the blog as supplement

As there is  now a walking Adelaide website with its own blog  this  old,  low-key blog became  superfluous. It  served its purpose in kickstarting the website into existence, and as a result,  it hasn't been updated in 2 years. Originally this low-fi blog was envisioned as a  way to start making  a photobook of urban photography  of Adelaide.  I had in mind  that the images and text would be  the raw material for  the photo book.  However, as I left living in Adelaide for the coast and   the money ran out for a book, I decided to build the website. The next step in the project is a  photobook.  

My reason for  reviving the old  blog is that  I've returned to the city in the sense of I've started regularly walking the city again.  I have also linked up to,  and joined,  the Australian Walking Artists group, since  urban photography has been historically  based on the medium of walking the city.  Adelaide 's CBD has changed a lot in the last 8 years. 

 This revived  blog  will  include the odd photo that doesn't make it to the official website. Toss away photos, odd balls,  rejects, poor mages. fragments or  scraps,  if you like. Ones  that stand  outside the website and are an accessory  (the parergon) to the main work (the  ergon). This blog would then exist on the margins of the website.  

The photos and text, which  are degraded supplements to the original image that  lies buried in the darkness of the archive on a computer's hard drive, are deemed to have little value in the neo-liberal image economy.   They are toss-a-ways, as is this blog, since blogs have been shunted aside in the culture of social media.   

These throwaway images  are supplements to  the main walking Adelaide website. A supplement is something that, allegedly secondarily, comes to serve as an aid to something ‘original’. The website is the original.  The logic of the supplement in Derrida's Of Grammatology  is both 'to add onto' (supplémenter) and to 'supplement' (suppléer). It both completes another thing and something that may replace it. 

If  we take our cues from, and paraphrasing,   Derrida,  then  language  (writing) and photography are two distinct systems of signs.   So   images  are legitimate signifiers on their own, and should not be considered as secondary, or derivative, relative to either oral speech or to writing (text). The latter was the case in photojournalism, which has cast a long shadow over urban photography in Australia.   

In art history the name for the supplement is the parergon, which has a  subordinate or supplementary relationship  to the ergon. An example In the history of art  is the frame of the image, which was traditionally understood,  as an ornamental addition or a pictorial embellishment to the painted canvas.    

The images on the blog will be digital snapshots made whilst walking the city and are to be viewed on screens, and so  they will be a part of the  endless flowing recombination of fragmentary urban images from Google street views and the aerial views from drones and satellites that we see on the screen of the television. 

All the images on the internet are poor images: jpegs, low resolution,  heavily compressed thumbnails that are distributed for free; then reformatted, re-edited, copied and pasted into other channels of distribution, where they are remixed and re-appropriated etc etc as they circulate though the internet.   

The blog consists of poor images,  half baked ideas,  quick research, quickly  thrown together . The bogus is where    I explore, and inform myself about,  the culture of urban photography. As Simon Reynold's says about continue to blog

"... some [of my] posts are outcomes of rambles across the archives of the internet, byproducts of the odd information trawled up and the lateral connections created. “Ramble” is the right word. When blogging, I can meander, take short cuts and trespass in fields where I don’t belong. Because I’m not pitching an idea to a publication or presenting my credentials as an authority, I am able to tackle subjects outside my expertise." 

So we'll see how it pans out.