Paul Michael Browne
This picture was taken at my local pub in the area I grew up, just before it closed down. The pub had a negative reputation and was one my group of friends and I avoided, heading instead to the more culturally diverse, open-minded and hedonistic Birmingham city centre.
The pub had long been in decline, had sold off its bowling green out back to make way for flats and was under threat of gentrification for many years but somehow survived with temporary landlords and zero investment. It was during this time I developed a quiet affection for the place. Whenever I infrequently went back home I visited the pub, and would always find a chair jammed into the push bar of the emergency exit next to the Gents toilet. At first I dismissed this as rowdy behaviour, but over time found various chairs in the same position and accepted it simply as part of the dilapidated décor and unfriendly atmosphere.
I considered taking my camera on these visits to document the changing of these chairs as part of a project, which seemed almost like the changing of the guard, but the idea remained just that, until my final visit when told by the barman the pub was closing in days. All I had with me was my cheap phone with its low quality camera, but I wanted to take at least one picture for memory. Taking the picture quickly not wanting to be disturbed and unused to the settings, this is the result. What I realised when looking at the picture was that the upholstered chair was actually in surprisingly good condition, unlike the chairs throughout the pub, as if for the final few days of operation, only the
best chair for this peculiar job would do.
I haven’t edited this photo in any way.
This photography was taken on a walk through a swamp in the bush. The dark water, pale trees and bright sky are suddenly cast into three zones by the over exposure of the sun creating distinct areas and highlighting the contrasts.
These photographs were taken when I was little – so the mistakes were not intentional and purely from inexperience. I think its interesting that as a child I decided to capture my family. Growing up, kids look at family members with a sort of reverence that only seems to last during childhood. I also enjoy how these photos show a child’s perspective at eye level paired with the blurred effect, as if these were taken while running around. The blurriness also adds to the effect of a childhood memory.
From what it looks like to me, I probably kept the shutter open too long. I was using old disposable camera that could have been messed up from beginning. I’m not entirely sure what happened to cause the errors, I’m sure professional photographers could probably pinpoint what went wrong.
The photos are of my (top to bottom): dad, grandma, grandpa and mom.
The images are caused by exhaustion of the machine, or as I call it, the protest of the machine against the over usage of humans. The errors are produced when the image is being opened, closed or being uploaded into software, I just simply screenshot them and save them.
There is no such thing as an accident, the error is produced by the overload of the machine. Humans overproduce in different machines, and they are trying to survive by causing an error and getting stuck.
We see the aesthetic of the error, but do we know what do they feel? Are they in any pain at all? My intentions are more than humanizing the machine but surviving the digital-material collapse that we all live in today, the performance is different with any error arising in front of or in the middle of it.
Beyond Nostalgia is a series of Polaroid photographs that investigates the notion of nostalgia and how the intractability of obsolescence reveals itself casually and routinely through the fickle analogue medium. The error or interruption was unintended but evidence yet again of the unpredictable alchemy of light and emulsion.
Photography is a hobby, mixed media printmaking is an obsession. Digital photography
gives me an opportunity to experiment, so when when something goes wrong I mess about with it.
Top: I was trying to photograph a map, but didn’t realise the window reflected as badly as it did.
Middle: Something landed on my face as I was taking aim and I jumped
Bottom: I misjudged the camera’s ability to zoom.
John A. Blythe
Although created at different times these images are all connected by process. They are all taken by accident when my camera was in my back pocket or in my bag. Generally it seems this happens when I have been taking an image and then put my phone in my pocket/bag, forgetting to close the phone and leaving it in camera mode. So they are explicitly connected to the process of taking photographs but are the camera ‘doing it’s own thing’.
Due to the wonders of digital cameras and the meta date captured I am able to place the context of each image in relation the time, place and other photos I was taking. For example the bottom image was taken while I was at the Serpentine Gallery looking at the work of Christo (and happened to bump into Paul McCartney), while the top three images happened while I was walking around the ‘Shape of Light’ exhibition at the Tate Modern. This set of image is interesting in that the images show significant glitchy aberrations which suggest the cameras algorithmic processes struggled to cope with the limited light and abstract nature of the image it was dealing with.
Not sure who these images should be attributed to, me or my iPhone?
Top: I was attempting to create an image in which I appeared to be a translucent ghostly figure by moving during a long exposure (an example of intentionally doing something which could be considered a photographic error) but unfortunately I set the focus on me rather than the wall behind me as I should have done. I think the resulting image is interesting, but is also an example of both intentional and unintentional errors in one image.
Bottom: This photograph was taken whilst my camera was on a timer, continually taking photographs whilst I prepared for a self-portrait. It was a fairly long exposure so I appear blurred and, in my opinion, I look a bit like a penguin. The photograph was taken basically accidentally, although I have taken a little time to improve the raw image and make it look more penguiny.
When creating the series ‘WOMAN’ I was thinking a lot about how we perceive beauty in society and perhaps whether this obsession with the beautiful was a little dangerous. To make the images I photographed women on 35mm monochromatic film and then used fire to distort and warp the negative. I wanted to demonstrate the reckless side of beauty and how damaging the effects can be.
I printed through these in the darkroom. Each time the negative is handled it partially breaks away or changes. Each image is therefore unique and can’t be recreated, like every woman. Although this ‘error’ is in fact deliberate in my series, using fire as an artistic tool is uncontrollable which resulted in images that I couldn’t possibly predict. Each photograph is so unique and the traces left by fire cannot be reconstructed.