August – Analogue Snapchat or a representation of the Edinburgh Festivals in 35mm film

For my August project I was very much struggling for ideas. I could point you in the direction of BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals and suggest you gaze upon it as my art project. But alas that would be far too easy. I instead managed to find inspiration amongst the mess that is Edinburgh during August. I stumbled upon Stills and came across a large collection of Jo Spence’s work. I’m not a big fan but the self-portraits examining inner turmoils got me thinking.

I decided to convey my weird sense of humour, critical thoughts and general harshness through some sort of analogue Snapchat story using a Kodak Duaflex based around tourist attractions in Edinburgh. I know what you are thinking, this has been done a million times how will you make it different, new and exciting? Well I am using film from Jessops that is 14 years over its expired date in a camera that is far older than myself. Is what I would say.

Edinburgh, Jessops finest 14 years expired 35mm and this. #vscocam #35mm #film #photography @kodak_photo

A photo posted by Guy Phenix (@guyphenix) on

The plan was to take a series of classic tourist photos around Edinburgh but with a miserable twist. Me being the miserable twist. Then scan them and take pictures on my phone on Snapchat thus creating a weird delayed analogue launch of a story. A way of critiquing tourist photography in Edinburgh while also looking at the fake and instant world of Snapchat and what that brings to tourist photography as a whole.

Well for some unknown reason, which perhaps no great mind shall ever solve, the film has turned out terrible. You can hardly see a thing and the weird colours and blends would fit neatly at home with the best of Expired Film Day.

Maybe it was the Jessops film. Maybe those extra 14 years had an effect. Perhaps just the fact that I was using a camera that ,at the very least , is over 60 years old. Here in all the wonder that they show are some of the photos with no interesting theory or critical thought as I am way past that. When will I learn not to use this camera.

Perhaps this horrible collection of tourist photographs from Edinburgh do say a lot about August in Edinburgh. It’s confusing, you’re not sure what you are looking at but it seems familiar. Some of it is interesting and worth a second or even third look whereas others can be skipped, perhaps even never looked at and instead should be deleted. Some of it is dark, a lot of it far too dark but there is plenty of it and it’s relentless. With the crazy colour, noise and grain.

That’s it perhaps this project is instead a representation of the Edinburgh Festivals in all their misery, heartache, financial ruin and confusion. Makes for a more sensible title that Analogue Snapchat anyway.

As I feel suitably bad for such a miserable project this month I have some pictures from Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin for you. My joy with 35mm film continues as I only got half a roll out of this before my film jammed in my Canon 600.

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2016 Monthly Projects Halfway Review

So here are the first six monthly projects for this year. A bit of a strange collection if ever I saw one. Most people who do these sorts of year long projects seem to align them within a theme, medium or concept. My monthly projects however are just a chaotic splurge of stuff.

We have video, photography (digital and film), design, drawings, social media and writing. From annoying hundreds of people and invading privacy over a month to making a short video while on holiday. Perhaps I should have had a thememonthly projects.

I now have six more opportunities to make some great stuff. Thankfully I am taking part in the September – Collaborative Project which will be a great chance to make something fun with the very talented Iain McAuley. We are making an Atari style game called “Avoid All Friends” it will come with a classic “looks nothing like the game” poster and I will have a mini arcade machine to play the game on for the Exhibition. We are still in the early processes but look forward to sharing some of the art work when we get it.

If anybody knows of any great projects like Expired Film Day please do get in touch and let me know. I am currently considering doing the Brew Dog #homebrewdog as one of the later project to get some creative homebrewing in. I will also be doing a music video / art piece with Cully at some point but time is a pressing factor as always.


Star-sleeper and the desire to make physical products

I recently came across the amazing star-seeker by Brisbane based furniture maker/photographer, Isaac Chatterton.

This stunning piece of art/furniture/home is a gorgeous contrast amongst the throwaway attitude we see all to often today. This isnt the sort of tent you take up a mountain or drag to a festival. These festival tents bought in haste and then left in pieces across fields is become an annual news article after Glastonbury etc, it’s a rather horrible insight into how we treat what to many around the world is a home.

While not being some form of social justice message to make us repent from our tent discarding sins, it certainly got me thinking. How amazing would it be to have one of these in the back of your car, hidden in a secret forest spot or overlooking a beach on an Island. You don’t set this up, you build it.

More importantly it got me wishing I could make something physical, even shooting film rather than digital has been a great break away from having hundreds of photos saved on Flickr but a physical hold in your hand polaroid. Something I want to achieve during this year of projects is to make a physical item. After making my bag I have been really interested in doing some more design and stitching, hopefully I am going to get round to designing and making my own clothes later this year, keep your eyes peeled.

In the mean time check out how awesome this Star-sleeper is.