Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dumped TVs and fanciful imaginings

click photo to enlarge
On a warm and sunny afternoon we had a cycle ride that took us through the flat Fenland landscape in the vicinity of Donington, Lincolnshire. In many areas of Britain the countryside starts to get a slightly unkempt look at the beginning of autumn. Not in the Fens however. This intensively farmed area receives constant attention from man and machine as crops are planted, tended, and harvested, at which point the soil is prepared for the next crop. And, since maximising output is the aim, just about every acre is well-tended and tidy.

So, as I cycled alongside a field where regimented ranks of winter wheat shoots were just starting to appear, you can imagine my surprise at coming upon an old TV resting upright on the carefully manicured soil near the road. What kind of low life would drive into the open country, open their car door and throw an unwanted television down the bank on to a field? Especially when the local council's "amenity sites" (waste dump) will receive and recycle such articles at no charge. Sometimes I despair of the selfish irresponsibility of my fellow citizens.

However, rather than dwell on the disfigurement of the countryside by the oaf who dumped this article I thought I'd see the discarded TV as an "opportunity", and took this photograph. Remembering Marcel Duchamp's dictum that anything can be art as long as it is taken out of context, it occurred to me that the unwanted television was a "ready-made", not unlike his bicycle wheels and urinals, and consequently I pronounce my photograph to be a work of art! I'm thinking that, if I can secure a sponsor to help me develop my theme then today's image will be the first in a series that will comment on the "the condition of mankind." My next image will have a man buried up to his neck in the field with his head inside the TV (screen removed), and arms sticking up to left and right. Then I'll move on to life-sized straw figures standing in the ripe wheat and caught in the act of hurling the TV at an oncoming combine harvester. Yes, that TV has definite possibilities... Or maybe not!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On