Archive for ‘Personal’

April 18, 2012


by Savvy

In my dream he told me I was a hat;
that was the highest form of compliments,
for the hat is placed at the tallest part of the body.


November 23, 2011


by Savvy

Portrait, On Roof

[vimeo 32066297]
March 16, 2011

Perf. 1.4.Voice.

by Savvy

July 18, 2010

Family Confetti.

by Savvy

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May 6, 2010

A pinhole.

by Savvy

I have become interested in pinhole cameras. I watched my friend build a giant one around 5 years ago, but never looked into them.

When I was younger I owned (and still do) an old school standard film camera and a polaroid cam. My film camera takes fantastic pictures, albeit ‘standard’; no fancy options, no zoom, not very good at night. The polaroids didn’t fascinate me as much as I expected, apart from a few, (possibly because the machine was new) so I experimented with them, manipulated them, played with them. When I got my first digital camera I decided I didn’t much care for pixels and prefered film. When I got an upgrade a few years later, this resonated even more. More fancy options, more pixels. No atmosphere. Not unless I added some on photoshop. And even then, the atmosphere was digital. I prefer something I can touch, something more playful. A roll of film. Negatives. A polaroid I can rip apart while it develops and transfer it onto another surface. Years later, I got my first camera with manual film advance winding and discovered the amazingness of multiple exposures. Different coloured flashes. Naughty amouts of sunlight that creep into the internals and splash my film. Still, I was not yet completely satisfied. I then bought my first old camera [circa 1949-1961] in an antiques market in Rotterdam and I was not disappointed. The photographs taken ooze atmosphere, light and shadow.

I don’t care for new machines. I care for old things. Things that have been through time, that have signs of this, marks of history that appear. I am not a collector and I don’t want to be a collector. I don’t want to admire my findings from the outside of a glass cabinet. I want to use them.

Last summer I acquired an old 8mm cine camera [circa 1966-68] in an antiques shop in Prague. It was an experience in itself, perusing the 1x3m shop for 2 hours after which the owner, Martin, decided he liked us and my interest in his cameras enough to open up his favourite ones, let us have a play, and show us his camping photographs (ones he had taken with one of the cameras). Out he came from behind the curtain holding bunches of photos and wine glasses. He told us, as he refilled our glasses sometime later, that he’d bought this bottle in hope of sharing it with the beautiful new girl working in the bookshop next door.

We spent the only money we had left on this cine camera, on our way to the airport. Martin gave us a good deal. I have yet to find film for it but I am hoping it will be my most exciting camera experience yet. And will send Martin a souvenir.

But until that time comes…

I have a) been given an indefinite loan present of an old camera from my M. which belongs to his great-uncle.
And, to reiterate the first sentence of this entry, have b) become interested in pinhole cameras.

I have been inspired by this: or, rather, her:

© Katie Cooke

heyoka‘ has made a pinhole camera out of an old Christmas card box. Its results are beautiful, transient, moving pictures. Imperfect captures of a realistic image, but perfect scenes in time. The beauty lies between the perfect and imperfect, that is the true reality, with a touch of something different. There is no lens, no machinery, just honesty.

NB. See more of her photography work here. A little advertisement never hurt anyone.

Who needs a lens when you can make pictures with cardboard boxes, paper negatives or sheet film, and endlessly long exposures?
It’s all about slow light and the spaces between stillness. Except when it’s not

April 6, 2010

The Kissing Chair And Other Such Devices.

by Savvy
February 16, 2010

Εγκατελειμένη Λευκωσία – Abandoned Lefkosia.

by Savvy

Photographic investigation of abandoned buildings
Old Nicosia, Cyprus


View more photographs here:. [<Thesis 1.2>]

My dissertation was followed by a series of photos taken in the old town of Nicosia, Cyprus. The photographs document small-scale abandoned buildings, treated as an addendum to my thesis. Cyprus is my home and a country still dealing with its recent turbulent and devastating past. It is under this context of a place of sensitive memory that I wished to pursue my interest.

The effects of recent history are embedded in the city’s present physical fabric; a divided city holding scars indicative of its past, while the old town lies on the edge of a buffer zone. Many houses found appear to have been abandoned in the hastiest way. Dishes have been found, lying in sinks, covered in years of dust, as if residents deserted their houses in unexpected ‘escapes’, or assumed swift returns. It both bewilders and intrigues how families could have left behind their entire photographic family history, passports, medicines and even simple personal objects such as reading glasses. It is mystifying and sends my imagination rushing. It is not impossible that all this may have happened in times of war or unrest, for some of these derelict houses match the era of the invasion. It is peculiar how nothing has become of many, nothing has changed and no one has claimed them. The initial proprietors have seemingly disappeared.

This documentation includes buildings that have been left in the same state as that in which they were abandoned for years. One could almost imagine hearing the washing machine rumbling, the phone ringing, the man of the house fixing tyres; wedding photos, postcards and passports were among found objects, as well as clothes and furnishings such as curtains (not always in ordinary places). These spaces evoke a severe sense of memory reverting back to the theme of phenomenology in my dissertation and Gaston Bachelard’s ‘Poetics of Space’; most importantly his argument that “A house that has been experienced is not an inert box”.

Some spaces were found to be inhabited by squatters, which up to that time was a notion unknown to me in Cyprus. Security on abandoned places is virtually unheard of; it is not difficult to enter these spaces and there are no laws as to squatting, much unlike London (the essay’s focus), where squatters’ rights are publicized and fully taken advantage of. The squatters seemed to be using the space solely out of need and taking very good care not to get caught.

Of my findings, one which resonated most, was a house that appeared to be disintegrating back into its site, slowly being reclaimed by nature. Nature’s presence was felt more so than the building itself, more than the walls and the floors of which it was made. Nature was spilling through every opening, pushing through every corner, and enveloping the house in pure green vegetation. This links back to the case study of my dissertation and the ‘life vs. death’ theme which were very much about nature being a wholly important factor in the life of abandoned spaces and places, regenerating the degenerate.

View more photographs here:. [<Thesis 1.2>]