Laura Gonzalez


26 Oct 2007

iPhoto: a research methodology

iPhotoThroughout the last 2 years, I have built a very extensive image database, collecting visual things I have encountered in a provisory way, as they may be able to help me make my argument in my thesis. In addition to this, I have also accumulated a number of images documenting my work and creative process. To this day, the archive contains 1106 images, 296 of which are mine, dating from 1998 to 2007. The archive is held on my computer, in folders and directories that are regularly backed up. This method, however, is wholly unsatisfactory to the visual researcher: it prevents me encountering my images by chance, stops the opening of memories lost.

To address this shortcoming, I turned to Apple’s iPhoto, a software package that comes with all Mac computers and claims to visually manage archives of images. As I was importing and organising the images, I decided to create a smart album where all the images that weren’t categorised in other folders would go. I did this in order to capture my work, by far the largest category. This meant I went through the process of importing, which took about one hour, without really seeing my images. So when I finished, this is the folder I first clicked on.

What I found took me by surprise, as the visual often does. In front of me was a roadmap of my thinking for the last 9 years, 2 of which belong to my intense PhD, 7 of which are part of the time leading up to it, with its mistakes, its changes of direction, its uncomfortableness. Seeing the process my practice had been through, its journey, was strangely revealing. Progress is not always evident in a research degree –particularly practice-led– but there it was, right in front of my eyes.

Posted in Blog, Methodology

One Response to “iPhoto: a research methodology”

  1. belencia said:

    Muy interesante!!
    como sabes y como te explicas!!
    mi jodido disco duro externo se jodio y perdi bastante fotos, fotos de fiestecillas y pruebas que me interesabasn, así que me interesaban…
    un consejo, aunque seguro que no lo necesitas, pero por si aca… DOS COPIAS DE SEGURIDAD DE TODO””

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.