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Light Paths

The 2020 Newsletter #1

Hello and welcome to the place-based Light Paths.

This newsletter introduces a low-key art experiment to foster a digital public space in the form of a Khôra (or chora) for art photographies in South Australia. Khôra is understood as a receptacle space that wavers between the logic of exclusion and that of participation. Place is central given that human beings are situated in place --emplacement means that we find ourselves already "there," situated in the world, in "place".

Light Paths as a Khôra or clearing is envisioned as providing a home for photographic artists to nurture and shape the future of the movement of the inter-woven strands of the patchwork of art photographies in South Australia. It is designed to help overcome the tears caused by the current lack of institutional support for art photographies in a 'rocks and crops' economy (even though more people work in the creative industries than in mining and agriculture combined); and to affirm the digital images created by art photographies in difficult times.

Rolleiflex TLR

The foundational members of Light Paths are Adam Jan Dutkiewicz, Barbara Martin, Chris Dearden and Gary Sauer-Thompson. The website was built by Chris Dearden and Gary. Gary is the initial newsletter editor. Gary's photos in this newsletter are from a pre Covid-19 trip to New Zealand in 2020: the first image is from a walk around Lake Manapouri; the second is an art gallery in Oamaru's Victorian precinct; the third is along the Kepler Track.

Light Paths will endeavour to foster inclusion in this digital public space through bi-annual field trips, a physical exhibition in an art gallery based on these field trips, online gallery spaces for various work-in-progress projects, hosting various writings about art photographies and the networked digital image, and an occasional newsletter.

Light Paths is modest in ambition as it is envisioned as a work-in-progress that will change and mutate over time. It's capacity to develop and evolve as a digital public space for art photographies in South Australia will depend on the level of support and participation from the art photography/visual art community.

The 2020 Exhibition

This newsletter is also a callout for submissions for an online exhibition. Because there is no time to organise a field trip in 2020 after the launch of Light Paths we decided that the best way to get things moving would be with an online exhibition:--hence The 2020 Exhibition.

The exhibition is conceptually simple and modest in scope. People can submit one image from a project that they have been working on in 2020. It is not necessary that the photo/image was made in 2020. It could be made earlier, since it is quite normal for a photographic or art project to take several years to complete. The criteria for being considered for inclusion is that the applicant artist photographer needs to have been working on the particular project that the image is a part of during 2020.

Images should be submitted online by the 30th of November 2020. We will aim to give notification of decisions re inclusion by mid-December 2020. We appreciate that this is not much notice, but we are squeezed for time, and we thought that ensuring Light Paths is up and running in 2020 was a priority.


Field trip in 2021

Field trips are designed to enable art photographers an occasion to explore parts of South Australia that they may not be familiar with. This provides an opportunity to create new narratives, insights, images and non-economic forms of value about our regional culture and geography. Art photographies are part of the networked digital image, and this means that the emphasis has shifted from the singular photographic medium to photographies and the digital image. So a painting or drawing based on a photograph then photographed or scanned to create a digital file that is then published on the web is a networked digital image.

At this stage it is envisioned that the first photographic field trip will be over a weekend in the autumn of 2021. Provisionally the location is Burra in South Australia's Mid-North. Burra has been chosen because the surrounding region is visually interesting, there is a variety of accommodation available, and the town has a number of options for eating out. People are encouraged to stay longer than the weekend, if they so wish.

There will be more details about the Burra field trip in the next newsletter. People are invited to put forward some location and timing suggestions for the next field trip latter in 2021. Bear in mind the three criteria mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Light Paths as Khôra

A brief note on the concept of Khôra, which underpins Light Paths in the context of a digital economy driven by proprietary technology and with a balkanization of data governance as its mode of regulation. The note involves a bit of philosophy and it can be skipped.

Khôra first appears in Plato’s Timaeus as an elusive and enigmatic and evocative idea. It sits between the world of invisible and unchanging Forms and the changing, visible world of sensible things so as to give an account of the interaction between these two regions. Khôra is described as an ‘invisible and formless receptacle… of all becoming’ where Forms are materialised.

Chora sets the foundations of the concepts of spatiality, place and placing. Heidegger in his An Introduction to Metaphysics observed that the Greeks had no word for 'space'. This was no accident as they experienced the spatial on the basis not of the modern notion of space as extension (extenso, as in Descartes) but of place (topos). Heidegger then adds that khora signifies neither place nor space but that which is occupied by what stands there.

As mentioned above Light Paths is Khôra in the sense of being a receptacle space where images are materialised. It is a space of continuous becoming emerging from a series of unbalanced and heterogeneous forces. The relationship between Khôra and its contents is not a ‘water-in-a-jug’ relationship. Khôra interacts with its contents, while being simultaneously distinct from them. It is the process of a common relationship on all that happens, but does not impose what that relationship shall be.
Kepler Track, New Zealand
There are various ways to contribute to, or participate in Light Paths prior to the Burra field trip in 2021. People can submit images for the online 2020 Exhibition; submit 3 images from a project they are working for a gallery; submit material for a blog post about a project they are working on; submit outtake images from a project or exhibition; submit images and text for a side project; or submit images from a recent exhibition to be presented.

Not everything submitted will be shown as the submissions will be curated.

Forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues to share ideas and perspectives that will help inform their photography. They can sign up below.

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