master as the lighting conditions are not 100% under your control. Paul split the students in two groups and gave them a brief.

Third session I took part in was with George Rippon, on the 26th April on location. This time the brief was different as the students had already done some work on their own. I helped the students to practice more with mixed lighting and more than one subjects.

On the 30th of April, the fourth session, I helped the students to make a task that involved personal objects , while making use of the practices learned so far in the studio. I was available to assist with any technical difficulties they might have. The students seem to have picked up the information quite fast. Light is the most important principle of photography. Understanding the ways it works and how you can control it creatively will certainly change the way one photographs.

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Picbod 2013 exhibition roles

For the Picbod exhibition I was assigned in the Secretary Team where my role was to communicate with all the teams involved in the setup. My main participation was in keeping the common discussion thread organised and updated with relevant information from all teams, hold regular meetings and keep the minutes of each. Later on I got involved in the Media/Advertising Team with design of the poster and printing of flyers.
I always tried to make sure decisions were taken under everyone’s understanding. The meetings held in order to setup this exhibition didn’t always have full participation which made more difficult the communication of ideas and future plans.
In the days leading up to the opening night I was left with less time to be involved and thanks to some other dedicated individuals the curation happened on time.
I was briefly involved in meetings of other teams, such as Opening Night and Finance.

Since the 7th of March, if not exaggerating, I spent most of four days in the Fargo warehouse we had setup for the exhibition. The 7th was the day we were getting marked on our assignments. We spent the afternoon in the unit while having the chance to see everyone’s work. In the night I was there with Kate, Mellissa and Caroline discussing some last issues before the Opening Night.

On the 8th of March, I spent the morning to finish the video I would put along the prints. In the afternoon I went down to Fargo to install my work, as well as give some time off to people who were there all morning. While in Fargo I spent some time cleaning before we opened to the public.
Brian Meta and Ioana Bultoc from the Opening Night Team had set some shifts for the night. I did spend about an hour serving at the bar and welcoming people at the door.

Next day, the 9th I spent all day keeping the exhibition open with Caroline Walker, David Bird, Kate Green, while we had The Phobus coming down the exhibition with their car, for a special interview. In the morning the space needed some cleaning from the left over cans and bottles. We cleaned the space with Caroline and opened up to the public at 11. We closed at 18:00.

On the 10th we went back to dismount frames and clean the space. There was a new exhibition happening on the 11th so had to clear out. We started again early in the morning and finished at about 16:00. It was sure a tough job as the warehouse was colder that outdoors, temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees.

Throughout the four days I had setup a camera in various places recording stills, about 1 per minute and in the end about a week after I produced a timelapse video. The camera took about 3000 stills overall and putting them together wasn’t an easy task.

I am very happy with the outcome of this exhibition and the video off course. The time we all spent together for this made us come closer and know each other better. As a proof of this, a group of us is travelling down to Santander, Spain in June for the Picbod Santander exhibition. We are going to exhibit our work and meet the students who remotely took part in our online class.
The motive for this gathering was the students from Spain inviting us, but as we were all very happy with many aspects of this collaboration, we decided to take it a step further. We called Picbod Legacy for the time being and is a project running independently from Coventry University. We don’t know yet what will come, but sure is we all like art and travelling!

I will be soon updating with more information on the trip and exhibition.