Archive for the 'Research for power' Category


Planing for Power

Power Artefact Plan and Influence


As previously mentioned I’ve changed my thoughts on power and am now following the idea of looking at identity, specifically what we present to others to show our Identity, so in a sence its the power that comes with presenting our identity….however it might work out slightly differently. The reason I say this is because I want to try working like Diane Arbus, I currently feel very inspired by the way in which she approached photography as a posed to someone like Elinor Curucci (featured below) who has stuck close to working with her family and Nan Goulding who did studys of her friends Arbus went out into situations where she must have felt uncomfortable but she was also so curious she needed to see and experience it for herself. 

Carucci LipsAndHair


Image by Nan Golding


I am not discounting the influence Golding and Curruci have on my work as a whole as they have been very influential to a lot of my work within photography, I have previously been experimenting with the techniques of looking closer at subjects and following a situation such as my daughter as she grows and I would evidence both Goldings and Currucis influences within my work. But I want Arbus influence to be seen within this piece of work as I like the idea of studying a subject and getting the one shot that says a lot about the person more than just what is on the surface. 



I have found a subject a female about 28 years old who is a photographer by trade. She is married and has one child a son. She has kindly agreed to let me use her as my subject for this piece of work (experiment – as I am trying out something new and am not confident of what the results will be). I have agreed to meet her today after I had a phone conversation with her about it and have already meet up with her a few times and agreed to do the shoot in the comfort of her own home. 

I have asked her to have three objects to hand that she feels represents her identity as I feel I need a starting point to discuss herself with me. I don’t necessarily want to focus on the objects but on her and get a feel for her personality and how she deals with situations. I feel that people tend to identify more with what type of person you are than what you bring with you. 

I am looking forward to the shoot today and editing the images tonight. I will post up the images and how I think the shoot went. later today


UPDATE….Power Project

Power Project – Identity (Diane Arbus influence)


(update on power project, influence/research and Idea development)


So as previously mentioned on my blog my first ideas on power have not worked out, this is a shame as I felt good about them but I am starting to find it difficult to concentrate on my work as home life commitments and illness are playing a major part in my life right now, but am trying to work through them….trying…trying.

After another look back at my brainstorm the other day I decided to look more into the theme identity, I decided ot have a chat with a friend and bounce some ideas off of her. The more I talked about identity the more questions came up. Hear are some of the topics we discussed:

  • How do we define our own identity?

  • How do we recognised others identity?

  • Identity in society is very important, we are allowed certain things because of it!

  • The film Identity talks about linked purposes, are we all linked??


After about 20 minutes I started to feel very uncomfortable like I was delving into something way t big and unachievable by thinking far to int this at this stage, If I want to talk it further for my final project it would be a good idea to start more basically!!

One of the most basic identity topics I started discussing with a friend was how do we show our personal unique identity, or what would someone recognised you buy, ie possessions, movements, frases etc??

I think I started thinking like this as recently I watched a film called Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

I loved the film, I just found it so interesting, I guess it played out a fantasy for me, I’ve always wanted to be a bold person and do things that others would not, go that step further but I am to timid to do this, I don’t like attention drawn upon myself (I used to but have been burned).

I started to research Arbus online and found some really interesting stuff, I will start by providing a link to quote from her about life, her work and her subjects,

The quote I really like is the last one, “I see someone on the street and immediate I notice a flaw”. The funny thing is that I love to people watch, out of windows when walking along the streets and my imagination goes wild, if I could make an artefact around that it would be amazing, but would take a lot of time and planning and I just don’t have the time or skill at the moment but I will add it to my to do or to think about list!!!

Another thing I got from the movie and research I did after was the following statement

“By the early ’60s, her commercial portraits, for magazines such as Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar , began to assume a distinctive look. Though taken of mainly traditional subjects — actors, writers, activists — they were strange and obscurely troubling. She would spend hours with her subjects, following them to their homes or offices, talking and listening to them, trying to soften them up to the point where they began to drop their public façade”

This is what I realised I liked about the film about her and her work, it was troubling, strange and obscure!, It was not like what you would see n the cover of Vogue or Take a Break but was of people just like the fashion mags but the sides and types of people who people did not want to see or have revealed. It’s as thought Arbus was an x-ray machine able to see through the first layers and down to the bone, showing the true nature of the object she studied.

I have decided I want to try something like this. I want to see someone from a different point of view, but it’s not going to happen first time and finding a subject is not going to be that easy, as yes there are people but people I can really deeply study…… I might not get what I want but at least I can try!!


Plan for Artefact

Plan for the Artefact

Power Artefact – planning and ideas

As you can read in the e-mail I sent to the source I contacted I want to produce a sound recording which could be used as a radio or television (with a black screen image possibly of photographes) based on the idea of a missing person.

The reason I have decided to do this kind of project as when researching the idea POWER I felt pulled towards the emotonal aspct of power. Campaigns have drawn upon emotions as a powerful force time and time again. I have already blogged about research into this kind of idea with the youtube posts of simlar heart pulling campagns by organisations such as the NSPCC and Cancer research.

I thought about missing people because with the technology available to us now it is very easy for us to get in contact wit one another where as 10-15 years ago we would have had to set up specific times to contact each other in order to get to a phone to contact specicif people to let them know. I remember the first time I had a mobile phone when I was in secondary school, it was such a relief to have more freedom and be able to contact my parents to let them know I was on my way home or just safe.

I first started thinking about this an decided to talk to my fmaily about it to find out what kind of effects me disapearing would have on them.

wedding day 5

My Mum and myself on my wedding day.


My mother will tell anyone that asks that as a child I was morbid, not generally morbid but interested in the morbid facts of life, like death. I was also facinated i the other how do we tlak to our child subject such as sex, more brothers and sisters etc. So generally I was a little bit of a curiosity nightmere.  When I started talking about this project to her, she spent the first minutes or so takling about me as a child (as above). After this she then started discussing the reactions a Mother would have if she could not get hold of her child. We then talked about diffeent situations because the thoughts I had not thought about were things like the age, the relatioships she or he would have, how long ould it be before she was noticed to be missing. Basically she gave me a lot to think about!!!

weddding day 8

My husband and I on our wedding day at the evening do, I had a few to glases of wine.


My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and married over a year. I wanted to get his point of view on a missing person, on me as a missing person. The great thing about being with a partner is they remember situations you don’t . My husband remind me of a recent event about a month after our daugter was born. I was running late getting into town and had not charged my mobile. I did not leave a note at home because I thought I coud just run into town and get done what I needed to do and then meet my husband from work. The problem was that as I arrived to my husbands work place he drove out of the carpark, not seeing me in his rear view miror. He then drove home to an empty house and panicked. I was in the process of walking home with the shopping and buggy in th heat (mid summer). It might seam strange that my husband panicked but from his position I and his new born litle girl were somewhere else other than where we should be, I was vonerable with a new baby being shattered and well its odviouse how our daughter was vonerable. I remember seeing the relief on my husbands face after getting home. In the time it took me to get home he had frantically been making phone calls, to my Mother, Brother, his Mother anywhere he tought I could have gone.

What I decided

From talkign to two key people in my life who could be in the situation I am proposing it helped me decided the following things:

* I am not going to base the recording on myself ,

*I want to have some realism in it and show modern technology,

* I want there to be a story line to it,

* I want it to happen in a quick amount of time,

* It must be emotionally pulling,

* A police element will be involved but not in the way I was orginall thinking,

* The person missing needs to be slightly mature, possibly early 20’s.

I want to have the sound recording start as if someone is listening to a voicemail (this is meant ot be interepreted in ots of different ways by the audience). I want to have 4 recordings on the voicemail.

1. First call from the mother, concern s a meeting did not happen and called around to friends but none knows where you are

2. Phone call from a service such a library confirming an order ready to collect , to give some normality to the recording and mystry – has this person be abducted kind of errar about it??

3. Phone clal from friend, conserned, contacted by the mother and contacting the person to try and find them,

4. Phone call from Mother, saying she’s calling the police, she can’t get hold of her, pleading wiht her to contact her, anyone!

5. The recording then needs to have a phoen ringing sound and the mother picking up and then a Male man saying he is PC blah Blah and they have found her, and then a MUM and it ends.


Response to Practical Research

Primary Research

E-mail Response to Practical Research for power artefact

If you have been following my blog you should be able to see that I previously sent an e-mail to an unnamable source to et some information to help my artefact grow and become more realistic. I wanted to know the following questions:

* What happens when someone first calls in to report a missing person?

* At what point do the police contact family/friends etc in order for them to help locate the person?

* Do you have any statistics about missing persons in the area or where can I find these?

* If you found belongings from a missing person would you contact the family to notify them?

I wanted to find out these questions because I wanted to be able to make it seem as if the recordings I am planning to do is real, and the bast way you can do this is to ask people who deal with these kind of issues every day.

The following e-mail is a response to an e-mail I sent out. You can see that I am interested in making sure everyone who helps me is protected if requested. Some of the information and names have not been published on this blog because they did not wish to be identified.

RE: Missing persons research, Coventry University, Mrs Charlotte Gunn‏




10 November 2009 14:48:18


Charlotte Gunn (


* What happens when someone first calls in to report a missing person?


Initially the call taker would take as much info from the reporting person as possible. I.E name, address, mobile number, date of birth (DOB), circumstances (did they leave a note, are they late home, do they regularly go missing, any arguments/problems beforehand, is it out of character?), contacts, places frequented. The call taker will also ask questions which would form a risk assessment to establish whether the missing person (misper) would be treated as a high, med or low risk. These are questions such as does the misper self harm or have they ever attempted suicide? Do they have any essential medication which they do not have with them? Are they dressed for the weather? Any mental or physical illnesses? Intelligence checks will be carried out and a unit will be sent to the address of the reporting person and or the mispers home address to conduct a house search and collect further info from the reporting person and a photograph. They will complete a further risk assessment at this stage. Once the risk assessment has been carried out by the Duty Sgt the actions will be set and units allocated. The actions and the timescales of all this will depend on the level of risk.

* At what point do the police contact family/friends etc in order for them to help locate the person?

The call taker would take info regarding friends/family/partners and attempts will be made to contact them ASAP normally by phone in the first instance to ascertain when they last saw/heard from the missing person. Any contacts which we can not get hold of but have an address for will be checked by a unit. As far as area searches by family are concerned it really depends on the situation.

Family and friends are encouraged to check places where they know the misper frequents and drive around the area looking for them but anything which involves large-scale searching of say marshland may be deemed too much risk and should be left to the specialist search teams. These are normally reserved however for high risk mispers (people at immediate risk of harm to themselves or others such as people who have threatened suicide or small children).

* Do you have any statistics about missing persons in the area or where can I find these?

It would be hard to get information which would paint an accurate picture of what I think you are talking about. Missing people are not just the likes of Madeline McCann. Missing people are reported everyday as a matter of policy when they are not considered missing to your average member of public so our statistics are not a fair representation of the actual missing reports which you would expect. Anything I supply you would be misleading. You may be able to get a statistics from

* If you found belongings from a missing person would you contact the family to notify them?

***UNABLE TO SHOW THIS TEXT AS REQUESTED****, if there is a development in the investigation a member of the missing persons office or a police officer would update them, often find families can shed more light on developments in order to find the misper more quickly. Attempts are always made to try to speak to the person directly or in the event of particularly bad or distressing news a police officer would attend them in person.

We would only leave a message informing them that there has been a development and could they contact us back or that we would phone back again. Anyone can pick up a message intended for someone else. We often leave messages on mispers phones asking them to make contact with the police or their families so we know they are safe as people often don’t know they have been reported.

Some links….. they have a freefone service for info on missing persons NPIA sets out our guidelines for the investigation of missing persons.

I am happy to help Charlotte, I remember what it is like trying to get people to help with research but please do not identify myself (unnamed source) or organisationthe in your blog.



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