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    Time is not Money

    We’ve all internalised it: “Time is Money”. Most our value equations go unquestioned. You pay, I serve. You serve, I pay. Payment for time. We argue about 'how much?', but never about 'why?'

    Living in a service based economy amplifies this view. The services industry in the UK grew from 63% in 1992 to 73% in 2008 while UK manufacturing shrunk from 26% to 16% over the same period. Like human parking meters we feel more and more that our time is valuable in money terms. We upgrade our rates as we progress through careers.

    The paying party in a service exchange represents demand; demand is supposed to be a good thing. But how much does demand in the form money shape our service? What would a service be like if no money is exchanged? Granted, we all need money to live, but how much has the colour of money dyed our human relationships outside of paid labour?

    In photography, demand in the form of money creates an imperative to please. The recorded likeness must please the paying customer. Or more precisely, must please the preconditioned expectation of the paying customer.

    The resulting photographs are tested against this idea of ourself and the fact that we paid for it, gives us the right to demand a certain outcome. Even if this outcome surprises us, it has to surprise us in a pleasant (pleasing) way.

    So where is the value in UNLIKENESS, a not-for-money project? The value is in Free interaction. That's Free with a capital 'F' rather then free as a synonym for zero pence. 

    Le Group est mort, vive le Page!

    Our facebook GROUP is now MOVING to its own UNLIKENESS FACEBOOK PAGE . Click on *LIKE* to stay in touch and read about how we're getting on

    http://www.facebook.com/unlikeness.page

    In your face! The work of JR

    A picture in the guardian made me curious. A picture of Rio's Favelas, random brick boxes poking out of a hill, but covered with large faces. The artist is JR, the project is Women are Heroes. I dicovered more about his earlier work in Palistine and Paris, I love it! He recently won a price from TED, here's a video about his work:

    And a few days ago a full length french movie opened about it in French Cinemas:

    Looking forward to see it in the UK.

    Happy 2011 and my turn on SOTM

    I loved 2010. It was a happy year for me and saw the launch of unlikeness. In this respect I'm pleased to have met all 222 interesting people behind the portraits I took so far. Of those 222 were:

    • 169 (76%) Liked Portraits
    • 53 (24%) Unliked Portraits
    • 139 (63%) Portraits of female sitters
    • 79 (35%) Portraits of male sitters
    • 4 (2%) Portraits of couples

    THANK YOU TO ALL PARTICIPANTS! YOU'VE BEEN FABULOUS!

    Now also today, here's the result of my recent meeting with Mario from 'Someone Once Told Me'. We met at the old Fleapit with a new name (Brawn?!?) and chewed the fat for a good two hours. Then I took Mario's portrait (liked)  and he recorded a picture and a video of what someone once told me:

    And there's even a video! You can watch me mumbling along to explain why I chose "you're always choosing the bad ones" here.

    Nice start to another fabulous year. Happy New 2011!

    Good shoot'n

    A colleague pointed me towards Robbie Cooper's work with teenagers playing on-screen games. He filmed them with a camera directly behind the screen. My first interest went towards the facial expressions in the video. The faces are all very well lit and embody high-res frontal portraits. Then of course something else takes over...

    Familiar teenager faces but strangely alienating experiences. Experiences showing strong visual feedback with so little physical engagement. What kind of engagement world are we evolving into? The video and stills were on show at the National Media Museum in Bradford earlier this year.

    This brings me onto something else. In modern warfare more and more systems involve screens to aim with. Where physical distance increases, how easy is it to mix real and virtual killing? If your stomach permits, relate these thoughts to Wikileak's Colletaral Murder Video. Make yourself sit through it. Taunts and words of encouragement are identical to the teenagers murmurings. Horrifying. Good shoot'n.

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