Submission

Linked here is the PDF submitted to my tutor for this assignment

Executive Summary

This document proposes how Remembering Forgetting, a photographic project of the unreliability of human memory, will be produced, funded and presented to a public audience over the autumn/winter of 2020/21.

The public presentation of the work is by way of an integrated hybrid of two components:

    • A virtual exhibition online, simulating the three-dimensional experience of visiting a gallery
    • A limited-run printed exhibition catalogue to be posted out to interested parties

The hybrid publication will be promoted mostly through online channels, maximising the available network of potentially interested parties. One or more ‘artist’s talk’ type events will take place online.

The budget is £600, funded 50% by personal funds and 50% by a crowdfunding campaign.

Audience engagement will be built into the integration between the virtual exhibition and the printed catalogue (online visitors will be invited to give feedback in return for a free catalogue), along with the more direct audience interaction provided by the artist’s talk(s).

Project overview

The body of work

Remembering Forgetting is a series of photographic images that juxtapose quiet and often uncanny outdoor scenes with text fragments describing incidents of forgetting. The work aims to express ideas around the fallibility of the human memory system, and encourage the viewer to think about their own memory.

Photography has always been inextricably linked to memory, and an abundance of photographic works have investigated aspects of memory. However, these generally tend to examine photography’s ability to contain or trigger significant memories; I am more interested in the continual process of everyday memory, the blend of remembering and forgetting that underpins our daily existence.

With this meander through my own remembered lapses I want to shine a light on the complexity and fragility of human memory. I’d like to encourage reflection on how a visual image or scene can trigger an unrelated memory, and of how forgetting is an invisible yet significant part of life.

The work will be presented in an integrated combination of two components:

  • A virtual exhibition online
  • A printed publication (hereafter referred to as the exhibition catalogue)

Virtual exhibition

The online component of the hybrid publication is a virtual exhibition. It will be hosted on the Art.Spaces platform by Kunstmatrix. It will feature around 20 images from the series, presented in a virtual representation of a three-dimensional exhibition space that a viewer can navigate around on an appropriate online-enabled device.

Virtual Exhibiiton mockup

The exhibition will integrate with the printed catalogue, which will be promoted in the exhibition space itself, and viewers will be invited to provide feedback on their experience and engagement with the exhibition, via a simple online survey form. Respondents will be posted a free copy of the exhibition catalogue.

Exhibition catalogue

A 16–20 page printed publication will be produced, essentially as a ‘catalogue’ for the virtual exhibition. At present the format of the catalogue is unconfirmed (pending samples), but will either be a magazine produced by Blurb or a tabloid-sized newspaper format from Newspaper Club. The print run is expected to be around 50 copies, pending funds raised.

Screenshot 2020-09-02 at 16.57.41

The catalogue will be used at two points in the project: first as a ‘reward’ for crowdfunding pledges, and second as a memento sent to virtual exhibition visitors in return for exhibition feedback and/or interaction as described elsewhere in this document. It will integrate with the exhibition in both directions: as well as being promoted in the exhibition, it will feature virtual installation shots as part of its imagery. I am prepared to send the catalogue to overseas participants albeit on the most cost-effective postal service which may take several weeks to arrive.

Promotion

Online media

I am active on social media and have accounts I can use to promote my photography work on Instagram (c. 400 followers), Twitter (c. 550 followers) and Facebook (c. 200 followers). I also intend to make full use of the online promotional channels available through the OCA. I have a modest collection of email addresses from photography industry professionals that I have made the acquaintance of over the last few years and will reach out directly to them.

I have registered the domain name rememberingforgetting.com and will redirect this to a dedicated ‘microsite’ on my existing portfolio website robtownsend.com. I will use this domain in all the promotion. The microsite will feature:

  • A text introduction to the work
  • The virtual exhibition itself
  • A standard web gallery page of still images
  • Feedback form

In terms of the content of the promotion, it will be divided into (overlapping) components:

  • Promoting the crowdfunding campaign (and by extension the subsequent publication)
  • Promoting the virtual exhibition
  • Promoting the artist’s talk(s)

Traditional media

I will produce a press release and distribute to appropriate outlets.

Artist’s talk(s)

I intend to host one or more online events, most likely using the Zoom platform due to its large user base, to discuss the work and take questions.

Timeline

  • September 2020
    • Set up crowdfunding campaign
    • Promote crowdfunding campaign
  • October 2020
    • Complete crowdfunding campaign
    • Build virtual exhibition
    • Design printed catalogue
    • Promote forthcoming exhibition/publication
  • November 2020
    • Launch virtual exhibition (mid-month)
    • Order printed publications
    • Continued promotion
    • Artist’s talk(s)
  • December 2020
    • Send out printed catalogues
    • Ongoing maintenance:
      • user-generated content (see Audience Engagement section)
      • respond to feedback
      • tweak virtual exhibition if necessary
  • January 2021
    • Send out printed catalogues
    • Close virtual exhibition (mid-month)
    • Collate audience feedback to feed into future projects

Audience engagement

Feedback incentive

As mentioned above, exhibition visitors will be invited to claim their free exhibition catalogue (within its limited print run) in return for providing some feedback on their experience of the exhibition.

User-generated content

Crowdfunding supporters and exhibition viewers will be invited to submit via a simple online form their own equivalent ‘forgettances’ as short text fragments, that will then form part of a slideshow installation that will run as a video in a corner of the virtual gallery. This will add a little extra variety and dynamism to the exhibition content and help visitors feel more engaged in the subject matter.

Artist’s talk(s)

As noted under Promotion, I plan to host one or more online video events that will allow direct interaction and discussion with participants.

Budget

Fixed costs

The costings below assume the higher cost of the two printed publication options so there is a potential to reduce the budget slightly dependent on the publication format decision.

  • Domain name: 1x £8.40 = £8.40
  • Virtual exhibition hosting per month: 3x £8.90 = £26.70
  • Catalogue printing: 50x £4.06 = £203.00
  • Catalogue packaging: 50x £0.08 = £4.00
  • Catalogue postage: 50x £1.40 = £70.00
  • Total fixed costs: £362.10

Variable costs and budgeting assumptions

  • There are some costs associated with the rewards (detailed below) that will only be incurred if someone pledges at that particular level
    • specifically, the £50 pledge level includes an A3 print
    • cost: £12.96 to produce and an estimated £5.00 to pack and post
    • budgeting assumption: no more than three people pledge at this level
  • There are Kickstarter platform and payment processing fees that vary between 8% and 10%
    • budgeting assumption: the campaign raises £300 and the fees are 10%
  • My own time in designing the exhibition and catalogue
    • estimated at two working days
    • I have assigned a nominal value of my time at £50 per day

Variable costs:

  • A3 rewards print production: 3x £12.96 = £38.88
  • A3 rewards print post and packaging: 3x £5.00 = £15.00
  • Kickstarter platform and payment processing: 1x £30.00 = £30.00
  • Exhibition and catalogue design: 2x £50.00 = £50.00
  • Total variable costs: £183.88

Total budgeted costs

  • Fixed costs: £362.10
  • Variable costs: £183.88
  • 10% contingency: £54.60
  • Total budget: £600.58

For simplicity I will generally round this figure to £600 when referring to the budget.

Funding

Outline crowdfunding campaign

The intention is to use the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to raise a target of £300 towards the overall costs i.e. 50% of the total.

There are proposed rewards for each of three levels of financial support. Some are cost-free but others are not and so there is risk involved in terms of the mix of rewards that supporters opt for (covered in the budgeting assumptions).

  • Level 1: pledge £10:
    • High-resolution (print quality) digital image file of an image from the exhibition Name printed in
    • publication acknowledgements
    • Priority invitation to online artist’s talk event
    • Cost: £0 (so net = £10)
  • Level 2: pledge £20:
    • High-resolution (print quality) digital image file of an image from the exhibition
    • Name printed in publication acknowledgements
    • Priority invitation to online artist’s talk event
    • Printed exhibition catalogue, posted
    • Cost: £5 (so net = £15)
  • Level 3: pledge £50:
    • High-resolution (print quality) digital image file of an image from the exhibition
    • Name printed in publication acknowledgements
    • Priority invitation to online artist’s talk event
    • Printed exhibition catalogue, posted
    • Museum quality A3 giclée print of an image from the exhibition, posted
    • Cost: £23 (so net = £27)

Under/over-funding contingencies

Under-funding: Kickstarter’s crowdfunding rules are ‘all or nothing’, as in if the target is not met then no monies are taken from pledgers and no funds are released to me. In this instance I would fund the whole project from personal funds.

Over-funding: if the campaign raises more than the £300 target then this will mean that my personal funding requirement reduces accordingly. If by amazing good fortune the campaign raises more then the £600 total budget then I would increase either the print run or page count of the catalogue.


Self evaluation

I will provide brief commentary on how I believe this submission fulfils the assessment criteria in the course handbook (I will also refer to Learning Outcomes at the end).

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills (materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills)
    • I can speak to this at two levels: the proposal as a document, and the mockups of the actual proposed publication components
    • As a document I believe it is clean, professional and easy to read; I have had peer feedback to this effect
    • Regarding the proposed publication, both components required a reasonable degree of design and composition skills, even as simple mockups
  • Quality of outcome (content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas)
    • I am confident that I have presented the work in a very coherent manner and that the content is robust
    • I believe I have both conceptualised and communicated my ideas clearly and effectively
  • Demonstration of creativity (imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice)
    • I believe there is creativity evident in my proposed hybrid solution, bringing people in through an online experience and then pairing that with a physical memento of the work
  • Context (reflection, research, critical thinking)
    • All aspects of the proposal – the virtual exhibition, the printed publication, the fundraising, the budgeting – all required a degree of research

Learning outcomes

In addition to the assessment criteria it is increasingly important to take into account the five specific learning outcomes for the SYP course, as these provide the framework of items submitted for assessment.

I believe that the Learning Outcomes that are most appropriate for this particular assignment are:

  • LO1: demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the professional context(s) relevant to your practice and have an understanding of the professional dimensions that underpin a successful photographic practice
    • I propose that this assignment does meet this requirement as I have framed my proposed publication in the commercial context of costs incurred and funds raised
  • LO3: operate in complex commercial contexts requiring the application of specific interpersonal, professional and business skills within an ethical framework
    • Specific professional and business skills are demonstrated in this assignment, such as supplier evaluation, budgeting and funding