Week 9

1. Mike McLeod introduced three different projects he had going on still in progress including Cam 2 Cam, Casual Encounters, and Arcadia. Cam 2 Cam featured screen shots of various web camera scenes including shirtless men, empty chairs, windows/windblown curtains, different colored walls, and off cameras filled with different pixelated noisy screens. I think the point of this project was to capture the essence of connecting over the internet and maybe loneliness comforted by people to talk to over the internet. Casual Encounters was about Mike’s photographic encounters with men he met over the internet. Interestingly, most of the men were older, mid forties, and refused to admit to their homosexuality. One man refused to let Mike take a picture of his face. I found it interesting that Mike chose to shoot only homosexual men and no women. His work is pretty open and sexual-one man posed with his sex swing and butt plug, another man wore only different variations of a spandex suit. I feel like the point of this project was to present the connections and the relationships first formed through the internet and then displayed in real life. Arcadia, the third project, was about taking pictures in adult video stores in the back where you can pay to watch your own personal pornography. This project was also very sexualized and interesting because it was mostly portraying different chairs and rooms more than humans or technology. Although, I believe the idea behind this project is maybe to connect the two previous projects by incorporating real life people sitting in a room while watching people interact on a screen. All three concepts represent our culture’s “depraved sexuality” as Mike puts it. We tend to feel uncomfortable when it comes to homosexuality, sex, and the naked human body-when really all of these things are apart of who we are and serve as a means to reproduce and survive. His work was very thought provoking, but also conflicting. Mike mentioned he wants to shy away from the internet and do more printed work, although the internet serves most of his projects (screenshots of web cam, meeting people through the internet, and pornography viewed through television).

2. For my family photography image search I decided to go to awkwardfamilyphotos.com because I remember browsing this website in high school, thinking it was funny and strange. Here are five images I came up with that are definitely awkward:

3. I enjoy looking at silly baby photos of friends and relatives. I also like looking back on photos of my family when I was a baby or toddler because it is interesting to imagine I used to be so young. I find it unappealing to look through photos of people who I don’t know very well and pictures that aren’t very interesting. I like looking at family photos on Facebook. I once made a slideshow for my Uncle Mark who passed away and all of his photos told the story of his life from his birth to his family and friends to how happy he was as a person. Pictures serve a purpose to hold onto someone’s memory after they’ve gone and somehow keep them alive. My mom posts a lot of family pictures to Facebook and I think she does this to remind herself of the important things like family support. It’s fun to remember past events like parties and events and to take silly snapshots to look back on.

5. I think the function of family photography serves to hold onto still images of past important events like birth, birthdays, ceremonies, weddings, graduations, etc. Family photography serves as a means to capture the most important stages of life, photography can last further than a human life. It can capture a person’s image and keep it for as long as that picture is not destroyed.

6. I feel like the digital dissemination of family photographs could pose certain problems because you never know whose hands your pictures may fall into. This could hold true for pictures of babies and toddlers in the disturbing instances of child pornography. While there are negatives to the dissemination of family photography, there are also positives such as communicating and sending images to family across the country to let them know how you are doing or to show them an important event they may have missed. People like the ability to view each other- how we looked at a particular time, the faces we make, the impressions… it all appeals to the human’s crave for human interaction and communication.

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