Transformative Storytelling {concept}

original post
Using only found images (ie images from family albums and local library archives, not published in magazines) research and construct a photo-artefact/story that weaves a narrative linking the people depicted within.

Development : Build and include a soundscape relevant to your story. Include personal stories from the subjects depicted.

family archive
During summer I discovered a folder in my HDD where I had dumped all photographs and video (digitized tapes) my mother brought back from her trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I didn’t get to see these for five years. The same goes for my mother. She had visited her brother, my uncle, after a very long period. My uncle has been living there for about 15 years. It was never very easy to pop in the States for a visit, due to the distance and price. I see everything from a much different perspective since I started this course. I have considered to make a book because since we made the switch to digital we haven’t seen any printed family pictures, considering that both my parents were taking photographs on the travels with a 35mm camera.

Save the files!
At this point I should mention that only half of the photographs was in my hard drive. The other half was left in my uncle’s drive due to lack of space in the camera. My uncle send several emails with 460 files in total. In the only issue is that sending them through Picasa as emails, they were down-sized about 10 times their original size. I went through my father’s old laptop were the emails were saved and individually extracted the files from Outlook.

draw inspiration
Before I make this photo-book, I have the chance with the transformative storytelling task to create a first draft of the final piece. I have used video instead of ebook format or plain normal paper. I started by editing down the photographs. I have been through the 6 hours of tape in order to get a greater understanding of the environment my mother was for a month. She has recorded mostly the journeys from place to place. One thing I can certainly observe is the amount of time spent in cars.

make the video!
After editing, I started sequencing the photographs. I wanted to keep the initial form I had designed, but I realized that video was a broader canvas. I had much more space to cover, or leave blank. In the end I decided to put images side-by-side which either made some stand out better, or create individual small narratives within the main narrative. Since I am still experimenting with sequencing, and editing the second set of images, what you see below is not a final cut. Concerning sound, I will be pulling audio clips from the videos and perhaps add some creative commons material or record my own foley sounds to create a coherent soundscape.

photo credits: Stella Charolidou
password: tulsa

Phonar Pre-task

#Phonar Pre-task:

Tell the story of your journey to school. Bring it to the first session to share.
– If you don’t go to school, tell your journey to work, or to anywhere for that matter.
– You can upload your images to your blog if you have one, or you can upload to flickr and share them with us in the #phonar group and by tagging ‘phonar’

I decided to use show you how I ride. Literally! In order to make it more interesting I used Vine to make 6 second clips of parts of my journey from home to Ellen Terry building, where the Photo area is. The clips were shot on the first day of Phonar (02/10/2013). Look closely on the last one and you will spot Ioana and Alex.

1. Coundon Rd. – Upper Hill St.

2. Hill St. Bridge – in

3. Hill St. Bridge – out

4. Hill St. – Corporation St.

5. Corporation St. – Hales St.

6. Fairfax St. – Cox St.

7. Ellen Terry!

Unphotographable Phiction (sic)

Working alone, you should choose one of Michael David Murphy’s “Unphotographable” posts and create a multimedia narrative. You should use your own images, new or from your archive and you should create an accompanying soundscape.
Please upload the pieces by next session to vimeo and tag it #phonar.


I went through all Micheal’s writing of a picture he did not take. I could not find one that related visually with my work so far, and I did not have time to make something new.

credit where credit is due
I have been a supporter of Creative Commons for some time and use the licensing scheme for all of my published work. I am aware of the capacity for creation of the remix culture and appropriation, and always happy to see one using my photographs to enhance their story. What I have never done so far was to tap into the massive archives of online content. There are archives of music, sound, video, photographs and anything you can imagine licensed under more flexible terms than “All Rights Reserved” allows. Creative Commons is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s been around since 2001 (founded by Lawrence Lessig) and belongs to a network of license agreements, most software oriented (GNU GPL, BSD, MIT, ODbL, MPL), but all free. Richard Stallman, software freedom activist and computer programmer, argues the definition of “free as in freedom, not as free beer” (Gratis vs. Libre). In the same spirit Creative Commons has created variety of agreements than instead of reserving all the rights of the author on the work, are permissive. Think Creative Commons as pizza recipe. Attribution (abr. BY) is the base. The available toppings are as follows: Noncommercial (abr. NC) that blocks commercial use,  No Derivatives (abr. ND) which does allow any remix, Share Alike (abr. SA) asks for sharing under the same conditions.

Many creatives and artists have embraced the power of this way of licensing and internet companies too! Many user generated content websites have given multiple licensing options to the users, or better say producers of content, the most popular being Creative Commons. (YouTube and Vimeo, Soundcloud, Flickr /,,

For this task I have created a super remix entirely from other people’s work. I have used five different sound recordings sourced from These are environmental sounds from cities. I did search under these terms: city, traffic, New York, noise, car engine, coins, falling, car window, electric window, footsteps, pedestrians
I started by combining the sound into one. When I exported in file, I moved on searching for photographs on Flickr. I searched under these terms: New York, Manhattan, limousine, morning, people, walking

When I collected all the content, I categorized and label everything, kept creator names, links to the originals, links to the creators profile and the actual files attached. The audio served as the base layer on which I built on top.

I should also mention that for the first time I though trying something new! I documented my progress on a google document and made it public and shared on twitter. I invited people to observe me working live, making notes, sourcing material. I left the comments on to enable the audience to participate.

For full attribution on the sounds and photographs used + my methodology check the document. It’s still open so you can comment if you wish!