A Trilogy Of Mappenings

Michael O'Brien (Photographer)

    Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


    This visual essay was made in response to a call for submissions from the online journal Reframe based at the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex. The brief was to produce a specifically psychogeographic mapping of the town of Lewes both through group drifts and individual interpretations.

    The brief fitted my on-going practice research which aims to make work which critically engages with urban space. At the forefront of this practice is the Lettrist notion of politically engaged 'drifts' currently undergoing a popular revival (Sinclair, Self et al) under the rubric of psychogeography.

    Of equal importance in this wider research - as well as in A Trilogy - is the adoption of Allan Sekula's process: the making of visual work principally with still cameras in a contemporary post-humanist documentary style; the resulting images being combined, through discreet design choices, with text arising from research into the subject under scrutiny.

    The rationale for this equal emphasis being placed on image, text and graphic design is to attempt to deploy a recognised form of dissemination - the photographic visual essay - in order to draw an audience to the research.

    To aid this drawing in of an audience, A Trilogy is presented with a particular voice:
    the ironic tone prompted by the playful daily briefs issued by Reframe;
    the language by Ingrid Pollard's prose style in her Wordsworth Heritage piece;
    the structuring of the piece around a first and third person narrative as a contemporary re-working of Patrick Keiler's use of Robinson in his early films. Sebald is another obvious inspiration and what connects all the sources to this piece is their shared denial of a singular identity or point of view in addressing articulations of place and identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationUniversity of Sussex
    Media of outputOnline
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

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