Audiovisual Cultures Episode 118 – SEO Optimizers with Brandon Leibowitz

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Show notes

Paula Blair is joined by digital marketing professional Brandon Leibowitz to talk about the technologies, best practices, ethics and effects on culture of search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and website ownership. In our conversation you’ll learn some quick tips for advancing up Google search results and lessons about who really owns and makes money from the data we share online. Do enjoy this conversation and share it with a friend!

Music: commonGround by airtone (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license.

Edited by Paula Blair with Audacity.

Recorded with Zencastr on 3 May 2022. Access Behind the Scenes recordings on Patreon.

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Check out Brandon’s podcast appearances

Brandon and Paula connected via Matchmaker

Automated Transcript

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greetings and salutations you’re very welcome to episode one hundred eighteen of audio visual cultures the podcast that explores different areas from the arts and media I am your host Poland planner and I am joined this time by a digital marketer Brandon labor what’s working I’d in sunny Los Angeles helping people get their businesses noticed by search engines and much more I thought it would be interesting to see talk to Brandon because he’s the sort of person who’s advice I’ve been taking for ways to more effectively circulated and promote this podcast is my other work this technological signees of these marketing activities and their ramifications on culture quite broadly scare and fascinate me whether you’re a business owner or a consumer this affects all of us on the internet so whether you’re interested or not I think it’s important C. get cleaned up and snow will retain when they post on social media and fellow HR data cells will hopefully get Brandon back again at some points because I for one need another dose of that California sunshine if not for anything else many thanks as well to those of you listening and reaching right best feedback especially Dr laurel J. carpenter he featured in episode sixty one that’s a really lovely upset if you haven’t heard it pleased to go and check out one night and laurel said hi Paul let loved your interview with tank it’s smart and funny and accessible ax ax and that was in response to episode one hundred fifteen with Richard James hall laurel that really means a lot because accessibility is what we’re all about here and if we can make out from T. ten older fatter not only on the show Brandon Lee blacks I am so delighted to have you on audio visual cultures thank you so much for reaching our age and for your time today I might correct if I say that you’re both lesser that you run a digital marketing firm called SCO optimizers yeah would you be happy C. tell us a bit about that company give a spend of over V. by your work there and your background into us all right then I started doing digital marketing in two thousand seven kind of just fell into it and got my degree in business marketing in the first job I got my need you at seo social media email marketing for them to have it all in fact and just realize that I see as we get free traffic can I spend money on ads if you get up there for free so just focus on that over the years I just had to get that free traffic from Google so you don’t have to spend money on ads and marketing for advertising agencies and if mom pop shops and fortune five hundred companies and everything in between helping them out with their SCO and right now my own company well that’s the optimizers help people specifically get free job from Google do a little bit of paid ads but for to get you that three topics you have to spend money on ads fantastic I suppose just for anybody blessing he he isn’t familiar with some of those terms can we just talk about what SCO means as CEO search engine optimization that means ranking websites on Google so whatever you see on Google that due to SCO what would you search on Google there’s ads at the top those are all paid ads that right below that those are the organic SCO the free listings and as he was about getting that free traffic from Google so Brandon I’ve been listening to quite a lot of your appearance says on on quite a few other podcasts and they’ve been just so useful and informative I mean for me as an independent podcaster he’s trying that market forecasts and do so on a are you too low or no budgets it’s been really wonderful actually to the discovery you and your generosity with reaching out to people I also don’t want to make you repeat too much of what you’ve been doing another podcast I think it be quite nice to share those other podcast because actually there have been many years so late and I started listening to the %HESITATION talk first chill Westbury convenience and tools of the podcast tree interests Jennifer Francis actually those I find your other episodes of those podcasts are actually very useful as well so I’d like to link to those and see if there’s anything you haven’t coverage on a lot of thought other work you’ve been saying that we could T. sites say what do you think if I thought that would be the best that much better because I like you need topic is that is after the same things about SCO or digital marketing anything that help your audience is definitely the best whatever works best resonate your audience I’m open to helping out as much as possible not surprised in Brandon I think to get you up to speed Dan not audio visual cultures were primarily on arts and culture podcasts and we do a lot of things like film analysis to re talk about aids art exhibitions where we talk to researchers and arts and humanities subjects and we’re quite wide ranging across what can be considered as audio visual cultures and I was quite keen to talk T. in terms of the cultural phenomenon that has become social media marketing and SCO and and all of these things all of these areas and I think my listeners are in our state people who are creative practitioners and their creative industries in some way the researchers of the same some hope and how all of this can learn from me not just hi I need to be better self marketers but also just to learn about what is the technologies behind all of this I mean maybe you don’t get and all of this but I’m curious about what impact there might be some %HESITATION socially and culture related not sort of thing are these areas that you ever get into the center of your clients or that you think about you know what is it apart all of space that you find interesting it’s definitely a step that they sought help it is interesting just trying to figure out Google and see what’s going on with Google and how they want to control and run everything but who knows what can happen in the future with them they’re gonna keeps dominating the market or is someone else can take over the matter is gonna take over that role just plugged in now this matters anymore but it’s gonna be interesting to see what happens in the future how this impacts everyone it’s making you just I mean just plugged in pretty much I actively avoid using Google I wonder if she ever have to deal with people like me who are trying to market themselves but they’re aware that people are trying to find alternatives that may be our last environmentally harmful or maybe last aspect to the compromise saying it’s not anything you cover as well and your work no there’s a kosher is that search engine where they plant a tree get thing for everyone that searches but if you look at how much traffic they get compared to Google it does even come close Google just bring then by twenty to eighty percent of traffic to a website being brings about one percent Yahoo will bring maybe one percent DuckDuckGo might bring half a percent because you might bring a quarter of a percent and then the threat to social media email marketing people this type in your website indirectly but you’re not on Google you’re not gonna get the visibility unless your audience is using a different search engine okay then you need to be on that search engine I think China’s on Yandex so they don’t really mean that kind of censored but it depends on who your audience is it’s on the different search and then you want to be there but the most part everyone’s on Google NASA accidentally using being it’s been kind of tricks people into taking over the browser no more than that we’re aware that that go privacy where they’re not tracking everything they say they’re not and then the closure where they’re coming out with the environment and try to get back but we’ll see if they take off but for now they we have no market share home fortunately I mean that summer is here which is so tiny compared to those other websites outlook analytics over the past fifteen years that website hundreds maybe thousands websites it’s all the same Google just dominated the traffic and doesn’t even compare how much they get versus everything else and if they took a lot of the business most websites are probably fail unfortunately just because Google’s brings in so much shock and that’s running paid ads but if you try to get that free traffic for now Google just runs the show it it certainly feels like I mean they have G. email server using G. Mel the reading all your emails if you’re using chrome they’re tracking everything on the android phone the tracking I think you’re talking everything I mean no matter what everyone’s tracking and taking all the data and selling and often it’s tough nowadays but hopefully things change in the future but for now is selling off that data that’s all they care about I think just on that point of them selling the data that is that we generated in that we think may be belongs to us but actually were handing it over a lot of the time aren’t we was I really realizing are being conscious of it I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot because again as a podcaster show %HESITATION so much as my marketing in a way relies on me asking my listeners to help me C. Reetz and refugee unsubscribe and see share on their own social media and that sort of thing the I’m very conscious that I’m asking them to say it works for me for free one eighty thought so I wondered if you know if any of those sort of more ethically she’s come up with what you do or do your clients tend not to really worry if I thought sort of saying you know what what do you think right those sorts of issues we’re not supposed to ask for reviews will on yelp they tell you don’t ask for users to get the terms of service these are all these other platforms don’t want you to ask for reviews that they do scene or catch you asking for reviews the park penalize you where we move a lot of those reviews so you can’t really be doing that I mean everyone does it but you’re not supposed to do it but you see like nobody really falls I think everyone’s just trying to bend the rules a little bit because if you don’t ask for reviews no it’s gonna find you see it do some says like with asio Google says don’t do anything thank you but you have to do some SCO because if you don’t do anything you can pay as you do not see %HESITATION I mean if you look at all these big corporations have teams of people doing asio so you’re not gonna CO United we found but to Google they say don’t do anything but you have to take everything with a grain of salt whatever they tell you start with a full to the deciding what they want to hear because they aren’t you really know what’s going on I suppose in a way for small creators and small business owners and the light that makes things quite difficult because you want to do things by the bank but you you’re also this tiny voice at this massive voids and you don’t even want to be a monopoly you just one year your tiny little share of the action so I mean is there anything see you come up with %HESITATION you come across because any nice examples of where people do things really well and it’s quite successful for them I mean if you look at like podcasters a thing number one is like Joe Rogan he never advertises he just doesn’t all organic with grassroots so that’s the way to do it but he’s been doing it for so long and builds up and builds it up in one of the first people doing it so that also helps out if your one of the first on Instagram you get a head start resembling L. senses joining eight years later you’ve had eight years to build it up and build up and build up that audience getting in at the beginning taking full control of everything don’t just posted up on other websites like Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Pinterest you don’t really own any of that stuff you’re just renting space from all these companies and they take it down anytime and they have full control or content where is you have your own website you have full control of it and you can do whatever you want and we have that forever where is you put something on YouTube you just renting space off you too and they’re not paying you that much you might make a dollar for every thousand views so you to the top paying out that much %HESITATION Facebook’s not going to pay you to post videos on there so there is take all that content and using it to help grow their brands help grow more traffic to Spotify iTunes to stitch all the podcasts ones you’re helping grow these podcasts verses you posted on there to get more exposure to ultimately back to your website because that’s ultimately what you want people to your website don’t keep going on social media because too many distractions to meno too much noise there’s no engagement anymore so if you do have a big following on social media post on Facebook only five percent of people that like your page let me see what you post on Instagram and might be twenty percent of the people of folly we’ll see what you post so getting followers really means nothing nowadays because there’s no engagement all the platforms that you have to enforce the advertise online I try to stay clear of advertisements if you can because they’re expensive and they add up and not the the fact that people see the ads and they don’t trust ads like they trust organic results one of the nice things he and reading up on your website I find that really refreshing actually that you advise not to use paid out for its on these platforms %HESITATION because normally when I go to weapon are some things when I try and get advice on how to increase my audience increase my reach and grow as a podcast and that sort of thing that is one of the things that is suggested as %HESITATION just pay it better money and promote your poster that sort of thing and and I’m very skeptical of I thought so %HESITATION I’d love for you to if you don’t mind said maybe talk a bit more about I thought and maybe if you know a bite highs algorithms work because I feel certainly as having a business account on Instagram it feels as if they’re deliberately hiding your stuff unless you pay them the second they have stockholders so Instagram is owned by Facebook and Facebook on public they need to make money they realized there was a contact there buddy and put this little blue button that says Bruce’s post up there people are gonna start clicking the boost is supposed to show the content to everyone that follows him because they thought realized we only show your content that eighty percent of people that fall like your page okay this little button here people are clicking and spend money they’re like I probably should be content to forty five percent of people like you know people still put it in the drop in the thirty twenty ten that’s five percent of the people like you let me see what you post without clicking that little blue button to boost a post but never click that blue blooded because that’s just throwing money to Facebook that’s not how you run ads if you really can’t run ads you have to go to the Facebook ad manager for Tyron Instagram ads you have to go to the Facebook ad manager don’t click the blue button that size is the room anyway because you’ll get full control it makes it easy to run an ad because just click that button but you really need to run ads prop if you’re gonna do and that’s through the Facebook ad manager but even then it’s just spend the audience on Facebook if they are then run some ads but make sure you lead people to your website or somewhere where you have full control judges promote somebody to Spotify because there is advertising for Spotify and helping grow Spotify which can help you grow your audience that ultimately you want people to your website because that’s where you have full control you try to capture the email addresses maybe get some whatever your conversion goal is but that’s where you can actually get people comfort versus just being on the podcast or sending people to like sort of like is whether or not Spotify worked there on iTunes in the sentence modified the not gonna listen or if they’re on stitcher I have eighty others too many options out there but if you have on your website has all options right there then they can pick and choose to have a place where you can have it natively embedded on Facebook but even then you’re stopping Facebook yeah that’s really good advice I think that’s a really helpful to sanction actually between the paste posts and siad manager I hadn’t heard that before so light I hope that’s really useful for other people as well but it does feel I mean it makes a lot of sense but it also feels very I did almost hurtful that you have to pay to reach our own audience in the audience if you’ve already built and you have to give them some money so that all of those people might see your posts yes so that’s the frustration and I know that I for one have skills pocket pets on social media and I have as yet been advising I’ve been trying to build the websites and make improvements you know when I’ve called better time local and just federalist something and try and just be said about more so without one of the main things you tend it I eases people having a really good websites I just revise that you own everything don’t rent space by the people because what happens if you put all your eggs on my back thank you just focused on my face and then took a merges you stick by space you’ll be like now you just gone no it really be finding you so you I also diversify you know I just focus on one social media platform but ultimately it’s sad to know that they could take you down they just disappear Facebook is on the decline Instagram is taking off but took dog is growing exponentially and just try to be in from the right people the right time but your website is here is where you can get full control no it’s gonna kick you off your website or to censor you or take you down or anything like that where it’s always other platforms will do that anytime you do any against our terms of service which I think break the rules but the rules are pretty lax check like that some rules that don’t make any sense why these platforms that take you down for almost nothing in getting in contact with them getting your account back is almost impossible you don’t want to rely on these platforms you want to have something that you have full ownership just in case something does happen because you never know these platforms is taking down an insect or some good flag you and they take you down is because that person flag even that could be a competitor of yours that’s the screen advice from big thanks to our generous patrons Apache on dot com forward slash AP cultures for keeping us going if you’re not already supporting us your missing item behind the scenes content exclusive audio and early releases as well as being justifiably smoke for helping identity podcaster sharing free education you can see all my mistakes and get actions no one else is hearing all straight to your inbox or personal RSS feeds join the part today at the entry on dot com forward slash A. three cultures I thank task is well it’s to sort of put it back on to you for a moment what is it about all of this set makes you want to work in this area yeah and I like helping businesses watching them grow kind of take off and get them from that start up phase or whether phase ran to the next level and help them get that never ending supply of traffic from Google so they can be sustainable and not have to worry about spending money on ads are running TV or radio it’s going door to door cold calling people is just helping businesses trying to get them to their next level and help them succeed is the part I like about that seo and digital marketing so do you feel like maybe there’s the emergence of amazement box two words word of mine he said that sort of thing is important and just this is that sort of near digital incarnation of Ford of mice which you say right after the pandemic everyone realize that they need to be online like in the beginning everyone’s kind of try to figure out what to do right like March April may June twenty twenty around like September I was targeting the call saying anything out what did you need to be online begins I’m not online I was gonna find me because there’s no other way to get traction and because of that in the future so you got to be prepared and everyone is connect everyone has a cellphone to everyone’s online nowadays for the most part I want a cell phone and it’s too easy to connect and if you’re not online you’re missing out significantly is this a local brick and mortar store you might get people from twenty thirty mile radius but once you’re online to get people all over the world visiting you so really opens up things and helps you grow exponentially in just take you to that next level of globalization %HESITATION being a national brand or being a statewide Brad whatever trying to focus on instead just having that little tiny area now you can actually grow and reach a wider net of people do you see any trends that might be indicative of what could be coming in the future how you all of this might look like I mean it’s an away from somebody who’s afraid I her son and a lot of this it feels like it’s too much and it’s going to implode at some points I mean who do you think there’s any way of being able to say that Tyler protects your first see what could be a natural conclusion for a lot of stress or where we’re going it seems like the metaverse and just everyone just plug and everyone’s already on the phones all day and still get the younger generation they’re all on the phone in a rather be inside their verses in reality so fortunately it seems like everything is gonna be all virtual artificial experiences in simulations and things like that where you’re just plugged in all the time but who knows how that’s going that what that becomes but that seems like that is a feature that everything is going towards right now which is being plugged in permanently and experiencing whatever you want to experience versus experiencing life which is weird but that’s what the kids are grown up on and that’s all they know and that’s what they’re gonna want to do you think there’s any hopes that there might be some sort of hybrids way of saying this is because we are in the moments of our week hadn’t come might have thought search %HESITATION existence what more we can leave our daughter’s house behind for a little while and just be ourselves in the real world safety thank their cell biology and not death will be the older people that are going to be active while the younger generations all connected we’ll be the ones that that that %HESITATION that liars that just don’t want out just like grandparents and one is a computer we’ll be the ones that don’t want to use the simulation or the metaverse whatever he is yeah yeah is W. W. L. back I mean there’s still people that are my age that don’t want to be connected but they’re just out in the jungle somewhere or let me see if you want to really experience and connect with your friends and family whether they’re in United States EU que and wherever they’re at but if not he’s going to be connected with whoever’s in front of me I’m quite worried him we as a species are not just quite involved enough for hi he fast everything’s made thing and they’re gonna really come a Cropper from all of this I was wondering if you’d seen the social dynamic the film that Nixon tell of this idea I was just curious if you seen and what you thought of that and I knew about this for the past ten years I’ve had top people easy to change people’s perception change elections in yeah I mean the other stuff they want a change in the past they want to change elections of other countries I’ve never even heard of them just like I feel comfortable doing this like this like twelve years ago and then after I realized cantor sending online everything that you see is done by mark very C. online it’s not the best product or service just better marketing and it’s got to everything with a grain of salt just because it’s at the top doesn’t mean it’s best screens they did better marketing and Google trust him or Facebook tracks and more some people trust them and they’re probably reliable they’re not gonna scam you but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best product or service that you’re looking at that’s interesting that’s a real warning what I take from that is always take the time to slowly dying and looks through the options open up multiple doctors get one point if you open up the first pages of web or the first ten websites on that first page of Google or whatever search engine you’re on and you could see what the overall trend is and if you just see that it’s all the same thing that was talking about maybe that’s the accurate answer but if you see people give you different options different perspectives maybe you are taking a little bit more and try to figure out which ones right or wrong %HESITATION who is right or wrong I need to differentiate because it’s just people’s opinions are right or wrong less it’s a fact but even there you can trust with the PD and stuff like that there’s people that go in there and there’s editors work the top editors were they make changes nobody looks at that where site we make some of the look at it I know people at the top of that you pay them off the on any page even my country pages and change it where it’s like that’s right like they want me to select in the past I don’t feel comfortable teaching out even know who these people are a lot of teams that left the country to compete is but that’s all that stuff for you people just trust whatever they read online that’s I’ve been realizing of the past couple years it’s a force the people trust what they read online which you should not trust anything you see online because who knows he’s putting that stuff out there and the only reason it’s also diplomatic office just because ranking website at Google takes six months okay something go viral on Facebook takes one hour if you got a bunch of box to get it going viral which is very easy to do for not that much money it’s pretty easy to get stuck on file now it’s a little tougher because it that’s also the lamb and Cambridge analytica everything came out for that it was too easy to do and still is pretty easy to do if you have enough money easy to manipulate people’s perceptions it’s interesting to hear that actually there were quite a few people here %HESITATION on to what was happening and that that we were we’ve all been contributing to all of this for all these years I’m as much a culprit as anybody else from use of social media creating social media platforms that don’t exist anymore as well as you mentioned you know so we’re all in a way complacent but I wonder if there’s a way of turning into runs and it’s maybe a question of awareness but I think that’s just really important what you’re saying is just read more of the peaches come up in your search results on disco this is always a bugbear when I was teaching he had students even though they had access to university library they would go straight to Google and images she’s the first one %HESITATION Cheney search results so we come up %HESITATION as the references you know so I think we’re seeing a meeting point here where critical thinking just needs to just be in common yes I think even when you’re just looking for something you want to buy on the internet but it’s tricky because a lot of these websites in the past and stupid so someone make website called New York times and by B. and Y. then installing times a little bit differently like T. the number one and seven hi and the other T. L. so to else it looks like it and then they write content they shared on Facebook they get to go viral and they send people that and New York times website the whole point is to get you click ads because they want to prove it so right click bait titles that are fake titles to get you to go to that website it looks like New York times you go do it and then ultimately they want to click add to the more people that go to the website to get paper impression CPM model where every thousand visitors they get paid a certain amount of money so that’s also why a lot of people are doing that this is like five years ago eight nine ten years ago a lot of these websites are popping up because it’s easy way to make money very easy way to make money on social media or Facebook it is too easy for years people can expect websites take articles or they just copy articles New York times and just post on their own page and grow their pages in or they buy all ten pages web pages that millions of followers rebrand them and then push out content out there people see that this page has a million lights and pushing out content from New York times even though it’s not really the your ties but they’re not really examine the U. R. L. and then once they get to the website it’s an exact copy of the new York times it’s just as our own ads on it or not content on it and it works really well because people just believe it I mean I wanna see online and force they are believe whatever they want to believe that I can check his bias but after just I understand that most stuff is fake was that you see online is not real I think there’s a real contradiction then and and a lot of the messaging because I think that I’m a really big piece of advice that you tend to get is be authentic be your authentic self and it feels almost counter intuitive to do that on the internet wears so much is on trust birthdate so much as performative or as you say it’s trying to capture something else it’s about smoke and mirrors where it’s just distracting AT and then it’s just grabbing your money I mean do you have any advice Sir just placed a call it’s free some of that noise like higher people supposed said today’s not her she post to be themselves but be safe and SPS wires so much is fake don’t go on social because Google will catch the taking our time to not gonna make that website Google’s on top of all this stuff Google says who’s been around for twenty plus years they’ve seen every track in an odd spot that so quickly wears Facebook is anywhere not used to all the spammers and who’s all about cleaning up the web make sure there’s no spam so Google’s easily gonna find all that stuff and take it down they don’t know how accurate content it’s like if someone writes a fake article or like inaccurate information Google’s not able to fact check all that stuff they don’t have time to check that stuff but they have other singles and help them build that trust up like coming back please do people give you how many people talk about this website where is the social media is just how many likes you get like so pretty easy to fake it’s easier to go on these websites I these box that will just like your content and get it going viral pretty quickly so that one’s a little bit trickier like social easy to spread the fake news Google takes a lot longer to spread fake news because Google doesn’t rank websites immediately takes about six months to really make websites so that’s one difference is Google scrutinizes you a little bit more where is Facebook is just instantaneous that’s really interesting to hear because I think that these are things that I slowly come to learn just experiencing them myself yeah it’s been really interesting actually saying hi social media engagement has changed or has become non existent or is just not exist in the first place at times and as a small creator I’ve had times a night I know what they’re friends of mine here also %HESITATION and depends and small creators they felt the frustration of I’m working so hard I’m saying all the right things and following all the advice and I’m getting some traction I’m getting some engagement but these people over here he seemed to just be putting items and seem to be getting loads and loads of likes and shares and engagement and then I start they’re getting targeted by people he tried it by your time and sell you packages where they’ll share your stuff and then I think it’s not hiding it are they buying it are they buying leakage from I mean high press one it’s not it’s not happening along pretty much as a half also media’s fake accounts but who knows who’s buying them or not that’s tough to see if someone is or not but you kind of see through it sometimes if they’re all from ghost accounts or they don’t have one picture like that who has time to sift through all the people liking your competitors pictures and stuff like that it takes too much time we just focus on your own business if you’re trying to see if they’re buying fake flags because if they are working and there’s nothing you can do about it but you just draw your own by putting out better content and being better marketed by doing better marketing tactics that draw on real people the fake accounts I think that’s a really keep going and I think that was something where I hit a wall where I was getting very frustrated and then I realized that might not even be rails so like you say it’s just stupid thought energy instead of getting annoyed to price things just picked out energy and support your tan and take it to work so yeah it’s good to have that ability is by somebody knows what they’re taking can be a lot better to focus on yourself and not worry about the competition because you can’t control them they control yourself what you’re doing if you find tax useful with your podcasts we’ve got two options for you you can subscribe to the audio visual cultures podcast when you change for captioned videos and you can visit audio visual cultures dot com and click the transcripts top both sites are linked in the show notes along with information like this episode some fans and just because I want to try and focus on years violent again a bit more and I’m just thankful about your business but the business of your building and the same switching ready while he seems to be really busy at the minute you’re also very generously giving a lot of your time a lot of people like me do you have a strategy to have goals like what are your ambitions for this business where are you trying to see Kathy restaurant do you think just wanna keep growing my business and helping as many people out as possible to get that free traffic from Google or whatever search out there in the future but trying to help people get that free traffic and I just keep growing the business to try to keep building up and building it up and take it to that next level and just see how much I could grow and help out apple excites me that SCO or social or paid ads but really focus on that SCO since that’s a long term strategy where is everything else you just kind of renting space off these platforms %HESITATION printing advertising space on these platforms as well as visit just over on that would you like to point listeners see where they can find your your website and read more about you and what you today so for everyone that’s telling and if you I create special gift for them if they go to my website it’s S. E. O. optimizers dot com forward slash get they can find it there and that’s a C. O. O. P. T. I. M. I. Z. E. R. S. dot com force I skipped the U. has hung his I mean that station can get bad version but they go there they can find I gifted everything else about me if you want to get in touch with things like that and then something else eighty when I speak to aghast I’d like to ask if you have anything in particular that you would recommend have you been listening to any podcasts or reading any pics or mean your show %HESITATION well researched on on all of this you really really know your stuff is there anything that you appoint people to words to try and get more information on this or just something that you’re just enjoying that’s not even anything to do with any of that so if you got something that you’d like to just cherish people the best place to learn all this is how you do you just go search on YouTube for things that you want to learn about and just make sure that it’s from the past couple years because everything changes so quick with digital marketing so if you’re watching video if you’re reading an article or blog post from nine years ago it might still be accurate but things change so much that it might not be the most active what’s going on nowadays so when I’m doing research and things like that trying to find things are topical and nothing’s going too far in the past but just trying to be as much as possible Facebook groups are pretty good nowadays to connect and like gays and learn and bounce ideas off other people that’s piling the better places I found his Facebook groups are really really well nowadays but and who knows what’s gonna happen the future but each of it’s always a great spot to get that free content and visual people want video content they don’t want to just read a blog post %HESITATION read article people’s attention spans are too short nowadays so visual content it’s really a everything is shifting towards it seems like anything that you you’re really burning to talk about eight that we haven’t touched on answer any questions they may sister anything you think’s really important that people should know I mean there’s so much with it I just keep working at it and don’t get discouraged and all takes time in nothing’s meeting with all the stuff so just keep pushing and working in the building up and building it up over time it’s just gonna keep on growing but don’t just think everything happens immediately it does take time to grow and get a following an audience get your website rank and all that stuff so just don’t get discouraged if you don’t see that traction within the first couple months because that’s a time nothing is immediate I mean sometimes you go viral but most people are not going viral takes time to build that audience up and just keep on working at it and don’t get discouraged and I think something I’ve really learned this I’ll say making this podcast it’s great to have a small following a dedicated following people who really are with you we honor really there with you on that journey and that’s a lot more fulfilling than having just this was quite an empty M. performative engagement or sharing of things in it when it’s coming from a really good place where people really are listing and they really are engaging and really are telling people that you didn’t get socks and that’s just much more meaningful yeah no I definitely agree one hundred percent it’s nice to have authentic people following you that really care about what you’re doing fans in the bullets unless there’s anything else that you would like to say %HESITATION I think I’ve I’ve learned %HESITATION some units been so brilliant stop machine but if there’s anything else that you would like to say I hope that’s been a really good conversation thanks for having me on and then we share some tips and I perspectives of everything going on in the digital realm this really is so it is it just feels like there’s so much noise site there and it’s really nice to just cut through that and get some clarity and expose the Cup to be asked side of stuff as well yeah definitely just get right to the point in the real information thank you so much


Audiovisual Cultures episode 109 – I’ve Been Walking with Janet Sternburg automated transcript

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hello dear listeners welcome to the official cultures stuff podcast where we take into different areas of the parts media and creative industries I'm Paul the planner and in this episode I have the most fascinating conversation which I hope is one of many ways Janet stern Burke as you hear Janet is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles we talk mainly about hi Janet came to photography website really planning to be back in nineteen ninety yes as a mode of expression or thinking or being in the world while walking while going for EMS walks around cities we get into a quite a lot of detail and thinking through what those acts of walking and photographing in teal and trivial butts we really only scratched the surface so I hope China will return when her next project comes to fruition this timer me in the talking up bites her photographic NSA back I've been walking and some of her earlier work but she's already working on the same sets haven't revealed themselves to her as we record I must say I feel so lucky to be making these kinds of connections and I'm really glad that you can share them with me as well I hope you learn as much as both down and I do from this talk actually that's a really nice thing is that down it felt that that was important for her to say that she really learned something from talking to me today and I love that I love that this is happening on the show before hand you over a massive thanks to our glorious past trends over at Peachtree on dot com forward slash AP cultures but he supports and all the ways I struggle really to keep this go weighing just a quick reminder as well that all the important links for this episode and if you want to become somebody help site to show those are all in the show notes for every you're accessing this episodes if you hear any binding a toll in the pocket cranes I think I should manage she cried the mites but %HESITATION if you hear any binding or popping noises I'm recording this on the face of November twenty twenty one I live in England it's going moderate there with fireworks and all sorts might make her next door neighbors it's very quiet and there because they have a beautiful Kali and he's not been having a fun week so you know I I think they've taken I think a lot of the dog owning places and hence the her his or her off somewhere else having a break so apologies if there any banging noises are coming sorry that I haven't managed to get out of a spot it's not time of the year and I thought it was worth mentioning I was going to leave this until a quieter day but I'm on my own may as well do something I am a bit scratchy because I've been talking all day I can't concentrate on anything else so I thought get just get this done while I'm while over there anyway just thanks so much for listening and please do check out John it's website on her backs and perhaps even days out while you listen to us describing them enjoy this episode Janet Sternberg I'm so delighted you're joining me today on the official cultures you've been trying to set this up for a while a nicer finally saying our recording and it's just such a pleasure and an honor to have you very warm welcome have completely lovely and that yes we have had a back and forth before we finally got to this but I think it's been good enough where you're not we send each other things we talked a little bit from our respective homes you in Ireland now I'm in England's women get enjoy so I have a sort of stealing that not even this is not that formal it feels simpatico nice so Janet you got loads of experience I think we're mainly going to talk about your more recent photography years got it back I just a moment cold iced and walking and photography and I say back but you've been a writer for a long time he's been a researcher you park Jan Feldman media and all sorts of areas so you just got a wealth of experience that we can learn from and I'm so excited to get into a lot of issues that come up straight your work today would you be happy to give my listeners a bit of an overview about you and how you would like to describe yourself without be all right it would be although it presents a problem because I've really never been in England at school getting myself no no I'm quite serious I I I think it's actually a bit of an issue because people who do multiple things they either have to condense themselves into a single description and that makes people happy because they know how cool you are it's it's clear however if you do a number of different things often more or less at the same time it reminds me of something that I read that I find very still interesting there was a writer whose name at this moment is %HESITATION escaping me but it will come back to me and from the nineteen forties who was both a photographer and writer and she did a very beautiful book of photography on the left side of the page and a novel on the right and there was every page and it was not illustrative it was just somehow it just the right oblique angle to each up there and he went back to his publisher for hopefully a new book and the publisher said the world is not ready for an ambi dexterous person maybe said writer maybe he said artist but you take the point and I think it is not working many many more people especially those a lot younger than I am in fact doing multiple things that are not self conscious about it since you asked I am and your what as said to describe myself well I think it well in terms of work although there are many other angles to come into about myself but in terms of work ethic of actually %HESITATION sensibility maybe is better than engaging work I think I've always been a writer I mean was a little girl my mother says March first workers work I don't know if that's true but it's a nice will lead she started fairly wide mother gesture when I was six years old I wrote something a barrister to say what it was but I will I've gone to she's fantasia movie remember and I was so thrilled by it that I came back and asked my mother for paper and pencil the reason I'm embarrassed that wasn't true really that much my first writing was movie Curtis it was more about how much I loved it actually so that's been my intention given many many years when I ran away from that identity I do other things but underneath the beating heart has always been the word and I've always been interested in the word and the image and I've made some forays in that direction I did are still many years ago on the writer Virginia will short term for public television and there was an actor who is evoking Welch not literally playing her but there is quite beautiful landscape not England like England and voice over work courage and after I did that I realized that there has to be a better way of doing it because the visual and the words for each other your room and there were too many maybe like I'm doing now but too many rich and so trying to solve the problem of imagine board is another feature of my life and I think I might have made a real attempt at it recently with this new book we can come back to that but to finally end up the saga not really in nineteen ninety eight I finished a book and it is due to ten years in the writing which is a little bit much but then again you asked me to describe it so I'd like to try to get it right and I was in a very funny position that was new to me the book was set in the past historical and personal and I looked up and I couldn't see what was around me what was in the present I could see it but I couldn't feel it is something and the upshot of this is I went to our second home in Mexico and set myself a little practice of walking every day without a goal without thinking and I saw a window and I liked what was in it and I thought I want to take a photograph first time I've ever thought that and %HESITATION I went to the town square and the only thing that was available was a disposable camera and a lot more to say about that if you want but my life since nineteen ninety eight has been very much photographer writer writer photographer and whatever else you want to add in to talk where she is leading the pack small that's really informative Janet I think that actually sets and it gives us a really fell picture and we can start getting into some details fire when I was reading straight that piece that you're talking about where you describe all of this happening it really struck me that you were because it's very autobiographical and it feels that your photography and stop going that direction as well it's a way of writing the south it's a way of reflecting your style and I feel that there's a lot of South Park teacher coming three and very subtle ways your photography so this wondering if it's not something you have been thinking about aids or what you thought up I thought well I route to be honest I'd love to know how you see that but I will respond briefly I think the through line through all of this is that the way I'm in the world is as a Polish you know they can sound so highfalutin you know %HESITATION %HESITATION addict this poetic that I don't mean it that way it's just how I feel and see the world in terms of being moved I don't know how else to shared without sounding good day and I've always loved autobiography in general not memoir I don't like that would warn bitch because I refused to call one of my books memoir which is sort of stupid because it you know booksellers remember when they were bookstores shelves they didn't know where it went but I really felt memoir and I've said this before so excuse me if that sounds canned but it's me more me me me me me me me we are no that doesn't interest me what does interest me is all the levels and prismatic facets of the cells the cells third time inspection history and connections to other kinds of thinking so I kind of think that everything I've done in church home grocery is as a visual Polish and I think as such the images reveal that fashion having said that I would like to know how you seen an element of an autobiographical self in the work can I ask you of course yes absolutely when I read your text and when I look at your images it comes across to me that it's high you see ed Scriven ye the salvinia ways that you can start seeing boasts the world's and yourself and the world that's really what strikes me by a lot of your images I really love you telling your own story a bite hi you think him to begin dating tests it's really spontaneous it's very much you know you you strike out you go for a walk with site a real practice beside it direction was IT destination you're just doing the acts of walking so it's quite performative in life I'm not sense and I'm really interested in life performance artist while so it kind of takes me dying not area at it's sort of a bite life and arts and arts and life and about play and not really planning anything but spontaneity rose you know contingency rose and that idea of you just felt so compelled suddenly to take a photograph and to just make an image either forty receding I think that's where to me you're documenting how you were saying something out last time that's what you felt compelled to day and then doctor finding right where can I get a camera and so he got a little disposable cameras because that's it's available to you and then you discovering that there are limitations I thought that's a really special box of limitations and again not hi you're seeing the world's and making art out of something very every day not ideal really strikes me as on again it's for me not very much relates to the the art lice relation maths and life performance %HESITATION so there's a life nice there's a spontaneity to the photography and it's not planned date stash but you D. S. specific poetry poetry come see us in those races while Rory Burr evoking an image and repeating out into words some high so I'm really starting to see high at your images are poetic and not sunset if you know what I mean so so to me that's where it's autobiographical toy you say yeah that's helping you realize how you see the world so it's an official culture center it's a way of saying but it specifically your way of saying and that moment I thought time and not play yes and I think there's something really fascinating if I thought that's really worse delving into quite a bit well I hope a lot that I can get some sort of a transcript of our conversation what you're saying is something I would like to have and to go back to and I think it's very astute when I hear about elements of autobiography I changed things somewhat more narrow lead that you're because I'm not a documentarian and any way at all and I think that this question of how I see which of course then devolves to how you see or anybody else to see but that is kind of exactly what I care about think of a few more things to say about what you just said and one is that I always follow my own path and sometimes most of the time is able I think I just I think I can say at this stage I'm seventy eight that it worked out you know like everybody many a bump in the road but I have said well you know maybe I'll get an MFA in writing this is when I was in New York and lived in Manhattan for many many years before coming out west and well maybe I'll do that I'd already worked for some years in the quote unquote other non academic part of the world and I went up to Columbia and I sat in on a class and everybody in the class was looking toward the professor who is a very well known published horse and it seemed like we were kids and they were vying for his approval and they were competing against each other and I walked out and I had a sort of a modest migraine headaches on the way back walking to my apartment in the Upper West Side and I thought no just that's not me it's not for me I can't do that so I didn't something else I studied with one person publishers work I admired because I thought that his approach which was very straightforward would be very useful for me because I can get fancy I don't want to get fancy so everything is beautiful match and so there's no orthodoxy in my life which I realize religiously lately but it cuts to the next thing two more things one is the idea of starting an art form late in life which is what I did with photography because I love the way you're describing the spontaneity but I think that can only come at some level when you don't have a great big critics standing on your shoulders you know we've all had bad words listening tools and been in the world of art region for awhile and that that's really great about we live for you can just say okay I can I'll just do it I'll just do it I'm not going to subject it to a whole set of questions about whether I can whether Ryan from mission whether I'm good enough and that's really something I wish I'd known younger I think would be a great thing to have his young life your dog birthday but it didn't happen later and the last thing the third thing is I think a little bit of what you're talking about is what I love and think of in whole or treat whether it's one word or image or whatever and that's our world it's a show should emerge room not I mean I really love documentary work and being here it actually is a form of witnessing political and otherwise but that's not what I'm doing I'm going %HESITATION and without thinking a lot about it it's like yes this this is something that really I know it's in my territory and it relates to this and it relates to that none of which I'm thinking at the time but it's in a social way of being in the world and making leaps rather than logical connections so I think that's where that comes in from Israel Warrnambool many parts sorry not a toll no that's what we're here for it to talk all of this all right that's exactly what we're here for I just wanted to pick up on what you're saying obey this idea of being late in life in coming to some saying because I think this is something we need to talk about it more and more as a society really is what does that even mean to be are your mates career or emerging I really good friends of mine she said they no longer with us but she was in her seventies and she made this point to many many times that it's never too late to begin any art form and we're constantly emerging and evolving and becoming a hero so it it's a really interesting thing to say goodbye it's being late in life and the way it has this connotation alls I didn't come to the cinema and I I wanna just troubled out a little bit because I think will actually become the things when they're ready for them and then there shouldn't really be a timer I'm not if you know what I mean so I just sort of one that say click dot points a little bit because it seems like you've come see photography at a point where you were ready for it and it was ready for you okay and that was on your terms you know so I I just think you know that's really important so not going to go the pine trees don't have to dictate to me hi I'm Megan hi I create some high I see things and how may be in the world you know so I think it just made me think about I don't know if you have a response why do or should do should there's a really interesting article in the last month in The New Yorker magazine by the renowned and he's writing about how we broadly speaking obviously the west and certainly the United States as a culture we like to think well it's generation Z. your generation extra which we attribute certain qualities and by the same token he talks about well we like to think of the sixties and the seventies and characterized those initial your way but he was pointing out first of all with the generational thing shifts and changes and it's also a vast generalizations talk about well generations G. is more benevolent and more political you know it's it's just a way it's like saying I'm a writer as opposed to I'm a person who does many different things it's a way to have a handle on the world but it's not true handle at least that's what I feel very strongly reading him and I have felt it at all other times too it's a way of being read Dr of the complexity that is in the world there is this phenomenon that people of Britain about about late like Sri H. everything and isn't it interesting that Dillinger Corning had Alzheimer's and he could paint so wonderfully when it was in this whatever eighties years yes %HESITATION I can't so I think that's pretty interesting what drops away perhaps not that Alzheimer's is something one wants and that's not what I mean obviously but but that what drops away is I think a bit of what I was talking about earlier and that strictures that one is imposed on one cell and there is a freedom and %HESITATION what's greater luxury in life is there than to feel free and that's shared I think I am recognizing something that everybody recognizes especially if they're self reflective or or somewhere to almost intuitive and that is what they really are sh dangers that one has to recognize and I think for quite awhile now I'm gonna be very personal those of you who are listening and I feel like it you've got a lovely face and next a deal that I can be that but you're quite awhile through a complex of reasons parents home life whatever I wanted to be known and I wanted to have my work life or admired nothing is terribly wrong with that I was never any good at pushing my work in the world but it has itself gone into the world to one very small but real degree and it's been really didn't recently one of my books the archives for it was acquired by a %HESITATION wonderful our client is a great great pleasure you know it will go on but right now I am in the middle of another stage and I'm trying to figure it out when I say I'm the middle I'm you know I'm not I wouldn't either side but it certainly feels as though I don't need any of that M. at doing it and watching it is running counter to what's right for me now and I think Colbert played a big role at mac because for a year I was able and again please anybody who's listening I do know how unbelievably fortunate I was during this year and most people or not but I have an apartment I have dogs euro and in no way to consider equivalent shoes I have a husband I have a life that was to a large extent on zoom but the ability not the ability the freedom not to have to be social just to be quiet and go and look and read me back to what it was like when I was nine years old when I would check paper and pencil and whatever things %HESITATION option this monastery across the street from us I'm Jewish monastery have this tremendous a war because it was a miracle very beautiful S. self conscious about being Jewish in the middle of all of that but that's neither here nor there I was kind of exalted when I would go up there and that's what I was feeling that you're a collision that it was a return to that little girl and she's who I want now to get to stage I mean it's obviously I can't catch her again but I can look toward off happy finding her again so right now I'm involved in during a ceremony things to make the book happen in the world I've been walking macbook one Amazon of terror moving right along you know when I have some wonderful events coming up I'm doing a book signing at a gallery very good photography gallery a week from Sunday and they asked me who I'd like to be in discussion with and it was an easy answer but aren't one person said yes you read genius I think Antonio dimazio minerals scientist whose work is having rate really important to me and then we became friends so this that was a thing on top of batch so this is by no means a complaint what could be lovelier when sitting in a terrific gallery talking in front of people and exchanging ideas with Antonio dimazio so it's not a complaint it's a kind of we know what people used to go around with forked sticks looking for water dousing your no it's like I'm doubting myself she wrote that's a fussing about it cutting it and I really understand what you mean when you're connecting west that young version of yourself that still in there somewhere I think well maybe a lot of us have done not I. P. I hear about a lot of people discovering their inner child and dating it might sound strange but an acting styles parenting and trying to have a connection with their young south again so I really understand what you mean when you say that that's a lovely way to go up I did as well as wondering if we can talk about it by the technology because I think what's interesting here is almost a lock of tack and your photography and that's the point Hey it comes to mind as well you talk about eight the sense of freedom that you have and to me I think that our autonomy you have a choice to be autonomous and just folding lock back into the idea of autobiography and it being a bite the cells do you there south discovery happening here there's several action their self awareness happening you know it's really fascinating to hear that you're discovering a lot about yourself there's an emergence of yourself coming straight and not just yet S. C. H. but yet previous agents as well as she as you look back as well as in the here and now I am sick forward so there's there's really something and not I think but again I think just thinking about the cameras that you've been using so previously you've been using disposable cameras and may even then and she iPhones and I mean we very much associates the smartphone way taking self fees E. date out but in a very different way you know it's a very different way of approaching sells porchetta SLC or at marking yourself in the worlds marking your journeys you know the unplanned nature of your journeys I think and I've been walking when when you set and ready B. Weston's MHS and you start to recognize actually there's some patterns here there are different shapes that are emerging there's hi you like it hi space is taken up how you see yourself and reflective surfaces and you just might catch those you might see yourself an M. car window being reflected its or you'll see just a snippet of somebody going by on the skateboards and deal take a fractional image of that person or you'll see some water but through a hole in a bit of concrete you know it's how you frame sayings and and highly stylized exceeded as well by their relatively restrictive framing of the phone or is a disposable camera and you talk quite a bit of by each focused on high you don't actually have control over focus on its may be quite a flattened image and not sort of saying so again it's coming back said it's how you say but also we can't really change the focus of our ice you we see what we say and that's a bit like comedies communists C. as well they can't really do anything T. tactical with holiday see eyes are %HESITATION and G. ready if that was the human eye which I think is really lovely I think again you you're sort of back to basics what you're really pushing the limits of dot BSX technology if that makes sense I was wondering if you have any further sought some mountain what you're thinking it's a match and if that relates to anything else that's come up in your stinking sense there I do sure the first thing I just want to go back to the image of the US skateboarder which is just his legs in a window above because I just want to talk briefly about feeling the way that emotion becomes a feeling to be more precise and just re reading to Moscow because he was black I was wandering around and there's a large flows of nearby and even Google Tokyo downtown and there's the Japanese American national museum and then down this long sh it's really a pedestrian street but it's quite a wide one is usually on the contemporary arch and it's usually has lots of people and during colder there was nobody and when I saw the pair of legs on the skateboard first I recognized that it was a remarkable image because above that is glass that is should be reflective and it almost makes the upper half of him look not only is though he's only partially remember almost as though he's bursting into flames because of that kind of rate of goals of what some call him and then the strange brick subside it's Jeremy with the feeling was first and he's alone he's a skateboarder usually something which challenge some way in the context there was no context and so I just want to begin by acknowledging the something that I think is the spoken enough about in photography and that is the emotion of taking a picture of the feeling of checking the picture I think perhaps it's some not part of the tradition of straight talk or street which has been to a very large extent not completely by a long shot in the hands of men and I think men are not that comfortable talking about feelings that may be archaic so be it but I I do think it's time for that to enter into the world of singing the other thing is you know I usually very very clean I have read this respect for people who really are technically magnificent and there are a lot of them Mr tell your story and sometimes I prefer to say always confusing well not really a photographer %HESITATION an image maker because that die offs my hat to the people who work within the traditional exquisite means of photography and I do in a sense I mean there's a lot of composition is a lot of howling trolls there's a lot of juxtaposition over traditional elements of photography all the necessary ones I work with so it's not like I'm in nine weeks in World War during around going back briefly did the disposable because it has no direct the you know this you know because there's only automatic focus it took me away from the initial thing that photographers I've been trying to do with her and that is just say I'm like this I make sure I don't like this %HESITATION Blue Ridge and if you can't do that another world unfolds and that's everything in the frame being of equal value and although I am not a Buddhist I read a lot of Judaism and I think about this on my own practice it necessarily and I think it is a somewhat Buddhist approach to refuse the hierarchy of values that one can very easily holes in photography kind of comes with the territory the other thing is that when I was in college which I think that's a picturesque story but we will go next I studied philosophy and I'm still really interested in philosophy so when I saw those first images from the disposable not only did they interest me as images but I realize that a lot of those several things which I've mentioned minimum depth of field and focus I was getting something that I haven't seen before although I didn't think of it that way other people have said that because when you're working with reflection which I was there's always an option and free lander I mean these are great great show tiger first but you know where the photographer is you know he's standing somewhere and you see that imagine you do understand the space between the photographer and what he's looking at etcetera and what I saw I was getting was something that had none of that that's what I saw was this particularly since I had no strictures against brewer I loved it actually %HESITATION and I loved passengers and looking closely at complex emergency room health things in Japan a trait that I was involving a philosophy and it was philosophy about mind and abolished in a certain way politics because if you give up the idea of sharpness if you give up the idea that everything has to have enough facts a wind around ishe you find that you're giving up the idea that the world has to have borders and boundaries and you're also moving into a territory that says well I may need those borders and boundaries but my mind does need them my mind is porous and so I would have backed him not just your way of seeing but a way of being and that was really really important to me for quite a long time and again I think that traditional photography people don't quite talk that way and a little outside of the discourse and that's just fine with me going back to your earlier point it's it's a kind of freedom to come and say well yes senior yes streaming yes thinking it's all part of the process and so I really love developing what I'm telling you in two minutes which was in fact a number of years but those years the article was replaced by the digital I couldn't get things developed I couldn't get things printed so are you do you keep those should be optional I mean I'm not very technological I can work with the computer but I don't need to let my work and again that's not exactly anti technology it's not anti Photoshop I'd just like to work with how are you seeing drawback to your fridge and not try to turn it into something that exists between me and the world which is mine manipulation of the world that can be a bit naive sounding close you missing who may be interested in philosophy but it's also true I mean there's just some anyway sure at the level I'm talking when I thought should be digital I started with like an iPhone four year or we're not working with an iPhone and but I continue to get what I want with the new book I'm sure you've noticed a lot of the work isn't inter penetrating isn't forest isn't reflection and I we we have moved into a phase that shows I can have both I can do things that are more well this is what I see and more this is how white banks but many years ago a wonderful man who really cared about my work said Janet you really have to start with a better camera like bought a bunch of other people said it and of course the criterion is are you getting what you want and if I am which I am at this point why learn the whole apparatus of what is in itself a very technologically important art form it's not the way I won't watch that's a really excellent points and it strikes me as well that when you become reliant on the technology the technology does the heavy lifting you you're using very powerful cameras are you're working with different lenses and you're choosing a different lands it becomes stay apparatus that is forming a imagine you're really just pointing it out but it does all the rest of the work in a way and not to adults denigrate that but it's just not as you say it's not what you want that's not what you're looking for and there are lots of people like there he are doing that they're doing it extremely well and they're making incredible images like that but that's the thing it's you making it so it has to be in the exact medium that you want to need it today and I think there's a lot of the static value and that may be the last the end of the year with a sort of meds tack no it's not even low tack it's it's pretty decent stuff in homing iPhone cameras are incredible I think near the old iPhone I have is a Bascom I've ever had in my life he however I know that you know to me because I you know I I know exactly the sort of disposable cameras she you mean and I used it was a lot when I was a teenager you know and then the nineties and early two thousands but I lost a lot of static I actually really like the aesthetic of those older photographs and that sort of lower quality photographs I quite light this is very strange but I quite like odds to talk free inverted commas because they're something spontaneous about it there is something totally unique about it it's an image that's maybe on plans on there something actually quite unique and special about that that I find that's not what you're doing but that's just personal interest I just like that again the contingency of things I suppose on montages passionate about west and boxers the photography so they the more performative side effects so especially with I've been walking I mean what came first did she have the idea that you wanted to do the topic can it be a bike that same or was it you we are finding that you were just going walking and you risk taking photographs and it came from what you were just standing there actually but I will go back for seconds sure I think that what links the people who do this remarkably technologically advanced photographer I'm not talking the people who manipulate on talking about the ones who must cortical straight photography in what I'm doing is that the link is that were ravaged by the world were ravaged by color and texture then sometimes I'll show you something I wish I could think of a good example I think we'll get of my friend Joe and cellist who's just a master at on the textures what one of the things that classical photography on local vision is not classical it's very much your own and I look at I think that's so beautiful and it requires so much knowledge to do that this is not putting down my shelves and it isn't saying that I don't have the sophisticated change on the line I know the I can capture in my way the ravishing the ravishing interjection room color in the world I'm really just pointing to a link between low tech and high tech and that we're both using it I think for this since Aug warning to what's the word I'm looking for ravishing I think you saw the thing on century I write about something called the gas and you're out in the world and you see something and you're just now and are almost instinctive level this is it this is what you are my goodness %HESITATION yes gas click again between the gas and the collectors composition and other things to do some sort of self evident jester WYO that kind of came naturally so I don't want to make a large distinction other than one of honor and respect between the people who capture the world through very high degrees of technology and the very simple forms that I'm using because I think we're both responding to the world engine troubles in the same well I'm trying to recall because you were talking about several things one was the technological in a sense version mark I know you were not in again this simplistic respect but my really wanting to talk about donating %HESITATION but then you remember what else you were saying after that incident really yes there is a bit of a chicken and egg question is hi did depict come a bite sized thing so yes of course of course well you know again the word organic %HESITATION such a cliche but I do believe in it and they're very particular almost biological since your honor I started walking out and they started checking pictures and I got interested in them and I do what we all do which I just love and thats bring the stuff home look at it if you change promising think about it printed out of the home printer try it next other images tries you what they're saying is blue all that kind of thing and I do that every day now I realized pretty much every day that I was checking pictures I was posting them on Instagram which was a new thing for me and your %HESITATION world reckon it should empty shooting and sure people not bastard people should your unusual images and there could be a book sure that's when that became a real possibility as did something else and baggage the initial feeling that I'd heard of seeing emptiness and despair and as I write each are in the introduction to I've been walking the %HESITATION extinguishing of people's aspirations which has a particular product comes from because I've seen it in my parent's life all of that shock started to evolve and I didn't quite know what it was evolving churro just was taking pictures but then someone should remember right it's not so much emptiness and despair or whatever that you're seeing it's human traces in the middle of bash and that went %HESITATION yes that's right old so shortening project it becomes it becomes that's what I'm trying to describe I didn't say I'm gonna do a book about no no no no I'm not even a bomb distortion which is kind of went out there but it be changed again too or maybe repeat too much but we have seen during that time and then I didn't lucky in terms of my professional suppose I have to say career I'm not too fond of that word but it is a reasonable ordinance describe something special because good things have happened like %HESITATION someone seeing the war that person was from Germany she happened to being at my home %HESITATION she happens to be familiar with the world of photography we kept in touch she said I'd like to bring these images to a publisher they said yes and then that was in two thousand seven sixteen century never change and that wasn't the chamber I think they're really wonderful monograph we're wonderful people who I didn't know what was really exciting wrote about my work notably I will I will add distance one in Moscow and still thrilled with this association %HESITATION the director Graham vendors and I have his email in action above because Jones definitely a piece of good fortune but I. centrum work and he said yeah I can see my waiter writing about this and %HESITATION she's seen that book but it's on she arranged for page prose poem because the book is big and it's about seeing the child receive that about my work it's quite a thrilling piece with this book after I felt I had enough questions remember Justin that's J. publisher and they said yes who knows what makes the world turn one's favor or go the opposite direction but these are examples of that much and I loved working with these people and it was all between Berlin where they were insuring Los Angeles and so is all online on June June marvelous designer wear the same wavelength and the chamber production and editorial team could say to me things like well I don't think that's a strong and images that Michael %HESITATION yeah if you're right or no show we made a book we made a very short time a year and a month well all the chicks in the photographs were taken and all the production which which I think is kind of a record of Sir Arthur Foulkes extremist settlers I think it reflects perhaps the urgency and immediacy of that but yeah became a book wonderful that's scripted you've cultivated such a productive relationship then was a publisher that's pretty into here said John I mean I'm wary of keeping me any longer you've been so generous with your time and all of your ideas and everything just have to interrupt and say what's recently Grange is when you're given the opportunity to statements arts and be honest about them and in this particular sometime she wanted candy you know you say things you said before and obviously some of this I thought about that before but I do feel that in this particular conversation I said some things that were new to me which means I learn something so I have to just tell you that it isn't just general I'm sure of it %HESITATION that's really wonderful to hear okay that's great I'm I'm so glad that you feel comfortable enough and that you feel that you've learned something as well I certainly have learned things and not so what this podcast is all about is everybody learning things to her so I'm so glad that that's happened very late and we mentioned before is that we're really just scratching the surface I think here and I know you you need to go so you're so welcome back anytime I've loved this conversation I will love to have more conversations this year I think you're you're fabulous and I think you're working nights something in me at at night said intellectual curiosity that reminds me why I got into all of this in the first grade in addition if you re that's what you want I like your word I tend to think of inspire but I think it's not it's just a marvelous March and if we can do that for other people that's just great %HESITATION passing on the spark I will tell you I know myself very well I get absorbed and that means that I probably will not raise my hands and checked all what can we do this again but if you want to would you contact me and I will say yes in a heartbeat I'm just telling the truth about me because I don't just get absorbed absolutely okay will very quickly before you go I know you've got a website we G. just point our listeners to your website I'll get it in the show notes but if you just say it for them where can we find you online what a something first nobody knows how to spell my name right so I'm gonna %HESITATION stern Berger S. G. E. R. N. B. U. R. G. everyone I won't tell you what everyone does but I want planted in your mind but Bergesen shitty Star City is how it translates if you I kind of like that and because I have a hosted Mexico I sometimes want to say see ya sorry one meter or not you're still a bit one Nita Dane Estrella just see but I I like to think that we're thinking about manage moving back to so if you know that you can find me anywhere I have two websites one is for photography and it is W. W. W. if you want to think that way Janet Sternberg photo dot com Janet Sternberg photo is one word and it's your case and then I have another one and it's for writing what's surprisingly books and that one is W. W. W. G. Sternberg dot com so it's not hard I would have been nice Google Christian so I can be found on the writing website there's a link to the photography one why should one of these days we don't go back maybe yes maybe no so I am find a ball I would love to do phone by and large %HESITATION on the cryptocurrency website up at the top is my email and that's wonderful thank you for that well thank you so much for doing this and I think I definitely will be in touch as she possibly in the new year and to look at and say a lot more stuff I think I love it I love to do you know what you're doing and love to give you a loan New York I'm going to show you something no not really R. O. this year's cannot see this that one holding up is a plastic sheet of %HESITATION you know the kind of thing you can slip photos insurance your ticket nine half by elevens spiral bound and %HESITATION here it is holding it up and you know just which one selfish you know writes a little I don't know something it she says new also it exposed I'd been walking and so course I look at it and I'm trying to find out what it's about you will find its way all right lovely thank you Paula bye bye thank you John thank

Audiovisual Cultures episode 77 – The Amabie Project with Johanna Leech automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures with me paula blair i’m really super excited to be joined this time by artist johanna leech who is going to talk about the amabie project that she’s been working on and curating throughout the lock time period in 2020 and it’s hopefully going to culminate in an exhibition but it’s all online and you can see it on instagram so i’m going to let her explain more about it because she’ll explain that a lot more articulately than i can um huge huge thanks to our members over at forward slash av cultures for all your really valued supports if you are interested in joining and there are three tiers of membership at the moment there’s to pay what you can which is one pound one dollar one year or whatever um and that’s that’s going to get you access a bit early to the new episodes that come out you’ll get to hear it a day before everybody else and then there are a couple of other memberships there’s a behind-the-scenes membership and a star supporter which will get your producer credit on any future stuff so do take a look through those if you’re able to help out and for other ways to support uh and just help out the podcast do listen right to the end and i’ll give you some other ways that don’t involve a membership um but do make sure you subscribe you hit that button just so that you never miss a new episode and i’ll help us out as well so this one was a lot of fun to record uh joanna is a it’s a very very good friend of mine and i’m really proud of all of her work it’s a really visual episode as well so if you’re listening to the audio only i have put the link to the video in the show notes and do make sure you go and see that um because um uh joanna actually shows us through quite a lot of the work that all of the artists involved have been creating and shows us through the instagram so if you’re able to see that i’d really highly recommend it so enjoy very much and i will see you on the other side

so i am super excited to be joined by my longest serving friend and artist joanna leach hello joanna hello how are we finding you today not too bad thanks just in limbo like the rest of us i think so trying to continue on at least try and do something productive excellent yes we’re gonna talk a bit about your productivity and what you’re keeping busy with and if it’s okay can i just ask you to explain to everybody a bit about your background i mean um i mean we first bonded over our mutual love of dinosaurs and i think that’s something that’s held us very close together all of these many very long years yes definitely and it’s in my artwork you know fascinating sinclair uh dinosaurs from the world’s fair absolutely um so would you kindly just talk us through a little bit of your own arts practice and then we’re going to talk about the really big project that you’ve been working on more recently sure so i’m a visual artist based in belfast and i also work as a program manager for a local cinema and arts center so sometimes a lot of those influences working quite um across lots of different art practices and arts fields and work can bleed into my practice a little bit um so instead of kind of having a sketchbook or kind of doing lots of drawings like every day like most artists would or quite frequently my thing was to collect objects collect stories and um making notes and taking photographs so you know like if you look at my iphone now there’s like 20 000 photographs that i’m kind of constantly referring back to so that that’s my sketchbook so it kind of gives you an idea of what kind of way i sort things in my head i’m also dyslexic so it just means that a lot of the time maybe written format isn’t as easy for me and the visual stands out really clearly because of that so it just means then i can have this amalgamation kind of like my work is almost like a little museum of its own you know you could have a look at my exhibition and there could be stuff that could be historical that i find something interesting there could be local lore and legend um or there could be just an experience or a place that i’ve been to so the working kind of become things where it’s maybe like more social practice where i’m maybe using the objects in a way to perform to an audience where like the object is shown in a way where it tells a story or it itself is quite humorous and you kind of look at it and it gives you a chuckle you know like i always like the work to be familiar to the audience and very much um kind of open for everyone to interpret um so my recent exhibition would have had things like a neon sign that said guns and gold and kind of like a really um particular lovely um neon golden color and that was a replica of one that i’d seen in america and just that ideas of those two words together um is it’s quite interesting and then i had wall drawings including wonderful dinosaur um and then i had stories about the dinosaurs that i’ve done work with and collected from all around the world so i had kind of display tables which had objects as well as stories all displayed together so it’s kind of it takes you on a journey and that’s kind of always say to people like i’m explore um showing you my discoveries essentially and then there was other things like photographs from kind of um attractions or places from around america so that that work kind of stands alone quite well just as a photography as a photograph um but um and then i’ll do sometimes just really kind of scale back drawings so it just it just really depends brilliant yeah and this has a really close connection with the current project that you’re working on so you’re curating this group of work of all kinds it’s it’s cross media and it’s artists working in all different modes and from different backgrounds and all sorts of things so um can you tell us a bit about the amma bay project please yeah so amabe is a japanese yukai and ukai is kind of like a mythical kind of magical creature within japanese mythology and this particular character would come out whenever there was sign of a pandemic or else maybe something to do with um crops and um different times where you know people would have worries about things they could look towards the emma bay for um some comfort so you know she’s a mermaid character and she kind of comes out of the sea and is very kind of mystical and i was just kind of really interested in that with the internet kind of in the era that we’re in now this character made a resurgence kind of through the start of the lockdown and it just meant that there was a lot of people kind of posting pictures of her or a lot of japanese people like taking a bit of solace you know to actually do a little drawing over or stick a little picture up of her in a window and with everything that was elsa it was happening throughout the internet and in the uk we kind of had all the kind of things so like help the nhs and the rainbow kind of became this icon of camaraderie and hope for a lot of people and that came from kids in america he just did it one time and you know then people started to kind of replicate that and it kind of spread like a virus but uh a very positive one and amabe was kind of doing a bit of that it was um kind of trading on kind of um if you kind of had like hashtag a mabe challenge and when i saw that i kind of thought oh you know but what i’m really interested in is i had been to japan last year and um i have connections through flex art studios where i’m based with a really cool art space called arts ongoing which is in tokyo and i kind of met those guys and i kind of always kind of thought oh you know what like what would i do if i went over and did a japanese residency so at this time where you know there’s pandemic i can’t go to japan as much as i would love to and looking at those connections and just i think the event manager in my head of kind of going what can i do you know i can’t go into the studio and you know it’s a really hard time to feel inspired how can i reach out and make that connection between that kind of sense of this viral connection but also bringing it back to artists practices but then looking at the connection between japan and belfast and especially because of flax art studio so they’ve been running for a number of years in exchange and one of the main artists who’s a really good friend of mine um shiro masayama um he is the only northern ireland artist based in japan and i was like me and him were like sharing each other like pictures of a mabe and being like oh you know we should get everyone in flax to make an imabe and then we’re like but why should i be kind of making that quite narrow so we owned it out because we wanted to share it with three artists arts ongoing and various other things like shearer would have a lot of connections um just you know to see if artists in general who are based in japan and uh the isle of ireland um or someone you know who’s still kind of connected to ireland are still connected to japan um what would they do and to kind of make it initially like an instagram that could become an exhibition so it was just to see like what would happen so i think it was something that kind of came up between me and sharon were like hey wouldn’t this be fun to do that and they kind of grew from there

and so um with the irish connection is there was there another mythical form from from irish mythology that you were looking at as well or was it just the mlp

well originally um i was talking to um close friend um martin boyle um and martin was kind of my sounding board and very thankfully and just about the right up and like how i was going to do the call-out and what he was interested in and what i kind of thought was it’d be nice to give people that option if they don’t want to do a mabe so whenever we did the call-out we kind of had it that it was if you could create a mythical creature to protect you what would it be and surprisingly a lot of people just did do your marble and that that’s cool too i mean she’s so beautiful and of course i did one of her but um i did like that idea of looking at art mythology and it just meant then if there was japanese artists who were like you know mommy’s quite a normal thing for them they could choose to do something different or an irish artist who feels very strongly with that now we didn’t get as many kind of ones that are quite irish-based we did also get one that was a beaver which i thought was really cool because um that person was just kind of had their own reason of thinking why he could be a quite an iconic character so it is it is mainly a mob but i think whenever we’re displaying that in the gallery you know it can maybe have a couple of different zones it was originally inspired by the irish connections of saint brigid and it was like the first of february and it was kind of the start of spring and how people would kind of um make woven um crosses that you would hang up on your door and there’s these kind of ceremonies called biddy boys and it was basically like you made like an effigy like this female character who sometimes was dressed in your grandmother’s clothes and again it’s this idea of bringing forth a good harvest and and hoping for the best which a mabe does as well and and i was just like when you look at the documentation of you’re like what’s so bizarre and then it brings in connections with mummers and the idea of going door-to-door connecting with your community and making these kind of woven hats and things they’d have on so there’s one of the pieces is me wearing a mummer’s hat and you know i think that could maybe be a bit of a project on its own and i think mabi kind of took over because i think a lot of artists were making work from home and it was probably a bit easier to do that so i definitely think that that could grow in a different way but there’s only maybe a few that are kind of included within that okay great it’s really fascinating and stuff so um so shall we should we take a look at some specific examples of this and the the really wide range of approaches that all of the artists took because you’ve got animators you’ve got people working in sculpture in different ways you’ve got people here illustrators and comic creators and all sorts of people so um shall we have a quick look at some of the examples sure we definitely had a you know a wide range of people but i think i’ll maybe just start off with the original image that is mainly known about a map so this is one that would have been like kind of in the local um news and kind of documented before so i’ll just share my screen here so you can see

um so you can see this here um which is just a really beautiful image and you can see kind of the three legs coming from the sea a beautiful man of hair and um i just thought this is a really good starting point because it’s it’s also that flexibility that people can can change her into anything that she wants to be so i’ve got the instagram here which is kind of the format of showing it visually online so we have um submission from different artists to despite 25 artists including two young people that have been included and i like that because you know it’s the fact that you’re in lockdown and your children are there so i really kind of like that one of the artists is like oh you know can i include my child’s one or you know someone was actually collaborating with her niece which was really nice so um as you can see this is just a really quick thing and this is just you know like uh shiro playing around with a new app that he’s brought together but it just it just worked so well and it’s that kind of again embracing the kind of online kind of quality of that so just for the audio can we just describe what was happening there sorry um

okay so with shiro’s um video he’s using this app and um can i turn the music on or would that i think yeah you should let’s try

so um he’s just made a little drawing of an amabe which kind of pops up in this app and then it kind of comes and scuttles around the floor so it kind of like moves around on the table which is just really sweet and then um we had some more stuff that was a bit more obscure so this one here i really like because there’s kind of a description here this is by chris watt and he kind of just looks at this idea of um stories of contorted human forms or similar kind of rock faces and the natural forces and the ancient humans and bones and you know um that one there i just thought was just really nice and quite unique um some quite a skeletal image that we’re seeing and um so it says he came up with a concept for the painting after visiting melon head on the very north coast of ireland so um yeah so there’s just this skeletal form that’s it’s almost like it’s embedded in the rocks it’s against the rock faces in a bit of a kind of fetal position yeah there’s a triangle protrading from an eye that kind of an obscure kind of um things in the foreground and kind of makes it quite dream like um really kind of bright neon colors and along with this really kind of strong blue blue and white for the skeleton’s body itself which is really nice um i will just see i could go on and talk about every single one let’s just have we scroll so you can see just like some of them against each other so um this is another japanese artist um which is absolutely gorgeous um sitting on buildings on fire almost yeah so emily um she’s actually just studying um at the moment and she’s studying in london but she’s japanese and she had a couple of versions there’s a couple of versions of this one um this is a collaboration with grace mcmurray and her uh five-year-old niece oh the embroidery little embroidery which kind of has a mermaid she’s got wings um and just like a couple of sequences i like as well it’s like just you know like weak cuts of purple and and blue so paula thought you’d enjoy a bit of embroidery so just really simple one um clinton patrick and again his one is more that kind of unseen unknown character because when you talk about the japanese uk sometimes they’re literally an inanimate object sometimes they can look almost human and sometimes it can be quite bizarre so i like that his was much more free in the way that was represented here we have an artist who bid on ebay for um something that was supposed to be made from a mabby’s hair right it was a brush on the internet so his kind of piece is um and he ordered it here it is in his home and he had done a residency in flax recently so he was over in belfast so it was just really nice to kind of have people’s work so um that was that one in particular was cool like you said about graphic artists yeah i have some graphic artists in here so we’ve got vanilla doran and we have um grace farley and then i think there was and molly henry in particular this kind of one too hmm as you can see you know there’s a real mixture of things um tomohiro tomahiro to also been to flax on a residency t and it’s weird because now that i’ve been in japan i’ve seen these kind of you know this is just outside a shop somewhere but i just love as well that it’s got it’s got the mask on so this is kind of like an everyday image someone who could have stumbled across this kind of um amazing kind of sculpture and then it being put with like there’s a kind of scroll to my bed it almost looks spry painted but obviously done on photoshop or something beside it so it just supposed in the tools i think is is really interesting definitely love these little guys with their masks so it is a real mixture of things so sometimes people made things in their homes some of them have done ink drawings or used like found objects like davies here um using hair um this is the image that i had mentioned before myself the kind of bummer hat on um so there’s kind of two in the series and i had actually taken these quite a while ago back in the america or back in the folk park i think it’s the one in belfast yeah so um is that the ulster folk and john smart museum yeah no one’s else’s [ __ ] transport museum so you can go there and there are often weavers i’ll kind of show you that and then if you want to look up mummers there is um different mummers groups from around think the main ones are in antrim and they still perform wedding ceremonies and do different things when i worked for um belfast photo festival a few years ago as a director we actually had an exhibition um by jim mcginn he actually went around and documented mummers over the years and looked at folklore but also looked at the traditional music he was very interested in traditional music so he has a lot of work that’s to do with those so i think that probably had placed it in my head originally um just looking at that um and then one little miniature performance um

this is just done over zoom oh actually we do have sign for this one let’s let’s try it again

so this and another worker kind of a gif so um what you have here is um she need brennan casuals doing a live performance on zoom to me and she has put in the background um like there’s a big kind of um mummified fish in the ulster museum so it’s in the background and you’ve got the ulster museum itself so she’s put on kind of like a sequined top um a nice long wig and has like a duck bake so she’s kind of wiggling around kind of as if she’s looking at herself you know um which i think is really sweet it’s kind of like just reminds me of the internet it’s like a weird kind of tick tock but an artistic tick tock or something um just really simple um which is nice so um and then we have some ceramic pieces like chris’s um here and then the more irish one um jim rick’s was one of the first ones but this was the kind of ones i was hoping for this kind of amalgamation of irishness as well and so he’s kind of muggy mutant various um kind of characters um and jim ricks is a he’s an irish um oh forgotten the name

he lives in america but he’s an irish i wrote this down didn’t i yeah he’s an irish conceptual artist so um yeah so that’s kind of examples i haven’t got all of the work up and the last one i’ll show you is my piece apart from so i have the irish piece which is the two photographs together and then this one is a drawing that i made and it was just that kind of like cathartic drawing and because i i like tracing things and drawing them over and over again and getting them really simplified but then whenever it’s locked down and you have to like stick it to your window it’s like coming through you know trying to draw it i kind of like that lockdown process i had because then you’ll have people here who yeah maybe you can’t go out and and make things i was surprised we did get as many ceramic things as possible so some of the artists might have changed to video pieces and we also have fantastic one um by amy mcgee and she has and i’m going to use it as the opening piece for when you go into the exhibition and it’s a video piece and she’s made puppets and she tells you dma by story and it’s just absolutely stunning wow really nice so i’ll hope by the date where we do hopefully show it i will have all of them online at the moment that’s just most of them and we also have um this have a video of how to make your own amabe by a japanese artist azuri um and that it’s about 15 minutes long so we have to just kind of uh link over to that and so he makes a little paper and a where the little bake is kind of in the paper and you can make her talk say whatever you like okay so you can see like it’s already such a wide range of work and there’s still more to come yes so you mentioned um a hopeful exhibition as do you have any more detail on that at the moment or um what do you know what can you tell us sure so um pollen studios uh based in belfast um had offered to do the exhibition with us so and um quite a few of the pollen artists all submitted as well so um they’ve been really tight knit with us on the project and with current lockdown methods there are some galleries are currently open at the moment but maybe some of the larger um organizations like the mac and the golden thread gallery and for pollen then um people will probably do it by appointment we’ll have an opening hopefully november 5th which is usually like a late night art where people come out um and we have we’ll have all the safety measures in place and you can basically book like an appointment to come along so i’ll probably put you know some weekend dates in and an evening each week that people can come along throughout november fingers crossed and um if it does get put back because naturally that’s what’s happening at the moment you know it’s kind of part of the project yeah in a way because the project was made during lockdown and it means that if you have to book in for an appointment see it it’s almost becoming a performance you know you’re becoming part of the exhibition by able by being able to come along and of course then with people who especially aren’t able to uh for health and safety purposes and things come out i will have the instagram up and i’ll maybe kind of do a bit more of like um an exhibition online and kind of look at that just for kind of access to make sure and especially for the japanese artists as well that they can kind of see all the work together and for my previous shows i always kind of shoot a video where i can talk through things and just means then that people who can come can still feel connected to it and um do you think you’ll have a lot of the physical works there or will it be you know because there’s quite a lot of sculpture for example um so would it be photographs of those or will the actual workspace and do you think to show so i’ve contacted each of the artists and kind of just had a chat with them and as well like i’m kind of self-funding this and i don’t have any funding for it but obviously i’ve been supported by the arts council for years so i don’t mind you know contributing some especially my own time but also some resources so i have a small budget for kind of contempo temporary prints um for some things and then a lot of the local artists i’m able to kind of go and collect the work but i just kind of ask the artist you know what way they want it shown because some of the video works obviously will go on screens and which particular one the beaver that i mentioned um which is lovely um it’s a gif and i think it would look really nice on on a tablet or on a phone so it’s kind of displayed in the way it was meant to be viewed but yes especially as japanese artists obviously i give them the opportunity if they want to post it they can post it over and i’ll return it but you know we don’t have unfortunately enough budget to kind of get that over um but we’ll be able to reprint some of those so especially like a zoo um which isn’t a zoo and the work that had the um amabe hair object don’t want to lose that on getting it posted over so um i think a print of the two beside each other so like the internet um image of it being sold and then the image of it in the house i think together would look really nice so um actually we will have quite a lot of the artists um are up for having the drawings or the ceramics physically there and then the rest of the stuff then we’ll kind of print um maybe in like a temporary manner or i thought about have mine displayed on the window because i’ve i do often have window drawings so i think it would work really well as a window drawing as well so you know the work will change a bit in the space too

and then i suppose you it must be a factor now you have to figure out how many people you can have in a space and how far apart your things you know that sort of stuff has to maybe be considered now as well in poland’s not a huge space so that’s quite complicated yeah i think it’s kind of um well then again in the millennium court art center that i went to recently it was like one bubble per half an hour so and then it would be frequent cleaning and things like that but because i’m coming from a venue i’m already used to doing that currently for my job and work so i’m very aware of all the exciting terms and conditions and health and safety policies um all over that so i can make it as safe as possible okay well fingers crossed that can go ahead but as you say even if it’s delayed it just adds more time and possibly more overlooking from the email base to help us out hopefully i know come on guys

um that’s brilliant joanna thank you so much for that um do you is um

before i ask anything else um shall we because we had those links of scream but just for the audio and do you want to point people just towards where to see these sure at the moment no worries so to find out more about the exhibition so it’s and that’s spelt

j-o-h-a-n-n-a-l-e-e-c-h and then um you can do forward slice forward slash amabe so a m a b i e and on instagram it’s a mabe underscore project and that shows you all of the stuff that we’ve came in so between the two of those we’ll kind of have all the details we hope that we’ll create a facebook invitation page soon enough so otherwise um if you follow pollen art studios on facebook and they will then have that online i also have a facebook artist like page so if you just search for my name that i spelt earlier on um you’d be able to just kind of like my page and then those updates for things like the events and stuff will come up as well um i suppose just on this i mean how do you feel about exhibitions going online more and more because i’m personally loving it because it means i can see stuff in belfast and i’m stuck here in newcastle so um but how are you personally finding that and feeling about that as an artist i think it’s good and my previous um solo exhibition that i mentioned before um it was in millennium court arts center and it’s only you know about 40 minutes from belfast i think 40 minutes to half an hour away from belfast city center but there’s so many people who can’t drive um you’re artists mainly um i you know i didn’t learn how to drive until i was 30. so there’s just kind of there’s a lot of people here although it’s not that far away and on our transport system isn’t great that actually i realized even when i was doing an exhibition that was just outside of belfast um i did a recorded walk around of my exhibition which was called wanderlust and fantastic oddities so if anyone wants to look up you know what the work that i kind of described that showed a lot of my work was kind of like a little survey of everything i’ve done so far they can look it up online and there is like i have like a ton of photographs really good documentation and then just a little walk around with me with video and then that’s great because i can share that to people and i have artists that i work with in the states and you know even then all the people who are in belfast that just couldn’t get so there are you know three other reasons can have access to it and i think you know i discovered that before lockdown how important that was and i think it continues to be very important because there’s also even times where i maybe go to an art exhibition opening and you’re too busy kind of chanting whoever’s with you having a glass of wine and it’s quite busy and then you’re kind of like oh you know i’ll go back and then i’ll sit with the work or i’ll look at it for longer and sometimes you just don’t get that opportunity so i think the more that arts and things can go online i think it’s great but it doesn’t take away from that actual experience because a few weeks ago i mean i’ve been self isolating um quite a lot and working from home and um i just decided that when the mac reopened i went to see the exhibition at the mac and again you booked into a certain slot and it’s a huge space so you know it’s it’s a bit safer than maybe going to a small kind of gallery space and i also went to the golden thread to see their show um on the same trip and it just is like there’s no way like that buzz and feeling of going to a gallery you know it’s not as if you know all virtual stuff is going to make it worse or people won’t go out to galleries if they can look at it online that you never nothing can change that idea of just the silence of the space the concentration on an artwork the experience of the artwork being out of your house just you know you can’t you can’t it was just such an amazing experience it almost felt like i was going to a church and it was my religious experience like that’s that’s what it felt like for me was getting back into gallery and just gave my heart that little extra beat that i needed that’s you know like i think seeing art um in person will never be diminished essentially what i think yeah now that’s good to hear or is that very romantic romanticized yeah no it’s no it sounds good i totally understand you mean i imagine i’ll feel the same when i feel able to go to a gallery again um but for now it’s just not really for me and um but yes i i know the space as well that you’re talking about so i can just imagine it and it would be a bit i can imagine it would be a bit safer because they are really big rooms that you’re in um but also it must be nice to have peace in them because they’re only letting so many people in at the one time so that must be quite a nice element of it as well you feel like you have maybe a more intimate experience possibly yeah and i hope that’s what maybe the mabae project would be like because then if there’s people like you both of us are saying you know we don’t want to be you know gallivanting around with um everything that’s happening in the world right now whereas if i knew that it was just myself and my bubble going to a place for a specific time we know people have claimed it and you go in see the art and go away and like you said and have that piece to experience and for as long as you want um i think it’s really nice and um if it’s okay and you did mentioned about working at the strand art cinema as well so you’re used to that is it okay if i just ask you quickly about how that’s going and sure you know the cinema experience because that’s quite similar it’s another sacred art space that we need to protect and um how is that experience are you finding of working at a cinema but also people coming to that cinema again

like i think from i kind of had to make it kind of you know oh welcome back to the strand covert video um just to put out on social media just so people knew the experience and i mean like as far as any kind of covered procedures and things like we have every every box ticked and more you know we’ve changed our screen in times where it is and people coming in and out of the building and there’s um like special cleaning that we have like a fogger machine that antibacterializes the seats and everything never mind then you know just having cleaning stations and cleaning more so we we have that all kind of ticked so i actually have been to a few screenings while two screenings since lockdown because i know the strand is as clean as it can be and also we’re a small cinema and we’re in a rural space we’re not the city center so we’re never super busy anyway and then with we’re not particularly busy but it just means that you can book exactly where you’re sitting you’re socially distanced and so i was able to i went and saw tannen and um the other event i went to was a global film screening um which we’re doing at the moment and it was with green book and then we kind of had a discussion on kind of black lives matters and um different things like that so if yeah just give me that buzz because you know we’re kind of you know a vintage cinema um designed in 1935 so that kind of encompassing kind of red curtain feel and you’re sitting in half back seats and the experience is just so lovely and just being immersed in the film because i just thought no matter how many times i’ve watched inception um boogers for nolan i’ve forgotten half the time what happens in it and it’s because i just kept on watching it at home a few times or maybe had a glass of wine can’t remember the ending very well so it meant that with tenant i had that full attention span i went in no one not it it’s christopher nolan and you know there’s gonna be questionable things about it too but it’s gonna be an amazing cinematic experience so i did feel like i kind of said there maybe it’s because of my previously religious background but that kind of i’m that ultimate buzz of being like in your synagogue you know it’s like you know the room itself and the space and and just being spread out and and the feeling of being feeling safe because um people around you are further enough away and you just get to switch off and fully enjoy a film and i notice so many more things in green book than i did watching it at home because i missed it and the first kind of cinema release there was a few times with things i was like oh oh that’s not and i was like doing the talk afterwards like i was like i was noticing things more and i’m supposed to know more about the film so yeah i disagree if you’d like you know the experience of being innocent is never going to take away from watching those you know films on on netflix and whatever yes it is great that those um platforms are there so in the global film screenings i’ve made it that you can go on to the strands website and you can read like a resource about your green book so it has the recording of us doing the talk it also tells you that you can watch green book on amazon prime so i’ve kind of make packages afterwards and make it accessible to people who can’t go so they can still feel like they’re part of it so they can watch green book from the link and then um obviously they would need to you know pay for that or have amazon prime but then i would recommend and give links to the films that we mentioned in the talks because you always forget when you’re listening to something like that brilliant so i have resources of different films that are good to watch like moonlight um and then i have a connection with belfast which talks about frederick douglass who um you know would have been one of kind of the main people to kind of abolish slavery and he had been the belfast and that connection i had read an article about it in 2012 so i was able to like place that too so we’re in the strand we go beyond film sometimes and with special events then i can still bring in an online audience or i just give people that chance to go what was that film she was watching and then i can tell them about the original grain book and how it really was for americans um and you know recommended documentaries and stuff so um i think you should get get out there and support your local spaces if we can all stay open you know they’re closed in the south at the moment so um it’s good to support those spaces but uh not you’ll never get over that kind of cinema experience or um my partner was telling me oh we were talking about vr and he said you know you can get vr which makes you be in a cinema and then it projects your netflix film oh yeah but you have to wear a really heavy headset and you can’t it’s the smell of it too it’s other sensory things it’s the way the light is it’s the way the sound kind of almost hugs you because it’s um soundproofed and it’s all of those things you know it’s when the lights go down it’s like oh you know give a ticket you know he had all those things like um like i think uh there’s uh i was gonna say um mark cousins always talks about the romanticism the cinema but in the way he kind of describes it you know um like on how he he likes it i think he’d say like sitting in the front seat is it in a front row i like sitting in the front i like just ignoring if there’s other people i like feeling like i’m there by myself and it’s just for me with the big screen exactly well if people go to this round you might be um very small amount of people there and it will fill it likes your own screen if i could get your feedback probably exactly but the feedback you know from customers when i did that covered video and i got a couple of voxpos was one of them was like a guy who was a film student and um he was just desperately back he’s like i’ve been three times this week it’s like oh it’s so lovely and then you know it’s weird because the family audiences haven’t really came back so i think families have got so used to being in lockdown and getting to schedules i think you know i’m hoping there’ll be a time where those guys are able to come back and enjoy themselves and that bit of you know your parent as well okay you might be watching a kid’s film but you know your kids are going to be quiet hopefully beside you for an hour and a half enjoy it you know take the time for yourself to watch a movie and and enjoy it yeah it’s just worrying with so many outbreaks and skills at the moment so it’s very worrying to take children anywhere i think at the moment that’s one of the things but yeah we just have to find a way to help cinemas survive i think if we can yeah um and i think well the strand is spoiled because we’re supported because we are a charitable organization we’re supported by the arts council so loyalty burned

well just compared to maybe some of the other independents um who you know like my wage is funded by the arts council because i’m doing all this outreach and whenever it was locked down i was doing online videos and events and supporting artists and pain artists so we can kind of do that and we’re a bit luckier than some of the other spaces that might just be going on on solely the income they got in the door

right um is there anything else you would like to say put out there or anything before we go well no i think we’ve already talked about it so i had mentioned my website so if people want to see my work because they can save the exhibition at millennium court which kind of encompasses all of that and yeah keep an eye out for the amabe stuff you can get um most of a sneak break you get on the instagram at the moment there is most of the work there and so yeah so um just thanks so much paula for having me on the chat it’s been really good brilliant yeah no thank you for doing it it’s brilliant i’ve been following the project with interest and it’s such a lovely idea because it is just that idea of care and something looking after you but also a collection of people who are all spread out they’re all dispersed coming together to work on something like this it’s a really beautiful things it’s a lovely thing to be able to highlight and put out there really so thank you very much for showing us so much of the work it’s wonderful no problem

this has been a cosy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest johanna leech the music is common grounds by airton license under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and is available from episodes release every other wednesday and you can get those anywhere that you find podcasts but also you can subscribe to my own personal youtube channel if you find pea blare you can see the full recordings now that we’ve been doing the video versions as well do please share and subscribe to help other people find the show be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram and iv cultures on twitter and facebook we’re always happy to hear from potential guests so if you’ve got an idea for a show or something that you’re working on that you’d really love the world my tiny bit of the world to hear about then please do get in touch i’d really love to hear from you and if i’ve invited you and i haven’t heard back from yet i’ve got an open door policy so there’s it’s never too late and um everybody’s really busy and stressed so don’t worry about it um i’m always also happy to have suggestions from listeners about topics that you something that you think you’d like to hear us try to cover i do try to make those and i do keep a list um there are loads of suggestions that have been in the past i haven’t got to yet just because i haven’t been able to access this stuff and that is partly where your support comes in so even if you want to send us a dvd or access to something that you’d like us to see that would be really helpful so i do wear all the hats in the making of this program and um so if you could support my work and you there are the memberships and patreon as described earlier on but you can also drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash p e a blair or you can give any amount so like a pound or something if that’s all you want to give at paypal dot me forward slash p e a blair and just anything at all really really helps so huge thanks for joining us i hope you really enjoyed this i loved making this episode keep well stay safe and as ever be excellent to each other and i will catch you next time