Click Click Click Click Camera

I was trying to get an A for once. My last assignment came back with a B+, so fuck that.

I’m probably just going to pick one night (tomorrow? Wednesday?) to go take pictures of ten buildings, then another to adjust the color of all of the pictures, then one more to print ten images. Then I will be done with class. Hooray! What a fucking waste and a drain. Bullshit.

My process before was to call, email and IM everyone of whom I wasn’t too afraid to visit them and take their picture. I worked ahead on the assignment and pushed myself to improve over the course of it.

Some wonderful images in the bunch. Your self-ports in particular seem well thought out. If you could apply that quality (more deliberate + more experimental) to your portraits you might be surprised by the results.

B plus, just like my blood type and what should be my motto (be positive!!!).

My self portraits were taken after work when I was tired and were just testing to see if I could operate the camera without seeing through it. I had lots of ideas, but ended up just picking from the shit that I had already shot. Awful. I tried very hard to engage my portrait subjects, but 90% of the work was just getting them split off from everything else in their life long enough to put them in decent light and shoot them.

I’m getting gypped in this class. I’ve been gypped in every class. School is bullshit, from the CSci classes all the way to art. Out of everyone who has “taught” me, only Sarah hasn’t phoned in the job, and even she waited until after we were thoroughly dating to really look at any of my contact sheets. (I still haven’t gotten a decent critique!) I don’t even care about the grade — I care about being forced to attend lectures that have been entirely review for the benefit of the 1703 students.

At the end of all this, in another three years, I will have a piece of paper that will ensure me a job very much like the one that I already have. If I graduate and stay, I will get a token raise. If I go, I still have to make contacts in the real world.

“I’m interested in natural language processing of form data to give the user a richer application.”

“Have you done any work in this regard? Oh, did you publish a paper? I’d love to read it.”

“I, uh, made a thing to parse band names out of event titles for the Whole Music Club.”

I dunno. It’s very disheartening. If I were better, it would show. That’s the upshot of everything. No awards, no products, nothing except some php classes that are too clever and not clever enough.

Portraits of strangers

People I know

Self portraits that portray hidden truth or a fiction

11 Responses to “Click Click Click Click Camera ”

  1. The worst part about academia is that so many programs and instructors expect you to figure everything out on your own. In a vaccuum. If you’re not in a good program that’s actually built on critique (which, for me, is one of the only things that does a damn bit of good for me), people won’t give it to you. I’m the type of person who needs occasional feedback, either the reassurance that I’m doing something right, or the heads-up that I’m making a mistake (ah, passive-aggressive Minnesota, where they just let YOU figure it out that you’ve fucked up). This goes for my job, my art, my relationships. I need some sort of metaphorical progress report—and I get the feeling it’s a similar thing with you.

    It’s the same fucking thing at my job—I get zero feedback about the work I’m doing. For the first full year and a half that I worked here, I was convinced that I was just screwing up right and left, because nobody bothered to tell me I was doing anything right. So I just sort of lived in fear of being laid off for a really long time.

    I finally figured out that as shitty as it is, the way most people work is that they completely take you for granted. No news is good news. If you actually hear something about what you’re doing, chances are you’re in trouble. And then, of course, they just expect you to be there, doing good work and thanking them profusely for any token thanks or extra compensation you might get.

    Do you still want a critique? I’m good at critiques—it’s maybe the one thing I have real confidence about. I’d be happy to look at your work (however much you’d want to show me), if you’d be willing to let me. Let me know.

  2. mome-rath rocks at critiques & giving feedback. I’ve always been impressed by her ability to blend praise & constructive criticism, and to see the connections that you fail to make in your own work. I’m gradually learning! One thing I have figured out with critiques (esp. at the U) is that you have to be prepared for a bad one, where people don’t talk & give you the feedback you desire. In a perfect world, I try to have questions prepared to ask to stimulate discussion or a goal for the critique: what do I want from them? What am I most unsure of? It’s something I still have to work on because I usually work up to the last minute before a major critique & don’t have the time to think/prepare.

    And again, you are getting screwed because it is a combined class with intro students, and he has to teach to the lowest denominator. And why doesn’t the department have an advanced digital class? One day I will have control over a department’s classes & curriculum!!

  3. Oh, I’m going to keep bugging you about this: you should submit some of your self-portraits to the masculinity show I forwarded to you.

  4. Jesse, your pictures are very good, and I’m not just saying that because we’re distantly related. My favorite is the one of you in your striped pajamas. It has the look of a magazine ad photo from the 1950s, with a bit of a twist. I know nothing about critiquing artwork or photography, but I do know what I like.

  5. Sure, they’re very good, and I appreciate comments from anyone, but why does this class cost $1500 plus supplies? He doesn’t have to teach to the lowest denominator — advanced students could be excused from the class during lectures that are entirely review. He could let us use the intermediate lab during his lectures. We could get more one on one time, perhaps with actual review of our “work.” He has a TA — she can do the stupid demos.

  6. I think you should include everything you’ve said in the class evaluation (do you guys do those?). Yeah, yeah, I know, big freakin’ deal, but it’s been my experience that departments actually read the damn things when they’re trying to plan classes and such.

    I think you should also talk to your department head. It’s totally ridiculous that you’re paying that much for the class and getting nothing out of it, and you have no alternative for a more advanced version of the class. For me my classes cost about $2400 each, so for 200 bucks a day, I got pretty pissed and complained to high heaven whenever a class was useless. Sometimes it got me somewhere (like into a class that wasn’t open to people in my department), sometimes it didn’t. But it’s worth a try.

  7. There’s nothing like shitting in the punch bowl to win over the hearts of the photo department. Unfortunately, it would be quite obvious who filled out the class review. Besides, it’s not like they will care that I’m dropping my fall art class — and that speaks far more directly to the department’s bottom line.

  8. Caroline isn’t being paid as a TA for the class. She was sitting in to see how it was taught.

  9. Hmm. That seems contrary to what was said in class.

  10. Unless she & Justin have some arrangement? Fall semester when I TA’d for digital was the last semester they allowed it. Apparently, we can only TA photo classes in which there are more hazards/chemistry because students love to throw chemistry around, coat themselves in it, & bathe in it.

  11. Going to NW didn’t give me the same level of education, or so I thought until I read this. Now I know it was kind of like High School. The largest class I was in had maybe 50 people in it. The teachers were plugged in and engaged you, whether you liked it or not.

    Time to get yourself saved, boy! Go over to the Roseville side where art students are so challenged their getting McKnight grants. Maybe you can even get a job at KTIS!!!

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