Transformative Story Telling Recommended Reading

The links provided at to give inspiration for the task have proven more useful to my practice as a whole. I have been looking at archives: their appropriation and their preservation.

Joachim Schmid

Joachim Schmid appropriates ‘forgotten’ archives from the every day in a similar way to John Stezaker who I wrote about. His work is destructive but also healing as he recovers thrown away pictures to make bodies of work.

Like his pictures, Schmid can get a split crowd when it comes to his work; the secret of his work is to approach it with an open mind. From his essays you become aware of the great intelligence, wit and humour at play in his pieces.

The Telegraph


Some critics refer to Schmid as a ‘photographer’, interestingly enough. I would argue he is an appropriation artist, but then again what is a photographer anymore? He has a skill in taking something, cutting it up and splicing it back together making new work.  

How do you germinate ideas for your work?

I don’t really. I connect things. There are no germs involved.

He appears to the press as a very laid back character, so much so that he doesn’t appear to be a ‘serious enough artist’. He makes it seem that his artwork really is just a hobby. Strange fella. Undeniably he is a great collector and creates compelling stories from what was intended for landfill.


William Buroughs on Cut-ups/mashups.

Quote of the video: ‘Cutting the present will leak the future’. If we cut up the present, it could make us look at the future differently. So does that mean, if we appropriated how we share images daily today, it may affect how we upload and share tomorrow?


Mishka Henner

I’m not sure where I stand on Mishka Henner, to be quite frank. I admire his work in the sense that he is not afraid to bend the norm and cut up work. However, in the same breath I wonder what is the point? Known for taking already well known art/photography, he twists it to make it his own. Don’t get me wrong, this makes the viewer question what he shows us: sometimes we question “have I seen this before?”. In Less Americains he takes out part of the images from Frank’s ‘The Americans’. Like words with letters missing, our brains can identify that these images are altered originals (if you are already aware of The Americans, of course). Henner makes us look at known photography differently, but I feel that this is as far as the message goes. He hasn’t gone to extreme lengths to collect the work or to appropriate it into a new context.

©Mishka Henner


Curtis Mann

Like TIm Linfield, Curtis Mann uses destruction as a form of appropriation. Yet, in a sense, more interestingly and considered. The images Mann uses are printed from the Internet and are physical copies and not originals. He then uses the medium cleverly and cautiously, to control how the piece will transform from its ‘copy-original’ to his own work by methods of bleaching techniques. Would Mann ever consider using exclusively original PRINTS and not Internet images? Or knowing that he can never ruin an original safeguard his conscience?

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