These photographs from my archives from the 1980s and early 1990s are being curated for a book whose early working title was The Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia. The initially named Oddly Squared weblog is my way of beginning to construct a draft of the book. Using a weblog to kick start the construction of a book is how I usually work.
In the early 1980’s I had a photographic studio in Bowden, Adelaide, and I processed all my black and white film in my own darkroom–35mm, medium format and large format. Some of the photography takes the form of topographics whilst others the form of snapshots. Snapshots because I wasn’t consciously working on art photography projects then, as I was in the process of learning how to do a photographic project. The book, therefore, is a reconstruction of the photos from the archives, and it is a text that centres around place and memory.
Snapshots are traditionally seen as sentimental in content, repetitively uncreative as pictures, and having little value in the market place of either ideas or commodities. They are, in short, the other to an art photography that is traditionally based on originality, innovation and individualism. Though the snapshot is the most numerous and popular of photographic forms, this genre or form has traditionally been written out of the art history of photography, whose canon celebrates the singular achievements of master photographers.
Photographs in the archives can be reworked so they become a part of the genre of documentary photography and our photo/memories of our past. So the photographs are not just a representation of what was, but also with what is remembered or (re)constructed. They help us to understand the ways understanding the past as a temporal and conceptual category.
As thethe 1980s photographs of Bowden, Adelaide in South Australia were constructed into a draft of a book entitled The Bowden Archives the weblog’s title was changed from Oddly Squared to The Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia. After the construction of the draft of the book the Other Marginalia become the focus of this archival weblog.