Assignment 4: Digital identities 1

‘We collect and curate our memories more thoroughly than ever before , in every case grasping for a certain kind of immortality’ (Parkin,S .2015) .

The urge to immortalise ourselves is ageless and throughout history whether by painting , writing or photography we make what we call memories in an attempt to be remembered by future generations.

However when viewed out of context family photographs cease to function as a truthful mnemonic device;if they ever did.

Assignment 4 is classed as ‘work in progress’ and following tutor feedback will form the basis of assignment 5. It is not intended to be a fully contextualised submission.


– Create a fictional family for my digital self using appropriated photographs
– Start to build up my fictional digital persona using appropriated images
– Post the information and any images on a dedicated blog (link below)
– Additionally use some of my own images taken specifically for the assignment.

Our memories , rather than being physical artefacts , now more than often exit in the ether and are kept on servers or social media sites. Hence I have set up a separate blog for my Telling Stories project as part of the assignment preparation. There is not a lot on there at the moment but I will be adding more categories for my fictional family ; Ben Fountain et al. This needs to be kept separate from my college coursework blog as I do not want my new identity to have any links to the ‘real’ me.


I have been trying without much success to also set up a second Instagram account specifically for the project that will be linked to the blog . I shall endeavour to do this over the weekend if I can work out what I am doing wrong.

Some recent images I have taken for my Telling Stories project

My plan is to take some more as I continue working on assignment 5.

As well as the blog I would like to produce a (? large) book in addition to individual prints.

Brief self-evaluation

I have struggled to get to this point in the course for various reasons. Frequent hospital trips with my husband , work commitments , my elderly mother has recently banged both legs needing twice weekly trips to see a nurse , and finally I developed a rather painful corneal ulcer ! This has meant further hospital trips and problems with the eyesight in my left eye (I have suffered with ulcers since I was 16 hence the eye is scarred).

I need to get my ‘work in progress’ to my tutor this week and have been attempting to fit in short periods of study but still need to complete a couple of projects and exercises to finalise section 4. I shall do these over the next few weeks.

Because this assignment is very much a work in progress it is not complete , but I am happy with what I have managed to do so far.

I need to add the images taken so far to my Telling Stories blog that I am going to use for the assignment. I will need to keep this updated continuously.

Every image for this assignment has been digitally amended in some form or other, even the appropriated photographs that have not been manipulated in photoshop have been scanned and ‘corrected’ by digital means. I have become increasingly confident using photoshop to merge images , but still have such a lot to learn as regards what I can do using the software.

The ambiguity of appropriated analogue photographs has such possibilities for future projects using digital technology. I am enjoying giving the anonymous individuals in the images I have bought new identities and histories. I have bought these mainly from ebay but there is a fantastic junk shop in Penzance that I visit when I am in Cornwall that has a small section of photographs. I found three photographs of two brothers , possibly twins, dated on the back a year apart. They would be around the same age as me and on the third photograph was a girl , perhaps she was their sister ? I felt sad that these family photographs were now abandoned so I bought them. What has happened in their lives that no one kept and cherished them ? So many unanswered questions.

I also bought a rather beautiful mourning locket from an antique shop in Marazion , my husband spotted it through the window. It contains two photographs with one each side of an elderly man and a rather dapper handsome man on the other , I wonder if it is the same man or father and son?

I have taken a photograph of each side using my iPhone and manipulated them with apps on my phone . These photographs will not be included in the assignment but I plan to include images of the locket and have a couple of ideas I want to try out. I haven’t decided yet what the relationship between the two men will be in my narrative.

The link HERE is to the research I did during my previous OCA course which is really useful and relevant to the use of appropriated imagery –I would like to do some further research on Boltanski if time permits.

I want to look at the work of Nicky Bird HERE

Research / Resources so far

Batchen , G. “Dreams of an ordinary life. Cartes-de-visite and the bourgeois imagination” ( 2009) In Long , J. Noble , A . Welch , E. (eds) Photography Theoretical Snapshots: London : Routledge.
p.p 80-97

Boyd ,W. (2011) Nat Tate. London:Bloomsbury

Boyd ,W. (2016) Sweet Caress. London:Bloomsbury

Cumming , L. 4/7/10. Camille Silvy :Photographer of Modern Life ; Fiona Banner Duveens Commission 2010. the
Accessed online 30/8/17

House , C. (2015) William Boyd on the photos that inspired Sweet Caress (online)
Accessed 2/11/17

Johnson , R.F. (2009) Being human .London :Thames & Hudson

Page , B. (2015) William Boyd Interview (online)
Accessed 11/11/17

Parkin, Simon. 2015. Back-up brains : The era of digital immortality
online accessed 24/8/17

Riggs , R. (2013) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children . Philadelphia US: Quirk Books

Riggs, R. (2014) Hollow City . Philadelphia US: Quirk Books

Riggs , R. (2015) Library of Souls . Philadelphia US: Quirk Books

Riggs, R. (2012) Talking Pictures . NewYork:ItBooks

Roberts , E. (2017) “On Finding the Right Words” Black + White Photography (Issue 206) p.p1

Smithson , A. Madge Cameron:Fixed. Lenscratch online 7/3/2015

Accessed 8/3/17
Accessed 17/4/17
Accessed 4/6/17
Accessed 15/6/17
Accessed 24/8/17
Accessed 23/9/17
Accessed 1/10/17
Accessed 1/10/17

10 thoughts on “Assignment 4: Digital identities 1

  1. Ghada

    Hello Judy, I am sorry to hear about your mum and hope you and her recover soon as well as your husband, wish you all the best. Your telling stories blog is interesting I have just followed it, what you wrote below your baby photograph reminds me of myself living at my grandmother’s house and coming up with stories while looking at the old paintings she had on her walls instead, too many memories ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine

    Hi Judy, Such an interesting project which which has enthralled me since you began posting the images. An impressive amount of research as well. I’m following the ‘chapters’ in your blog – haven’t commented because I wasn’t sure that’s what you would wish.
    I’m sorry to hear about all the difficult health situations you’ve been having to cope with recently and do hope that there’s continuing improvement for you your husband and your mum. Much credit to you as well for doing your utmost to continue with coursework when you get the opportunity.
    Re Instagram – I was reading about the difficulties involved in having two different accounts and have gathered that you have to be logged in only one at a time. Hope you get it sorted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy Bach Post author

      Thanks Catherine . I have spent this morning tearing my hair out with the new blog -I altered the menu slightly and lost a page agh ! Got it back now but as the assignment progresses these pages & posts will be amended and altered as I go along. I know what you mean about making comments on the fictional blog but I will be writing about all the posts put onto my DI&C blog too so any comments or ideas anyone one might have could be put there to keep my fictional self anonymous 🙂 .Fingers crossed health- wise we will have a better few months but hubby is in the process of hopefully a live kidney transplant which looks like it will possibly be next year sometime so that will be rather hectic when the time comes.
      How are your studies progressing and have you any thoughts on your next assignment ?
      Best wishes Judy


  3. Pingback: Telling Stories # chapter update | Judy Bach : Digital Image & Culture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.