Project 1.3 Surface and Depth.


Read the reviews of Campany and Colberg and if you haven’t already done so use them to begin the contextual section of your learning log. Try to pick out the key points made by each writer. Write about 300 words.

Thomas Ruffs JPEGS

I was pleased to see the cover of this book. It shows the USS Saratoga in silhouette in front of the underwater detination of Atomic Bomb Baker at Bikini Atoll. In 2009 I had the pleasure of being in a group of divers who were the last to dive on the wreck based on the Atoll. We saw the terrible things a nuclear device can do.

After looking at this work I found I had three questions.

1. Is it photography.                                                                                                                               2. Is it oversimplified.                                                                                                                            3. Who is the work for.

The work is a mix of own photos and photographs taken from the Internet. Colberg questions “if this is photography or just technique”(1).  I think it must be photography as they are photographs, just not Ruffs photographs. The technique made me look at the photos longer and this made me think about the context of each photo from both sides of the lens.

Is the work oversimplified? The work has detail and is simplified at the same time both essays agree about the technique being the main ingredient. Colberg states “the concept itself seems to rely a bit too much on the technique itself. What else is there?” (2).

Interestingly my father who had Maccular Accute Degeneration of his eyes thought the photos were in focus.

The work is all based on one idea. It covers such a large subject base that it is hard to see who it is aimed at. I agree with Campany when he says “it seems to belong to everyone and nobody”(3). It covers such a huge spectrum of subjects.
The work is covered in a book and large print with agreement that it wasn’t clear which was best. I thought the photos in the book worked well and would have been fantastic to see in large print as an oil painting does with its splurges of colour shown in pixel form.

In summary “jpegs”(4) is an enigma in that it doesn’t or perhaps shouldn’t work but it does. The simple technique makes you assess the photos in a deeper way than normal.

You don’t need to be sharp from front to back all the time!


(1) (2)., (2015). Conscientious |.                                                                        Review: jpegs by Thomas Ruff. [online] Available at:             [Accessed 23 Dec. 2015].                                                                                                                                              (3).. David Campany, (2008). David Campany. [online] Available at:               [Accessed 23 Dec. 2015].                                                                                                                                                        (4). Ruff, T. and Simpson, B. (2009). Jpegs. New York: Aperture

Here are two of my photos using  the technique.


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