In Pursuit of Error is a practice research project that explores the unintended and unexpected in photography – images that wander from the path of convention by accident or design.
As an artist and photographer, I have always been attracted to photographs that have not quite turned out right, or that are a little ‘off kilter’. This can include a wide range of potential and familiar photographic ‘errors’ – motion blur, light leaks, de-focussing, over or under exposure, poor framing, inadvertent cropping, or combinations of these things.
I would often be delighted to find one of these intriguing and visually compelling images in my downloads or negatives. In 2014 I started this research project by inviting people to send me their photographic errors and to tell me how the images had occurred and what they felt about them. The project has enabled me to investigate how photographers interpret mistakes in their own work, to what extent errors are welcomed and sought, and to explore the relevance of the error in the context of contemporary photography practice.
This site is a place to gather and share the error images that I’m sent and a visual resource for my research and writing. The project has evolved strong theoretical and conceptual roots since its early inception and I have presented In Pursuit of Error at a number of national and international conferences. You can read the articles/papers here: Writing the Error
If you don’t have time to read a longer article, here’s a summary of the project’s main concerns/areas of investigation:
- Challenging conventions of photographic representation and what photography is/should do/could be.
- Examining the human-technical relationships that exist in photography and the ideologies inherent in technological development.
- Proposing photography as a time based, embodied and performative practice.
- Recognizing the importance of trial and error and exploring the value of this in creative practice and education.
- Celebrating chance, serendipity, random occurrences and loss of control in the creation of fascinating visual phenomena.
Tracy Piper-Wright More about me here
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