Session 2 – where we’re at

We’re trying a bunch of new stuff this #Phonar and it could be really super great – the best iteration yet, or it could go crashing of the rails. Right now we’re white knuckling … and its only week 2 (!).

Session 1 we talked over what “Feedback” is . In lots of ways this was an institutional conversation but here’s the takeaway for you – like Valentine’s and Christmas cards, if you don’t send any out then don’t go moaning when you don’t get any back.

Get out there and feedback to people.

Then moan.

We also talked about the sub-narratives that are running in this iteration – there are lots. We have the usual trans-media, non-linear narrative stuff, the official learning outcomes (Uni) stuff and then we have the “Photography for your Ears” which is yet to be fully revealed, we have privacy stuff which is a mind-melt and we also have the Post Photography (or Pre-Enlightenment) stuff from Fred Ritchin.

And we think that’s enough for one class.

..oh, and we’re also collaborating with @PrestonLearning‘s High School English Lit class in California, Jane Flannagan’s High School photography class in Coventry and Bill Cotter‘s highschool class in . . . → Read More: Session 2 – where we’re at

Workshop: “Unphotographable Phiction” (sic)

Working alone, you should choose one of Michael David Murphy’s “Unphotographable” posts and create a multimedia narrative. You should use your own images, new or from your archive and you should create an accompanying soundscape.

Please upload the pieces by next session to vimeo and tag it #phonar.

Thanks go to Michael for kindly allowing #phonar to use his work .

To see this in action the other way around see Fliction (“A new online genre involving taking images from the website Flickr, and writing fictional stories about the images.”)

To see a related market application of this see

. . . → Read More: Workshop: “Unphotographable Phiction” (sic)

A Phonar 14 taster …. for your ears.

“Stars do not just shine any old light; the spectrum of light frequencies they emit depends on the kind of stars they are, and the kind of elements they contain.”

Dr. Paul Stevenson, Physics dept. University of surrey

The wavelengths of light from many of the stars can be discovered. We also know the speed of light. From these two facts, we can know their frequencies, and frequencies are musical notes. What an incredible thing, to be able to ‘hear’ the sounds of our universe. – Jill Jarman

“Soundwaves of Light” 2006 by Jill Jarman




#Phonar Prep-task

#Phonar 14 is almost upon us and it’s already looking like a behemoth, but before she hoves into view you’ll be needing to tune your sensory matter and tweak your powers of reflective genius to fulfil the session one pre-requisite.

Please tell the story of your journey to school (college/Uni/work) and share it in time for 1st Oct,

either in person if you’re attending onsite or online using the #Phonar hashtag.

There we are. No big deal. Phonar14 out of the blocks and running.






Walkthrough TAGS with creator Martin Hawksey

Creator Martin Hawksey walks us through his TAGS (Twitter archive Google spreadsheet), so lets go visualise our open and connected class …




Coming soon #Phonar14



“Photography for your Ears” Oct 1st


Connected Courses “Trust and Network Fluency”

Leveraging our “Why”

If you didn’t already you might want to back-up and at least look over the pre-req task because we’re about to conflate our public and private selves and for some of us that might mean, well, who knows what that might mean?


Network fluency in this case is about leveraging the same networked, quantum and interest-driven learning reality that our students experience and bringing it to bear on our teaching. This session is a starting point, more pidgin than taxonomy, it’ll date quickly but hopefully the principals won’t.

Our network relationships are built on trust, both the low-level implicit kind that being consistent affords and the explicit personal endorsement kind. Just as in offline social environments we’ll tune-out the people who are inconsistent, or with dubious motivations. In class I’ll use a cafe/bar analogy: imagine you’re enjoying libation on Monday and someone walks in, introduces herself, is pleasant and then leaves. Tuesday she comes in, you go to say hello and she ignores you. Wednesday she says hello but Thursday she’s back to ignoring you. Friday comes around, you’re chatting with your old friend and she barges into your conversation only to start asking favours. . . . → Read More: Connected Courses “Trust and Network Fluency”

Connected Courses ( Pre-req ) “Is my data showing in this?”

The following is a part of the program


Although we often think of trust, privacy/anonymity and security in concert, perhaps even as synonymous, they’re each discreet concepts. Even a cast iron guarantee of one doesn’t mean we can rely unequivocally on any of the others.

In thinking about networks and network fluency for our connected course we will be assuming that we cannot guarantee technological security (there is a whole, forever out-of- date course in that subject alone) and we will be transparent about this at the outset. We will instead seek to build our networks with the security and trust afforded by being consistent and so to some degree predictable.

Networks and societies as a whole cannot function without this omnipresent low-level trust and security. I have to trust other drivers to abide by traffic laws when I take my children to school. I have to trust that the teachers at their school will teach and care for them during the day. This enables me to go to work and specialise as a photography teacher of still other people’s kids. I trust that my employer will in turn pay me for doing so and if they . . . → Read More: Connected Courses ( Pre-req ) “Is my data showing in this?”

Leveraging your “Why?”, in answer to Mike Wesch.

Mike Wesch gave a great opening talk for the Connected Courses workshop and in that he asked us to think about our “Why?” , why we teach. This kind of framed the thinking for the design of the course from there on in and it made me re-write my talk completely. In fact the reason I am look more than a little dishevelled is because I didn’t finish this until 3am that morning. Anyway, its my “Why?” and I’m greatful to Mike for pushing us out there.


Transcription download

Originally I was going to run this like a Phonar class, so I ask, or in fact dictate that everybody do their notes via Twitter and then at the end we aggregated it and storified all these nodes to make a meta-set of nodes. But of course in a Phonar class, we rely on a bigger meta-class to add in, and there really isn’t the sort of… I don’t know, are we broadcasting on radio? Anyway if you want to, we can do that, especially if people have never have used Twitter to teach. Because I’m going to do three things. I’m going to do a short talk, . . . → Read More: Leveraging your “Why?”, in answer to Mike Wesch.

About Phonar 2014

Intro to the class:

#phonar (Photography and Narrative) is a BA Hons third year undergraduate class devised and run by Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston at Coventry University. #Phonar14 see’s us collaborating with the Cellist @laura_ritchie’s class and US high school teacher David @prestonlearning ‘s English Literacy class.

The degree course’s core tenet is the “development of a sustainable practice”, key to which is the investigation of contemporary photographic practices and their implications for the medium as a whole.

The phrase “Trans-media” is often used to describe contemporary multi-media / multi-platform practices as well as non-linear, and vicariously dynamic narrative approaches to story telling. We will be exploring these themes and considering them in relation to what we do as photographers throughout the ten weeks of practical study. It will lead us to collaborate with other practitioners and subjects, as well as forcing us to question our notions of ownership and authorship along the way.

An essential part of this will be non-paying attendees (you) joining in with us, submitting your work, mashing up ours and other people’s, asking questions of each other and contributing answers.

For our attending degree students the class plays a crucial role sitting . . . → Read More: About Phonar 2014


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

Follow #phonar on Twitter for the latest news, information and posts.