I’m Ben Knight. I’m from York Maine and my major is photography. I find most photography boring. I don’t like surface level. I want my photos to be personal and have a connection. I want to create a world with my work. My style and what I like is very clear and is consistent through everything. Most of the clothes in my photos are mine and styled by me. I care the most about the clothes. I think abstractly and use ideas from my past. I like references from childhood and teenage years in my work. I want you to see part of me in every photo. They are me. I’m relaxed taking photos and I don’t want them to be forced. I want you to see my photos and know its me. I like disruption.
The bridge 4 was a build up from self reflective work to the group work in bridge three. I took a couple research steps some that were not that smart and others that were. I first tried to find some background information on the internet but found it wasn’t always the best or in depth. Getting books and also primary sources of documents at the time showed a much more accurate and grim reality of the factory workers. When making the clothes the research was in the back of your head like would they like this would they use this does this make sense. We had to do research into everything for that. The connections were pretty immediate for me.
These are the shoes I made for the fashion portion of the project. They are like a leather boot sneaker type shoe. I made this because we found from the research that most the kids in the factories didn’t even wear shoes. I made these this was because the leather was the style at the time and the sneaker part would be the most comfortable for the long hours
“There was no laws relating to running factories as they were so new. The machines were often very dangerous and a lot of the time children were running these dangerous machines. The children would often work very long hours and would fall asleep at the machines which would result in a lost of a limb. Children who once worked on the farm and was watched over by the parents were sent to work at these factories were unhealthy as their parents could not afford to keep them healthy. With their unhealthy and weak bodies these children often became sick and deformed from consuming the dusty airs of the these factories”
My part of the paper was writing about the laws with the factories and I found that there were no laws really because it was so new. I found this through my research with the primary sources of the laws. The injuries were found through accounts by people and reports by inspectors. Also just looking at pictures from the time says a lot.
The project communicates how large cotton factories had a sole focus on producing goods at a rapid rate to meet the varying demands of the product, rather than prioritizing fair and safe working conditions for those working in the factories. The fashion part shows into the time of this and the prosthetics show the injuries the workers had. I learned how important research can be in the process of making. I didn’t realize how much it can connect with references and finding more of a purpose for things. The most interesting thing about this project is how much they connect and show the story of the worker through the lens of now. I do wish the fashion part was more powerful and emotional. I feel like it wasn’t as connected as it could have been and I wish my group thought about it more like I did. I saw them as almost the same.
In conclusion I don’t like the making part behind this project but I see the point of researching and that kind of thought process to go into making things. I don’t think factory workers and the way mimi assigned the prosthetics was the best way for us to do this and I think the message got lost a bit but I have definitely learned at the connection this can have. It makes me want to learn more and incorporate that in my work. Something I already do with fashion anyway. It just makes me look at the connection more. I like to look at fashion of now and the past closely and what it says and how it became like that and how it sits in culture for my photos. I have a huge passion for fashion and the research process is a big part of that. I don’t design clothes but even in photography when making an image and a world around them the thought process behind research is important to keep in mind.