- I can be emailed at jasmine at ifihadthemoneyidfollowspring dot co dot uk.
- I am interested in collaborating with anybody on anything.
- I like books and I like photographic slides.
- The longer version is below...
This website I have had since 2008. We had a seminar, scheduled for three hours, as all seminars were, about websites. I remember we were shown some artists' websites as examples. Alfredo Jaar's website was shown as an example of a "conceptual" website: we were told that the artist has a reputation and so his website does not have to be a typical straightforward artist's website, showing recent work, exhibitions and publications and contact details. I think we were recommended to choose an obvious domain name: forenamesurname.com, or whatever.
I knew immediately that I did not want myname.co.uk; I wanted to question Peter about the idea that Alfredo Jaar can get away with his website because he is established; and I knew that I was not going to leave university and become a working photographer. This last point is important because I started to realise that my work, the images I like to make, is not commercial in an obvious way.
So I was thinking about a name for the website. Something long I knew it had to be. At the time I was thinking about the title of an album by Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies, Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness. I really like this as a title. Well, I was on a train thinking about the blossom on the trees and I was thinking about how...
...Well, I ended up with the name of this website: If I Had the Money I'd Follow Spring. Yeah, it's long. Yeah, it makes my email address long. No, it's not my name, is it? But I can't say it's caused any problems: if people want to visit my website I will give them the address and they will visit it if they are interested; if they do not remember it they can always ask me again. It's quite simple, no problems caused.
There was another version of this website, in fact, and you can find a link to it somewhere here if you look. It was not "work", it was images that I wanted to show and text that I wanted to write. It was not particularly coherent, but coherence was not my aim.
This version of the website is based on Indexhibit. "Based on" meaning Indexhibit requires technical skills beyong me and this website just copies the look of Indexhibit using CSS. It is a collection of things—thoughts, images, writing—since 2006. It's just a collection, and I like to think it would be interesting for people to look through, if only because there are a few things and it's not all the same. There is a lot of tidying that needs to be done, as well as a lot of stuff that needs to be added to the website.
So that's the website.
I am not a photographer. Along with my age, I think this is one thing I tend to think of first when thinking about myself. My second piece of work at university, addressing the archive, was a lot of Polaroid images, stored in empty photographic paper boxes, presented at the critique stuck to the wall in a grid. I bought a Polaroid camera during the Easter period and started shooting immediately. I really enjoyed using that camera, and that period no doubt heavily influenced my photography. My final piece of work at university was a box full of snapshots on a table with some cameras, some film and some paper. For the publication we produced, Brink, the work was rendered as four 4x4 grids of images. This work is something I think I'd like to expand at some point, though I'm not sure exactly what I would do.
Since university my photography has not been consistent. There was a period of shooting a lot of film, a lot of snapshots. That period ended in May 2010. I do not archive or properly store my photographs or negatives, something I aim to change from now.
I tend to get my film processed at Snappy Snaps or at Boots and I ask them to put the images on disc for me because I do not have use of a scanner myself. I mostly shoot colour, mostly 35mm, mostly on one of two cameras – either the Nikon L35 or the Olympus Shoot and Go R, both very basic cameras. I buy any film, really. I usually buy 200 ISO film; if black and white I like Neopan 1600 ISO, rated 1000, as high as the Nikon will go! I don't mind mistakes in my images, whether dust or scratches on the negatives or any other imperfections. I don't necessarily want to sound like a "lomographer", but the imperfections add to, rather than take away from, the images (or at least they do not take away anything, I feel).
Whilst I like snapshots I also think I would like to work on a project, something slower and more limited than snapshots all the time, something like the images I made of England flags. I am not sure what this might be. It might have something to do with the Olympic Games, though, because that is an occassion I really want to photograph in some way.
Unfortunately, I feel I might be limited in my work by my technical ability. I am not a photographer. Lighting, exposure, I am no good at it. Also, at university I didn't pay any attention to the things that didn't interest me at the time; I did not think about what I might need in the future, so I'm not too good with things digital. But I like snapshots, and I could probably spend the rest of my life exploring this kind of work. It is something I want to explore more.
I am interested in publishing. I have made one booklet, there is another one being made at the moment, and I would like to continue producing something every few months. I am interested in collaborating with other people, too; the next thing I'd like to start is a series of snapshots and conversations, hanging out with people, snapping them and having a recorded conversation with them.
I like telling stories, and I like writing. Unnecessary detail I like. The first booklet I made was called "Very Short Short Stories volume 1, illustrated" and it was just that: a collection of very short short stories illustrated by photographs. They are true stories, but not exactly serious. A story about a dead magpie isn't serious... It's called volume 1 because I thought there might be more stories to come and they'd go in another volume. That was produced in October and I have since written some more stories but I would not print them as a collection; there needs to be more. I've definitely got more I could write, if not short short stories then very short observational essays.
Things I have collected: records, slides, cameras and books. Ebay. I'm not sure I'd say the books are collected: I buy books I'd like to read; sometimes the books are books I think I'd like to refer to in the future. An example of that is Empire, by Niall Ferguson. The records I could have done without collecting. The slides I will do something with. I have a slide projector and I would like to have slideshows. I do not have a scanner, though. I ought to buy one so that I can scan all of the slides I have bought and curate them. I am looking forward to doing this, and I will make a series of publications, archives, of the images.
A list of the cameras I own, in no particular order:
- Olympus Shoot and Go R
- Nikon L35
- Bronica SQAi
- Canon Ixus 700
- Olympus XA2
- Polaroid One 600
- Canon Canonet 28
- Leica Minilux
- Ilford Sportsman
- Agfa Optima Sensor 335
- Canon Canonet
- Minox 35 GL
- Ricoh GR1
- Ricoh Capilo GX8
- Actionsampler Flash
- Nikon F65
- Centon K400
- Nikon D70s
- Nikon L35
- Kodak Cresta 3
One of the Nikon L35s is the last camera I bought. I picked it up on one of Oxfam's camera days, after people had bought whatever good stuff was there. But this L35 was a good find. The Nikon L35 is a great camera, I think: the lens is sharp. This one was very clean, very clean, and it had the case and the manual with it. It only cost £3.
My favourite camera must surely be the Bronica. I used it to shoot photographs of England flags a few years ago. I don't really like to use often because I like it so much, but probably I ought to. I suppose it's only a camera – if I use it lots and something irreparable happens to it I will still have lots of good photographs from it, as well as the camera itself, and if I use it lots and nothing bad happens to it that is even better.
Admittedly I have not used all of the cameras. I think I have put a test roll through all of them (except, of course, the digital cameras, and the Kodak Cresta because it takes 127 film), but I have not finished them all (some of them have been inside for more than three years). When I have the time, though, I will go out with each camera and shoot some of this Tudor film, of which I have lots. It'll be good to see the results, especially because I know there are some great cameras in the collection (the Ricoh, the Minox and the Leica, besides the obviously brilliant Bronica).
In 2010, leading up to the election, I started getting interested in politics. Books, the internet and magazines fed the interest and then the interest moved from mainstream and maybe reformist politics to socialist politics. Good design is something I am interested in, too, because design is everything. For a couple of weeks I thought I wanted to train to be a town planner because I thought/think that is a way to really change the way we live, by thoughtfully creating useful spaces as well as by rejecting Tesco and them.
I am not sure what's happening with me politically now. I do know, though, that I am rejecting green politics, as well as anybody else who wants to talk about exchanging x for y whilst keeping the same outcome. I am also rejecting anybody who is more interested in writing about and whinging about things, more interested in occupying and vandalising and chanting about whose are the streets than in actually doing things, actually trying be the change. There's a place for waving placards, but maybe try to do some other things, too. I reject those people.
Besides my politics, I am getting more interested in my photography, and I don't doubt that it is going to develop (ha ha) a lot over the next few months.