University of Technology Sydney

88009 Modern Places

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level: Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

Description

This subject develops students' knowledge of historical and contemporary photographic practices that are related to the analysis and representation of modern places. Furthermore, students are given the opportunity to develop a project that takes the idea of modern place as its subject. Reflecting on the subject lectures, seminars and tutorials and the student's independent research, concepts that underpin projects may include ideas of contested territory, the everyday, liminal space, the nocturnal and the contemporary sublime. Approaches to subject matter could include, for example, looking at the architecture of commercial spaces like shopping malls; places that are connected with travel such as airports, motorways, car parks; suburbia; natural landscapes and modern farming; wastelands and ruins; familiar or uncanny spaces. Ultimately, the images should communicate something about the nature of modern environments and the ways in which they affect us. Students' response to both the delivered material and in the development of their own projects should be self-reflexive and critically minded. Students are required to be ambitious in the way that they deal with both the form and the subject of their photographs so as to push at the boundaries of what we think we know about modern place and its photographic representation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

A-1. Ability to take autonomous responsibility for actions and decisions
A-3. Ability to constructively engage with subject learning activities
C-3. Ability to engage in, and contribute to studio discussion
I-1. Ability to develop innovative approaches
I-2. Ability to understand and challenge disciplinary conventions
I-5. Ability to innovatively use photographic and media technologies
P-2. Ability to apply relevant digital and/or analogue techniques and technologies to image-based practice
P-4. Ability to demonstrate knowledge of current image-based practice
P-5. Ability to position work within an extended disciplinary context
R-4. Ability to demonstrate knowledge of photographic history and theory and to place creative practice within a contextual framework
R-5. Ability to reflect and engage in self-critique and critical thinking

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to take autonomous responsibility for actions and decisions (A.1)
  • Ability to constructively engage with subject learning activities (A.3)
  • Ability to engage in and contribute to studio discussion (C.3)
  • Ability to develop innovative approaches (I.1)
  • Ability to understand and challenge disciplinary conventions (I.2)
  • Ability to innovatively use photographic and media technologies (I.5)
  • Ability to apply relevant digital and/or analogue techniques and technologies to image-based practice (P.2)
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge of current image-based practice (P.4)
  • Ability to position work within an extended disciplinary context (P.5)
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge of photographic history and theory and to place creative practice within a contextual framework (R.4)
  • Ability to reflect and engage in self-critique and critical thinking (R.5)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject allows students to develop a body of knowledge relating to historical and contemporary photography and its relationship to place and to subsequently develop photographic work in response to a chosen location. The subject allows students to develop the conceptual and aesthetic skills that are required to produce a body of work and to position their practice in a contemporary visual design/art context. Tutors guide students as they plan, investigate and resolve this body of work within the given timeframe. This subject contributes to the course educational aims to produce graduates who can incorporate high level skills in the following areas into their work and their approach to learning:

  • Communication and group work skills
  • Attitudes and values
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Research and critique
  • Innovation and creativity.

Teaching and learning strategies

Semester long subject, delivered through weekly interactive lectures sessions and studio based reflective learning. Learning activities involve theoretical and visual research that is both tutor directed as well as student-initiated; creative problem solving; critical reflection; progressive refinement of visual and written work; oral and written contextualisation of work in progress and finished work.

Content (topics)

The subject will comprise of the following:

1. Contextualising lectures and briefings on contemporary and historical photographic approaches to place, space and landscape;

2. Studio critique - guidance on individual project development and support for technical, aesthetic and conceptual development;

3. Research – consulting appropriate websites, blogs and online library resources; visiting UTS and other libraries and research collections where appropriate; conducting site and field visits.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Project 1 - The Photography of Absence

Intent:

Project 1 - Absence requires students to produce a series of photographic images where they think carefully about the conceptual and physical idea of absence. In emptying the frame of content, this task encourages the exploration of editing in frame and paring down content to achieve a visual impact with minimal means.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

A-1, C-3, I-1, P-2, P-4 and R-5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.1, C.3, I.1, P.2, P.4 and R.5

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Willingness to contribute to discussion on own and others work 17 C-3 C.3
Demonstrated ability to work independently in the generation and execution of ideas 17 A-1 A.1
Appropriate application of technical skill in the making of photographs 17 P-2 P.2
Consistent development of ideas and photographs in response to advice given 17 R-5 R.5
Level of inventive and explorative approaches to project briefs 17 I-1 I.1
Demonstrative knowledge of contemporary photographic practitioners and their work 15 P-4 P.4
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Project 2 - The Imagined City

Intent:

Students are required to produce a series of photographic images that reflect a more subjective relationship to the city. Create a narrative that is idiosyncratic and personal - one which challenges existing cliches of the city and presents the city afresh.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

A-3, I-2, I-5, P-4, P-5 and R-4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.3, I.2, I.5, P.4, P.5 and R.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 60%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Demonstrated engagement with the ideas articulated in project briefings 17 A-3 A.3
Ability to discuss photographic projects in reference to the work of contemporary photographic practitioners 17 P-5 P.5
Demonstrative knowledge of contemporary photographic practitioners and their work 17 P-4 P.4
Engagement with ideas of photographic representation and their relationship to the history and theory of photography 17 R-4 R.4
Creative and innovative use of photographic techniques 17 I-5 I.5
Willingness to develop projects that push at the boundaries of photographic conventions 15 I-2 I.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

To pass this subject 80% attendance in all activities (lectures, tutorials) is expected. The listed assessment tasks should be submitted on the due date/time. The combined project grades should equal a pass grade or above. Note that grade penalties apply to work considered to be unsatisfactory at interim deadlines. It is expected that you will spend 10 hours per week on this subject (this includes attendance at scheduled lectures and tutorials).

Assessment is criterion referenced where a student’s level of performance is judged in terms of how well the objectives of the subject have been achieved as evidenced in submitted work. Assessment criteria relate to the learning objectives listed in this document. See briefs for specific details of assessment criteria for each project. To pass a project, work submitted should show satisfactory achievement in all learning objectives.

Required texts

Augé, Marc – Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Verso London 2009

Bachelard, Gaston – The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press Massachusetts 1994

Bate, David – Photography: The Key Concepts, Bloomsbury Academic London 2009

Cotton, Charlotte – The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson London 3rd ed. 2014

Sarte, Jean-Paul - Being and Nothingness, Routledge London 2003

Calvino, Italo Calvino - Invisible Cities, Vintage, London 1997

Recommended texts

Collections:

Campany, David - The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip, Aperture, 2014

Witkovsky, Matthew et al Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964 - 1977, Art Institute of Chicago 2012

Rexer, Lyle The Edge of Vision: THe Rise of Abstraction in Photography, Aperture 2013

Stewart, Christopher & Teichmann, Esther Staging Disorder, Black Dog 2015

Ennis, Helen, Photography and Australia, Reaktion 2007

Salvesen, Brit New Topographics, Steidl Gottingen 2010

Gronert, Stefan The Dusseldorf School of Photography, Aperture 2010

Fried Michael Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, Yale University Press 2008

Heiferman, Marvin Photography Changes Everything, Aperture NY 2012

Bright, Susan Art Photography Now, Thames and Hudson London 2005

Campany, David Art and Photography, Phaidon London 2003

Flusser, Vilem Towards a Philosophy of Photography, Reaktion London 2000

Gefter, Philip, Photography After Frank, Aperture NY 2009

Grosenick, Uta & Seelig, Thomas, Photo Art, Aperture NY 2008

Marsh Anne, Look: Contemporary Australian Photography Since 1980, Macmillan 2011

Wells, Liz The Photography Reader, Routledge London 2002

Stahel, Urs Well, What Is Photography?, Fotomuseum Winterthur & Scalo Zurich 2003

Wells, Liz Photography: A Critical Introduction, 3rd Edition Routledge London 2004

Suggested monographs

Atget, MOMA 2004 (ed John Szarkowski)

Walker Evans American Photographs, Steidl Gottingen 2012

Robert Frank The Americans, Steidl Gottingen 2008

Robert Adams The New West, Aperture NY 2008 (originally published 1974)

Rinko Kawauchi Illuminance, Aperture NY 2011

Alec Soth Niagra, Steidl Gottingen 2008

Shirana Shahbazi Good Work, Hatje Cantz 2003

Lisa Sarfati The New Life, Twin Palms 2005

Bruce Davidson Subway, Aperture NY 2011

Bernd & Hilla Becher: Life and Work, MIT Press 2006

Stephen Shore Uncommon Places, Aperture NY 2005

Taryn Simon, The American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Steidl Gottingen 2008

Martin Parr, Think of England, Phaidon Press London 2004

Katy Grannan, Boulevard, Fraenkel Gallery/Salon 94 2011

Christian Patterson, Redheaded Peckerwood, Mack London 2011

Trevor Paglen, Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes, Aperture NY 2010

Theoretical & Historical:

Lefebvre, Henri – The Production of Space, Wiley-Blackwell London 1992

Certeau, Michel de – The Practice of Everday Life, University of California Press 2011

Andraya Parlato & Geogory Halpern, East of the Sun West of the Moon, Etudes Books Paris 2014

J Carrier, Elementary Calculus, Mack London, 2012

John Gossage, The Pond, Aperture NY 2010

Ron Jude, Other Nature, The Ice Plant California, 2008

Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Raise the Bar, RVB Books 2013

Michael Ashkin, Long Branch, A-Jump Books 2014

Ramos Pedro, Atlantis, Try Hard Editions 2015

Paul Graham, A Shimmer of Possibility, Mack Books 2007

Guido Guidi, A New Map of Italy, Loosestrife Editions, 2011

Michael Schmidt, U-ni-ty, Scalo Verlag AG 1996

Horn, Roni, Another Water (The River Thames, for example). Steidl, 2000

Siskind, Aaron. Harlem Photographs 1932-1940. Introduction by Gordon Parks. Smithsonian Washington 1990

Eggleston, William, William Eggleston’s Guide, MOMA NY 1976

Jukes, Peter – A Shout in the Street: The Modern City, Faber and Faber London 1990

Gros, Frederic – A Philosophy of Walking, Verso 2015

Wolfreys, Julian – Writing London: Materiality, memory, spectrality, Volume 2, Palgrave Macmillan 2004

Debord, Guy, Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, Les Lèvres Nues #6 1955

Lynch, Kevin. Image of the City, MIT Press Boston, 1960.

Lynch, Kevin, What Time is Place? MIT Press Boston, 1972

Other resources

Selected websites/blogs/mags/apps etc….

http://www.daylightdigital.com/

http://www.bjp-online.com

http://tryhardmagazine.com/

http://pcuts.net/

http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/

http://www.smbhmag.com/

http://blog.fotomuseum.ch/

http://www.youtube.com/user/DEVELOPPhoto

http://selfpublishbehappy.com/

http://www.ahornmagazine.com/

http://www.americansuburbx.com/

http://www.prismphotomagazine.com/

http://www.1000wordsmag.com/

http://www.seesawmagazine.com/

http://timemachinemag.com/about/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/photography

http://www.wanderingbears.co.uk/blog/

http://www.lensculture.com/

http://varioussmallfires.co.uk/

http://www.lensculture.com/audio.html

http://www.mediastorm.org/

http://www.magnumphotos.com/

http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/

http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/

http://thephotobook.wordpress.com/

http://www.5b4.blogspot.com/

http://vervephoto.wordpress.com/

http://haveanicebook.com

http://thegreatleapsideways.com/

http://saint-lucy.com/

Magazines

Australia

Photofile

UK

Source (http://www.source.ie/feature/tenblogs.html)

Portfolio (http://www.portfoliocatalogue.com)

(http://www.foto8.com/new/)

Photoworks (http://www.photoworksuk.org/)

British Journal Of Photography (http://www.bjp-online.com/)

European

Foam International Photography Magazine (http://www.foammagazine.nl/)

European Photography (http://www.european-photography.com/)

Camera Austria (http://www.camera-austria.at/)Blind Spot (http://www.blindspot.com/store/page2.html)

USA

Aperture (http://www.aperture.org/magazine)

Blind Spot (www.blindspot.com)

Commercial

http://www.artandcommerce.com (one of the most interesting photo agencies)

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/ (interesting blog relating to mostly professional photo issues, but very newsy and indeed quite widely relevant)

Instruction

http://www.lynda.com

History

A History of Photography: from the beginnings to the 1920’s (http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/)

Academic journals

History of Photography (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/03087298.html)

Photography and Culture (http://www.bergpublishers.com/BergJournals/PhotographyandCulture/tabid/3257/Default.aspx)

Photographies (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rpho)