This image comes from some work I did yesterday at the community orchard in Pill. I've been thinking about a 'book distributed in space'- one that happens as a real space (either as an installation, or, as here, only at the point of recording). This has obvious similarities with the way that our experience of the environment works on a semiotic level. We read a city's signs much as we would a multi-authored text. some of what we see is in fact signification of the most classic sort: signs, writings. Others include behaviour and historical traces left on the environment.
With this idea I'm trying to work on a form of 'book-making' that tilts my point of view out of the reverie of the page, and into real life. As you can see, it's obviously still at an experimental stage, but I'm finding things out about the different rhetorical effects that the combination of space, word and camera achieve- to say nothing of the aspects of the installation that briefly exists. In this image I've come a little further along the road to clarity with the large bold words (my first experiment was illegible because it was just handwritten on paper), and elements like the path have been used to reinforce the spatial aspect. There's an argument between flat and deep readings here, because the simple left to right flat reading doesn't work. It has to be read as a space in order to be construed. When finally presented in book form, on flat pages, this technique will, I think, become even stranger than it is now. It also suggests a commentary on or echo of our 'reading tactics' in/of the world. Are we reading surfaces or structures? Straight lines or spaces? Is there an element of time to our perception, or is it more-or-less instant, arriving at the speed of perception (usually light)?
I also want this work to fit into my series on Whistling Copse, though here, the commodity and land are public, in contrast to Whistling Copse, which was emphatically and tragically not.
In this picture I'm starting to learn more about how I might use the contours of different objects to play with the space more: the grass obscures the feet of some of the stands- why not play with this? A sign could peer out from behind a bush.
I'm aware of the fact that the signs would present an even more unsettling, flat appearance if they were more carefully placed facing the camera, ie not at slight angles, but I'm entertaining the idea that I want to retain lots of evidence of the artifice (hence also the unashamed use of masking tape, which was nonetheless very necessary in the breeze).
As it happened I didn't have enough juice in my batteries to finish this shoot, which I initially cursed as it would be next to impossible to set up the shoot again, but I have enough of a sequence here to study the effect, and I will continue the experiment, with the added experiment of a caesura into a different spatial arrangement, most probably an entirely different space.
I'd like to continue in an urban setting, where the signs would become softer edged by comparison with the more similar environment, but I can't afford to leave a half dozen music stands in the street to get pinched! I need a half dozen assistants to hold onto them!