Photography for your Ears in the final Phonar.

It’s the last week, I’m gonna’ say that again, it’s the last week and Oh My Goodness we [as a group] are still struggling with the whole share and share alike business. Which is not a great situation heading into a third year ‘exit-strategy’ (formally known as a group degree show).

Cue the learning-ninja that is Laura Ritchie and her “have truck full-o-cello’s will travel” mentality. In case you’re coming to this late, Laura is the concert cellist for whom the composer Jill Jarman composed the piece for cello: “Resonance”, and the visualisation of which was one of the themes for this year’s phonar. Anyway, she blows up and hooks in her man in Honolulu Duane Padilla by skype to tell him we’re going to do his demo ( see the video below ), right now, from scratch with no prior musical experience – as one team.

“we’re going to have to learn to work, learn, fail and share together , fast if we’re going to do this…”



Cue Laura….. :



Kate Green BY-NC-SA

But this isn’t the whole story ….

. . . → Read More: Photography for your Ears in the final Phonar.

Final #Phonar 2014

We hope you’re looking forward to the final Phonar session of 2014 – one of our themes has been Photography For Your Ears and we have a special session planned so we can go out with a … well we’ll see 🙂



In conversation with WIRED writer Pete Brook aka Prison Photography.


This was the week back in 2010 where we caught up with the writer and #phonar collaborator Pete Brook . He shared what he learned when he took his blog “Prison Photography” on the road and introduces us to Michelle Vignes, the French photographer who was the very first staff member of Magnum.


Prison Photography Cruel and Unusual exhibition: Why we made a newspaper and not a traditional exhibition catalogue: Buy the newspaper: My reflections on my first experience curating and why Noorderlicht has all the right ingredients for a world class gallery: And why, when Noorderlicht was threatened with cuts from the Dutch government, it was a hard fought battle: Michelle Vignes Good biography: Good gallery of selected works: Vignes’ photographs of the Summer Of Love: Gallery and words by Michelle about covering the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz: An American Vision / French photographer Michelle Vignes shoots from the inside ‘Bay Area Blues’ book: “Magnum Salad” Late into her life, Vignes collaborated with social activist artists. In 2011, with RIGO23: A tribute to Michelle by friend Melanie Light: . . . → Read More: In conversation with WIRED writer Pete Brook aka Prison Photography.

Catching up with Fred Ritchin from ICP in New York

He’s here ! Can you believe it? Here, live, in the room, Fred Ritchin’s in the house, with us, now, in person, by Skype, virtually … from New York. Yesterday.


Alan Levine and I reared this one for 12 months before setting it free. You’re going to have to bring all of your Remix skilz to the table as well as your big brain contextual understanding – you’re going to need to read Cory’s books and find out what the hell is grinding his gears.

A portrait of Cory Doctorow painted by Paul Wright from a photograph by Jonathan Worth. 


This week we’ve heard all about how Photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale’s collaborates in order to re-imagine his work and reach new audiences via new and unexplored channels, well that’s where we’re headed with this task. After you’ve read Cory and read about Cory you’ll use someone else’s images (mine) to hack,remix and transform into something awesome and for this Alan has rustled up a little space all of its own with some house rules and further instruction.

Don’t let me down. Lets go to work.

Participating in our own representation

I love doing the Phonar class. This Summer I had to talk about “Why?”, why I teach , why I think Phonar is important. The talk is here but in a nutshell Phonar , PhonarNation and other projects that I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with like World Press Reporting Change are about enabling people to participate in their own representation. They’re about taking people who otherwise might feel anonymised by the vastness of the web and using it to empower them. They’re practical and applied workshops in Visual Literacy and Digital Fluency.

And they’re a means, not an ends. Phonar is a photography class but we don’t fawn over photographs. We use Photography as a means to do other things, to speak clearly with images and by making our classes open and connected we increase the likelihood of our speakers being heard. We think about the role of the storyteller, we reflect on how heavy the responsibility of telling other people’s stories would be and halfway through the course we all share a previously untold story (off record) with the group. It can be whimsical or heartfelt, but we do it to feel the vulnerability of the subject. . . . → Read More: Participating in our own representation

Phonar collaborators Pete Brook and Stephen Mayes in conversation for Wired.

Hopefully some of the themes in Pete’s article will sound familiar to us over here on #phonar. This is one not to be missed and brought to you by the ex-Director of VII Agency no less

Photographs Are No Longer Things, They’re Experiences

[Stephen Mayes] argues that the rise of digital changed the very nature of photography by moving it from a fixed image to a fluid one. The swift pace at which we create images is only matched by the pace at which we discard them and yet, paradoxically, we’ve never been more engaged with images. Photography is less about document or evidence and more about community and experience … and that’s not a bad thing.

“The way we relate to imagery is changing,” says Mayes, who thinks the pace of change is astonishing. Fortune magazine reported in September 2012 that “10% of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011.” That same month, Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram, just shy of two-years in existence, passed the 100 million users. Instagram users, who are signing up a rate of one per second, have taken over one billion images with the app. Such frenzied activity will account for some but not . . . → Read More: Phonar collaborators Pete Brook and Stephen Mayes in conversation for Wired.

Creative Task: Transformative storytelling.

Session 4 task – Transformative Storytelling.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Watkins @ampersanddragon

Using only found images (ie images from family albums and local library archives, not published in magazines) research and construct a photo-artefact/story that weaves a narrative linking the people depicted within.

Development : Build and include a soundscape relevant to your story, you might include personal stories from the subjects depicted.


William Burroughs (on cut-ups)

Joachim Schmidt

Tacita Dean,,728587,00.html


“In Almost Every Picture book series” (c/o @davewyatt )

Corinne Vionnet (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Mishka Henner (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Jason Lazarus (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Curtis Mann (c/o @LarissaLeclair )


PS. You don’t have to like all of these – nor do you have to agree or condone what they do – Matt and I argue about this stuff all the time ….. #phonar is the hashtag for the “discussion” but no SHOUTING 🙂



. . . → Read More: Creative Task: Transformative storytelling.

Professor David Campbell on Narrative, Power and Responsibilty


This week’s Guest lecture is by Professor David Campbell, was recorded in 2010 and has become one of our touchstones. If you’re not already following David’s blog then it can be found here : and he’s on Twitter at :

Please tweet and hashtag your notes/comments/questions (whenever it is that you get round to listening to this) #phonar and we’ll aggregate them into our global set of notes to be shared on Storify.






[View the story “#Phonar Power Narrative and Responsibility” on Storify]

Prep for this week’s Phonar from Matt

Sitting in on last week’s #phonar session was pretty awesome and brought up a lot of questions that I hope to explore a little further in my short hijacking of the class this Wednesday. In order that we can hit the ground running there are a few very small pre-tasks for the session.

Consider Roland Barthes musings on the power of the still image…

“Do I add to the images in movies? I don’t think so; I don’t have time: in front of the screen, I am not free to shut my eyes; otherwise, opening them again, I would not discover the same image; I am constrained to a continuos voracity….” – Barthes, R (Camera Lucida) 1980

Watch Robbie Cooper’s ‘Immersion’ guest lecture…

Spend some time ‘reading’ Pine Point…

Bring some questions to class with that fall under the theme of immersion, I will be keen to dissect the following:

How does the act of reading change when we navigate non-linear works? Are traditionally powerful images a hinderance in photo films? How can we create an immersive experience with less control over viewing environment and platform?

Then, depending on how . . . → Read More: Prep for this week’s Phonar from Matt


Phonar - [fo-'när] is a free and open undergraduate photography class run by Jonathan Worth

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