Happy new year! 

2015 was alright to be fair, eventful I should say. I graduated from Salford uni with a BA hon in photograthy. I suppose that’s the main thing but it was Great achievement for me and all the work paid off. You might have noticed if you follow my blog I’ve not really been really writing any.. Ha well I swore I’d not write another after the amount I had to do for my course but after a few months off I feel fresh and ready to continue. 

Honestly the past few months have been really busy dispite my silence but feel I’m getting behind and the new year is a good place to start. I’ve been working on a few projects worth a blog post so will be a bit more considerate and post something over the next few days. 

Happy 2016 

Atari: Game Over

This is a cross media blog today, i wanted to talk about vintage Video Games and photos Woop, woop indeed!

Xbox one recently gave a way as a free download documentary about the demise of the Atari 2600, ( Atari : Game over ) For those who have no idea what an Atari 2600 is or was it was like the old skool version of the Xbox and play station but rolled in to one and had an 80% market share leading the way in home gaming in the 70’s and early 80’s but all that changed in September 1982 with the launch of E.T

Howard Scott Warshaw who designed the Atari cartridge E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, was blamed for the fall of Atari after the game was labeled a flop by the public naming it the worst game ever! basically due to miner design problems.I remember playing E.T and honestly it was as bad/good as the rest of the Atari game. Soon after the release Warner the key investors in Atari sold shares for fear of losing profits, Millions of Atari cartridges returned by customers and stores were taking up space in Atari warehouses so the order was give to bury them.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3715406/

30 years later the site of the burial could be found, Howard Scott Warshaw and hundreds of gamers and Atari fans traveled to the middle of the desert to see if they found anything. Well worth a watch link to the IMBD above

So i said i was going to talk about photos too, so here we go! After watching the documentary i felt inspired to create a self portrait, I played these games as a child myself and one of my all time favorites was space invaders. 😀 Even had to dust off the old one button joy stick and have a few games and during so did this ….. I was in the zone man

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Re-Photography, LP’s & Lionel Richie

The last couple of weeks I’ve been researching re-photography as part of my professional practice for photographic communication module at uni. This involves taking existing archive images and a modern image, blending them together to create a new image.

I can across a fair amount of examples of this using historical images black and white bringing the past in to the modern day. Others were slightly different taking a POV and even holding up the image on location, lining building on the spot then taking the shot.

With this in mind i remember a few years ago i was working in a bookshop and myself and a few of the staff found books where Half a face was visible on the cover. We would then hold the book to our face and take a photo.

HA Great fun, Sadly Ive not got any of the images anymore so perhaps i might revisit this. Anyway I also remember seeing some photos in the same vain but using LP records.. I think the Lionel Richie one made me chuckle.

Below are a few of my favorites found on the internet enjoy.

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Id-iom – Interview

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I talk to street and graffiti artist’s “Id-iom” about their work, style and how attitudes toward street art has changed. I originally wanted to ask them a couple of questions to help with my research on a project I’m currently working on about graffiti and street art so dropped them a message to see if they could help and frankly they were amazing.

Id, seen their art work several places over several years to the point where my interest was peaked. I started to follow them on Flickr after photographing their work at a graffiti event in Southport. so felt there insight would be valuable.

 

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 I urge you all to visit them on the links below.

http://www.id-iom.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Id-iom

http://www.flickr.com/photos/id-iom

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Tell us a little about your artistic background and how you go into street art?

There are 2 of us in id-iom as I work alongside my brother. We haven’t had any formal art education (unless you count GCSE’s) but got into it via printing some T-shirts many years ago. By the way we work pretty much anything goes but we have been working recently with screen printing, stencils and paint. I think getting into doing it bigger and on the street is just a natural progression from how we started out..

We don’t have any artistic training as such, i quit my GCSE art after about 2 weeks as the teacher kept rubbing out my work drawing it herself and then giving me an A. I didn’t really get back into art in any shape or form until my third year a Uni i think it was when i started to make my own t-shirts. After that it quickly snowballed in to what i’m doing today with the main goal to do bigger and better things.

How do you feel about street art in your current city/environment? (Do you like it? How does your work stand out from the rest?) Do you have a trademark?

Living in London there’s plenty of new stuff coming up – particularly in the East End. Like with most things, there’s some stuff I really like, a whole lot of stuff which is pretty standard and some stuff which I’m not overly fond of. It’s difficult to know how/if our work stands out from the rest but we have been working on a specific stencil style using just one layer and then hand colouring the rest. And that was hardly about getting a style but more about making it easier for ourselves.

I never thought we had a style per se until we were painting at the white-cross street party last year when all i could hear from behind us whilst we were painting was things like ‘oh look id-iom’ and people were getting it was us just from looking at our work

How’s the attitude to street art changed since you have been involved? Within the industry and by the public?

The public don’t seem to mind it as far as I’m aware. It’s become more generally accepted and popular over the last few years but obviously some people have stronger opinions than others on the issues surrounding it (permission, legality, etc.). We just try to get along and do our thing.

I can’t remember when we’ve ever had any criticism of our pieces on the street, once or twice a troll or two on the internet, but generally I’d say that street art is no longer in the doghouse when compared to other styles.

What is the best thing about creating art on the street? And the worst? Compared to creating artwork for a gallery space?

The best thing about street work is that it’s available to a big audience. I’m not really sure if there is a bad thing. Other than the weather. Creating work for a gallery space/indoors means you have much more time, but you equally have to be a bit more precise in what you’re doing.

On the street you definitely have a freedom which you don’t have as such in a gallery as the gallery owner is involved with the process as well to a certain extent. On the street its a free for all and that’s how we like it.

Thank you for your time answering my questions and thank you for your amazing artwork…

 

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Gazduncan

Final Images

A little about my work

For this body of work i wanted to show people living in the city using street portraiture. Inspired my the work of Vivian Maier I wanted to capture real people. The concept behind my work is to have my subjects not looking directly in to the camera My aim is to achieve a feeling of detachment from myself and my street model giving my portraits an almost voyeuristic feel. I also wanted to capture a era or decade in my subject relating to the growth of our city  culture.

Here you will see my six final images for this project, I originally stopped 16 people in the street and narrowed down my images to create my final body.

Mega Street  (5)I had been walking around Manchester city center all afternoon when i past this girl standing outside a shop standing with her friend just off Deansage. I…

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Salford cafe launches scheme to feed the hungry

My news story Suspended soup published by Quays news Photos and research by Me Gary Duncan with copy by Cassandra Ward.

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A CAFE on Chapel Street is doing it’s bit for the needy by launching a ‘suspended soup’ scheme.

The Deli Lama Cafe has established it’s own take on the wide-spread suspended coffee initiative, asking it’s customers to buy an extra bowl of soup that can later be redeemed by those in need, no questions asked.

Co-owner, Lincoln Stewart, said: “Since launching the scheme, we’ve been amazed by the generosity of our customers.”

The suspended coffee initiative started in Italy many years ago and was called ‘Espresso Sospeso’. Since then, businesses across the globe have taken part, asking customers to purchase a second cup of coffee for someone less fortunate.

Co-owner, Linda Robson, 53, said: “In the summer time, we had the door open, and often people would pop in and ask if we had any food to spare. We would always try and offer a sandwich or something.

“So we considered doing the suspended coffee scheme as we had heard about it, but then I thought, if I was hungry, I’d prefer a hot meal. We’re well-known for our soup so it seemed to make sense.”

Take up is growing and the deli duo are working with local charities and foodbanks to generate referrals

The couple state they will continue with the scheme for as long as generous customers want to contribute, and hope to introduce other meal options in the new year.

Linda added: “We operate completely on the basis of good will. But if people need a hot meal and are struggling to pay for it, they can come in and get a bowl of our soup without having to go into detail about their finances. It really is no questions asked.”

By Cassandra Ward

All photographs by Gary Duncan

http://www.quaysnews.net/Salford_cafe_launches_scheme_to_feed_the_hungry-15712.html

Vivian Miear Selfportraits

A Chicago nanny or world renowned street photographer? Not much Is known about Vivian Miear’s like apart from her working as a nanny between 1950, 1990’s  She lead a privet life and her work was unseen by anyone until in 2007 john Maloof had bought a box form a storage auction containing over 30.000  of here negatives many still on the roll.

Once John Had found the name Vivian Miear in one of the boxes  he discovered who was responsible for the images but the only information he could find on the name Vivian Miear was an obituary from a couple of days earlier.

From her body of work you can see she had a real eye for life in New York the majority of her work captures life on the streets focusing on everyday people but included in these archives are a number of self portraits. This is the body of work I would like to take a closer look at today.

Mostly containing her roll flex camera she carried most days and using shadow, silhouette the reflections of shop windows and mirrors to capture herself image. Vivian Mirears self portraits have a certain sad melancholy about them She never really smiles or looks directly in to the camera. Could this be her experimenting with new camera techniques  or taken because she felt a certain way about something and wanted to capture the emotion at the time?. One image that lead me to believe she had a softer side to her nature is self portrait “Untitled” Vivian is looking in to the mirror being moved from a cart. The man in a rough gray or brown coat and gloves carefully takes down the mirror from the cart and caught in the reflection of this mirror is Viivan Miear.

Dressed in a long black coat scarf and black hat. You can almost see in her eye, she know she has captured something beautiful and she smiles. She looks to be walking around some kind of a housing estate overlooking a park when she saw this as an opportunity for a photo. She almost looks ghostly in the image perfectly centred in the frame watching over the working man. I like to think the man doesn’t notice the woman in the refection or maybe he is looking directly at her? behind her you get a glimpse of what’s happening behind the lens and the continuation of the red brick building that we can see in this foreground of the image.

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In a interview for the news station WTTW in Chicago  some of the family’s She had worked for describe Vivian as being an eccentric  person or sort of Mary Poppin’s type character. And in this image this you can defiantly see what they were talking about. Some of her shadow silhouette self portraits do resemble the character. There has been soon controversy about her work and if it should be displayed after all she was a privet person could this been seen as disrespecting her wishes? I Certainly hope not as most of her work is still unseen we can look forward to more images from Vivian in the future.

Photography that changed the world

There are so many good examples where photography has made an impact on society and even “changed the world” shaping popular world views and opinions, I found it almost impossible to choose from the hundreds of photographs I found on Life, picture post or google. Most of the images I came across on the topic “world changing photography” were negative, almost all of them in fact!. Photography containing some sort of violence, war, death or discrimination. Images evoke strong emotions, have the power to shock and drive people to make a defense to a cause. Some might say myself included that it’s the negativity of the image that moves people to take definitive steps to make a difference no matter how big or small not even knowing that somewhere down the line there actions will be embraced as one of those defining moment that changed the world.

This Essay will look at two examples where seemingly insignificant people helped shape a troubled decade’s view and opinions in the united states of a America during the 1960’s

It was a time of great change and uncertainty in the United States towards the end of the 1960 and begging of the 1970s. Movements like African-American  Civil Rights Movement outlawing racial discrimination against black Americans, allowing them to have voting rights. The Chicano Civil Rights Movement, also known as El Movimiento was a similar movement in the African-American  Civil Rights Movement aimed at rights for American citizens of Mexican descent. (The Revolt of the Cockroach People by Oscar Zeta Acosta  1972 )

The Antiwar movement perhaps one of the largest moving across the united states during the 1960 and early 1970’s uniting all ethnicity’s to one common cause. Ending the war in Vietnam.  Military focuses had been deployed to Vietnam to fight what looked to be a “vendetta war” Citizens had begun to lose faith in government decisions and its elected officials. Young Americans from all walks of life were draft to war and many of them sustained horrific injury, Lost limbs’ or just did not make it home at all. Media coverage gave the impression that the war was, Just and that the United states would be victorious, the public on the other hand were not convicted many believing the war could not be won and American troops were dying unnecessarily. The Vietnam antiwar movement saw many peaceful protest rallies meant to inspire peace, equal rights and freedom often turned hostile.

Protests of this nature became a conman place during in the mid sixties and it was one of these protests that gave one of the most iconic images of its generation. “Flower Power”. 250,000 protesters turned out  to the United states pentagon Head of military operations on  October 21st 1967. Protesters faced 2,500 armed soldiers who expected the crowds to turn violent.  One person in attendance for this particular protest rally was “Bernie Boston” a photographer working at that time for the Washington Star.

In an interview dated November 2009 Mr Boston remembers the events of the day he captured possibly his most iconic image.  “I was Not part of the hippie movement but in a certain way I admire them, I mean how is it possible to be against people believing in a non-violence ideology.”

Boston could not persuade his editors of the shot’s potential impact. They buried it inside the front section. Adding to his frustration, his car tires were slashed at the protest, and a bouquet of flowers was placed under his windshield wipers. (The Washington Post – Thursday, January 24, 2008)

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By Bernie Boston

I started to analyze the photograph looking from both sides of the weapons, looking at the different  way the public might think about the image both in a the soldiers possible standpoint and the social implications too.

On one hand the protesters are standing up for what they believed to be a corrupt government and decisions. The young man carrying the bunch of flowers “George Harris” placing the flower in the barrel of the rifle making a peaceful statement, could George’s actions have been seen as pompous or foolish?  Many of the men in the scene look to be young students and are blatantly unarmed. I can imagine the atmosphere would have been a tense especially at the moment George made his move reaching for the weapon to place his flower. From the point of view of the army They had been frequently called out to Antiwar protest and with this particular being on a significant  government building 2,500 soldiers were there in force expecting things to get out of hand. From the body language many of the Soldiers in this image seem to look rather uncomfortable, this suggests to me it was a tense moment for everyone involved. The First Soldier already with a flower sitting in the barrel of his rifle confuses me. On first glance I thought he might have been removing the flower from his gun or securing? It would not surprise me to think that many of the armed focus present on October 21st 1967 held much the same beliefs opinions as the protesters as far as the war was concerned. It’s likely lots of them had friends and family who were overseas themselves.

From a social viewpoint you can see why this image became one of the most iconic of its time. Its shows how one person can change the world views making his point peacefully and in a nonviolent way and sums up this generation and movement with a phase we still use and springs to mind when talking about this era. Flower Power.

Some of the Antiwar protest did gave birth to some slightly more shocking world changing photography  for my second image I would like to look at one such image.

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By John Filo

During an antiwar protest in 4th March 1970 at Kent State University United Sates of America  four Students lost their lives in what was supported to be a peaceful protest. Two of the student shot by the Ohio National Guard were not even taking part in the protest but were making their way to class. Students had been protesting the USAs plans to invade Cambodia and over the period of a couple of days the protests begun to become disruptive a fire broke out at the ROTC building and at this point the National Guard was called to disperse the crowds.

The Photo taken by John Filo a young undergraduate working in the Kent State photo laboratory He had been watching the protesters with keen interest as the protest built to the day of the shootings. On the 4th March at John crossed the car park he saw Mary Vecchio waving her arms and crying over what looked to him like a body. He took the photograph as he had been carrying his camera around with him since the protest began. A few days later he sent the images to a small newspaper in Pennsylvania. (John Flilo Audio interview)

This image had a huge social effect on the  general public. Not only were US citizens dying abroad but on home soil too. The war had taken its toll on the united states and once the general public had seen the images taken at Kent State university. People’s opinions to bring troops home and end the war in Vietnam.

From what I can find out this image was taken along with around four or five others showing protesters, the national guard rushing to what looks to be a disturbance in the distance and shooting tear gas into the crowds. The most shocking and influential image from this series is defiantly the photograph of the body of Jeffrey Miller.

In October 2012 Kent state held an event to remember  Jeffrey Miller and his fellow students who died following the events of that day 40 years ago in 1970. The events of the day were never fully explained and exactly how the shooting occurred. In an interview with ex students and staff members at Kent state share their memories and experiences. “Some students today know that an important event happened here, others are not quite as aware,” said Laura Davis, the center’s director. (Video interview Fox8 News)

For most who grew up in this area or witnessed the event first hand this was the day America killed its children. They remember that this was a cause worth fighting for and even though Jeffery Millers life was cut tragically short. He did more for his country than he would know.

The first image shows how protest can change people’s minds and the way they look at situations and deploy nonviolent methods to making your point. Make love not war being the ethos of many people in the 1960’s In some respects I like the idea that the soldiers were embracing this by accepting the flowers. This might not have been this case for every soldier, the ones in the image by Bernie Boston I’m still unsure. I would like to think that they were.

John Filo’s Image on the other hand demonstrates how Photography can be used to shape peoples’ opinions showing many different powerful emotions. Filo’s image makes has aspects of Truth, Violence and Loss. Truth because It shown how the US  government had lost control, attacking anyone in their way even their own citizens, was this what happened when you use the right to free speech? Many people started to question the Government motives and the war came to an end in 1975 five years after the shootings at Kent State.

Coming to my conclusion I feel the two images I have chosen are both iconic and world view changing. They in several different ways have both strong political and social implications. They demonstrate the power of one persons actions, freedom and embodies the spirit of its generation. It’s hardly surprising that both John Filo and Bernie Boston won the polaris prize for their works. as both photographs are still remembered and discussed today.

Both photographs I find very moving. John Filo’s for the sadness of the image, Mary Vecchio knelt down next to Jeffery Millers body shouting for help. The officials who were employed to protect US citizens were the ones attacking. Bernie Boston’s image is what most people think the 1960’s and the 1970’s  were like it’s a nostalgic image that seems to capture the spirit of the time. And how normal people can help shape the world.

Writing this Essay made me think how I myself and other people thought or imagined this era, google 1960’s summer of love or flower power and most the results are stereotypical or for comedy effect. Hippies and peace signs but the truth is this was a time for making history.  It also started me thinking about the crashing wave speech by Dr Hunter S Thompsons book Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. It’s a one paragraph of writing that I have admired ever since I first read it, I think  it says a lot about the feeling of this time. 

“USA in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.” ( Book Fear and Loathing Dr Hunter S Thompson)