OK – so I have the first selects for the images but I wonder if the idea of scattering and recovering the essay is a bit too simplistic. I’m currently working up an idea for a “make your own essay” game that questions the objectivity of photo essays and investigates ideas of truth - if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. Going to stick with the 15 categories from my earlier post, and I’m still going to invite the assessors to select 15 at random – but the I think my plan is to suggest that they try to create a story of the local community based on those 15 images for comparison after the fact with a list of key information which I will also provide.
In my head this speaks to the problems which documentary photographers, curators and archaeologists have to face either consciously or unconsciously. In the specific case of photography can any photo essay that is not produced on the basis of significant immersion in the culture/issue produce anything more than a superficial, perhaps even misleading, picture. Any small group of items is inevitably going to be biased by selection processes that occur throughout the process, from the way the subject presents itself to the cultural baggage and aims of the photographer, through to the background knowledge and implicit assumptions of the reader.
Hopefully this will make sense when I see it in the flesh. In the meantime the categories are bricks; coal/steel wastes; glass; drink cans; farm and industry;boats and fishing; food; household goods; misc; clothing; sports; toys; tyres; beauty products and text objects. The first selects can be found below except for glass.