As Matt wasn’t running our session where we pitched our ideas, we had the opportunity to run our ideas by him and get a new perspective on our ideas.
I ran him through my pitch and a couple of ‘ways into’ the project (shoot ideas wise), and the thing that he seemed to pick out was the idea of ‘nostalgia’ and introduced me to a clip from Mad Men, a tv show, in which the idea of the Kodak Carousel is pitched, emphasising the idea of nostalgia within photography and memory. I think this is an interesting research point, as this technology allowed fo the ‘dawn’ of nostalgia to be heightened, and in his pitch, the character talks of nostalgia in a very specific way.
During this clip, main character Don Draper pitches the newest ‘sideshow’ viewing technology – the Kodak Carousel. He uses the idea of nostalgia to ‘tug on heartstrings’, describing it as ‘delicate and potent’, as a ‘pain from an old wound’ and a ‘time machine’ using it to return to a place where ‘we know we were loved before’ and ‘ache to go again’.
Matt went onto voice some of his own throughout in reaction to the clip, reiterating the idea of a sense of time and nostalgia, saying children are often mixed up between fiction and fact, reality and memory, and for them at this stage of their lives, it’s healthy, to maintain a childlike view of the world, to live in a ‘innocent’ place – not grounded in reality.
He also went on to suggest I bring in other people, in my proposal using the phrasing ‘explore using the concept of other people’s memories’. In regards to further phrasing ‘key research points include’ or ‘theories related to X’ work nicely.
He also suggested using the approach of ’20 thoughts on…’ being able to explore both memory and childhood with loose titles that might be able to guide my work and give it a bit more structure?
Research points suggested were Phil Toledano’s When I was 6, telling the story of his dead sister who is remembered through a narrative, fine art approach, using old family photos and scene creations. The emphasis comes from the focus on the memory, and Toledano’s lack of memory, as his sister passed away in a fire when he was 6, and he survived.
Brining in further theory with an analysis of Christian Boltanski’s book Sans Souci, a family photo album, and his rationale and justification around the project. I think this would very easily fit within my initial thinking.
Finally, we discussed a genre that my project could potentially fall into, as a way of categorising and giving me spring-board into the types of approaches into the project.
We settled on a narrative/documentary approach, with conceptual fine art influences, with an end-user context of a gallery piece, with either a set of prints, accompanied by a photo book, or perhaps those prints on fabric or alternative media that I mentioned previously.