Hi Kathy, here is the project summary. Let me know if it is okay!
"Volunteers are wanted to help identify and rephotograph old pictures of the Philippines. Taken in 1874/1875 during the voyage of HMS Challenger, these pictures show a Philippines that may or may not exist anymore. By joining our Social Network Site (SNS Challenger), you can discuss and upload your pictures of the locations as they are today (if they are still there, that is!). It is free and voluntary – all we ask is that you describe how you felt when you revisited the location and what your approach was. The photographs of the Philippines are just part of over 500 pictures taken around the world between 1872 and 1876, so you can also learn how other members in other parts of the world are doing the same thing. For more information, email Gary McLeod at email@example.com or click on the website to become a member."
The literature review is of academic articles written on the topic of rephotography, as well as articles on crowdsourcing, and a theoretical perspective called Actor-Network Theory. Writing it is abit like describing the ocean in which we are sailing in, if that makes sense! The diaries are facilitating research of locations.
If you do go back to the canal, it would be interesting to know how you feel about it, if anything has changed again etc.
So far, I have been reviewing rephotography projects since the 1970s. Learning of the origins of what is called "repeat photography" in scientific circles. Also been searching for and writing about similar projects, in which to position this project as different - this is necessary for the PhD. I can share all the examples of other projects, and they are fascinating to look at. Rephotography really has become a genre of its own, and MIT are even trying to develop software which allows a camera to recognize the basic angles of an old photo and advise you on whether to move the camera left or right a bit in order to replicate the photo accurately! Crazy stuff! In terms of my writing about the voyage, so far I have written up about the experience in Bermuda. I have simply written a comparison of approaches taken by two of the members. I am trying to so the same for South Africa, but the literature review is a higher priority as I have to present that in February. Generally though, what is interesting is the way in which people have approached the rephotography aspect of the project, and there are differences in accuracy, technology and methods. What do I hope to achieve by describing the approaches? I have no answer for that yet, but I do think that there is a difference between revisiting a location once and revisiting it twice. Mark Klett is a good example of that. Have you been back to the canal since you rephotographed it last year?
Exhibitions haven't taken place. More momentum was needed and the writing side of the PhD completely took the wind out of everything. Writing a literature review requires reading, writing, reading, writing, reading etc. I am now a bit more settled here, so hopefully we can get things moving again. Much momentum of the ship rests upon my activity, but much of my momentum likewise rests upon the activity of the ship :-)
You may have noticed that there is a lot of activity on the site at the moment, so the site might be a little slow. It is a good idea to take an RSS feed of the activity so that no one's posts/comments are missed when they relate to the Philippines :)
This voyage began with a previous interest in HMS Challenger while I was living in Japan. I saw Challenger's pictures of Kobe and Yokohama taken in 1875 and I researched their locations and re-photographed them, with a team.
The experience of walking and looking through history was so interesting and I used the experience to create a series of photographs using a hybrid camera. After that , I wondered if it was possible to do the entire Challenger voyage. At the same time, I wondered if other people would do something creative after experiencing looking for the photos in their landscape.
Primarily as an artist/photographer, I am interested in the future role of artists in a photo-literate society. I believe that anyone can be an artist/photographer and therefore does that mean I no longer have a role? Its an interesting and controversial question. What is also interesting about HMS Challenger is that the voyage had a photographer and an artist at the same time. Moreover, many of the crew could take pictures and draw, so it was a pretty creative ship. In some ways, I am also using the ship as a metaphor for contemporary society.
I hope that our voyage will be complete by 2013. By the end of it, there will be an exhibition in the UK. However, I am keen to hold exhibitions of the project in various locations throughout the voyage. These exhibitions would include participants' photographs and creative responses, so if you feel inspired to be creative as a result of the experience, please do so :)
I thought I posted information from Wild and Campbell, but that was for Samboanga. I shall post what I can find during this weekend. I also need to have a look at the accounts of Spry, Moseley and Thompson, but you can see these too online by clicking on the links.
The beach fronts in Cebu are definitely difficult. I've posted some pages from Campbell's diary on the Cebu page for now. :-)
With any collaborative project, there are always terms and conditions. Please take some time to read these. A lot of time was spent writing them. If there is anything you are unsure about, please email me and we can talk about it :)