@3 years ago with 9 notes
First of all, could you tell us a little about yourself, who you are, what you do, what you’re excited about at the moment.
I’m Jess Gough, 19, from London. Starting in September I’m going to study History of Art, so for now I’m bumming around with friends, never sleeping enough, hunting for fun.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
Life, really. But the specifics: the idea of dreams vs. reality. Documentation. The idea of influence. London and New York and the people in them. The woods and campfires and tents and friends. LSD. Snapshots. Huxley and Kerouac. Magic. Joanna Newsom and Phil Elverum. From flickr I think Margaret Durow, Dana Goldstein and Sophie Curtis all have genius qualities.
You take part in quite a few internet group shows and online magazines. What do you think the significance of these online projects are and what do you get out of participating in them?
Yeah I’m completely obsessed with all the internet exhibitions and online projects that people are doing, and also the zines that people create through the internet. I just think that photography is going in such an interesting direction because of them- maybe that’s just a very narrow minded viewpoint from my tiny little microcosm, but I definitely get the feeling that an aesthetic, or various aesthetics, are building up and spiralling all sorts of influence. More than anything I think their significance is that people from all around the world are being influenced to see things in a similar stylistic way but each photo they take is unique to the next ; the subjects are usually our own friends and family so it is intimate, but the images are brought together by similar aesthetic preferences. I also think it shows how democratic a vehicle the internet is for displaying your photography. Anyone can show their work. It’s pretty funny though how some people try and become internet celebrities because it’s all meaningless in the end, isn’t it? Cyberspaz is a weird, weird place.
What part do your friends play in your photography?
A huge part. They are the only ones I photograph. They bring the energy, the expressions and the scenarios about so I have alot to owe to them. Most of them probably have no idea that what I’m doing with my photos (and the bastards better not sue). I have this one friend, Josh, who I just spent the last two weeks running around after with my camera at festivals- just because he is a probably the most hedonist person I know and he gets himself into the weirdest situations but will always, always have a massive grin on his face.
Do you have a photograph, or several, that you love because of the person in it and not for its own sake?
This is of a guy, Jasper, who I met when I was living in New York earlier this year. He was living on the streets from time to time and seemed to know everyone around East Village. Every time you saw him he would say, “Hey, you wanna trip today?”… he always lived each day with no plan, just sort of went with life, which is a pretty rare and refreshing thing to find. This photo was taken after we finally managed to catch his gerbil (I wish I could remember it’s name…) that had escaped out of his pocket and was running around our apartment. Point is, I will probably never see him again in my life unless by sheer chance and I think the reason I like this photo the most is because I would have otherwise never remembered his face. What better a use for a photograph? I love that you can capture that moment and that relationship, however brief and fleeting.
I asked Hannah Davis, who curates Imaginary Zine, about the idea of adventure. This idea seems, to me at least, to play a role in your photography as well. Do you think this is true and if you do, what do you think about the relationship of adventure and fun to your own work?
I’m completely inspired by the idea of adventure. In fact, if I could scrap everything I answered before about my inspiration I would answer solely with that word. I think being young is about looking for fun and new experiences and that always leads to thousands of little chapters of adventures. I want to document all of those chapters. I think it’s a difficult job to capture all the atmosphere and beauty and fun of a single moment in one photograph, but the pursuit for it is probably the best adventure of all.
Are you working on anything in particular at the moment?
Right now I’m starting a blog with Hannah Davies called The Land Between Here and Mountains about the concept of journeys - the in-between, middle, in transit parts that are often the most telling and interesting bit of the journey, whatever the destination. I’m also doing a zine with a few friends at home called Oh It Was a Funny Little Thing all about the bizarre weird things in life that we love. It’s just a big load of fun, really. I’m also attempting to put specific photos that of mine in a book that I can print and give out to people - I have a set of images from travelling that I think work much better bound together on paper with a few words, than they do on the internet. It’s the best place for photographs to be.