Robbie Cooper at Phonar

We were very honoured to have Robbie Cooper come to speak to our class on wednesday. In the usual Phonar format Robbie’s lecture was recorded.

I had contacted Robbie Cooper the day earlier and asked if I could interview him after his lecture as I wanted to gather an idea of the process he undertook when creating “Alter Ego”. The decision was made that it would benefit everyone if I did this during class, so after the lecture we had a Q&A session which was recorded, and here it is.

The questions came from myself, Nick Henley-Smith & Oliver Sharpe.

It was great to talk to a photographer who is also interested with cultures which might be considered “weird”, Cooper said he was particularly interested in worlds that existed in real time, unlike RPG games like sims that boot up when you log on, a lot of online games are still going on when you aren’t even on them.

I had seen Cooper’s work a couple of year ago and had noticed the similarities in framing and colour particular in his “Alter Ego” series, I would never have guessed that this was influenced by Bernd and Hilla Becher…

©Berd and Hilla Becher
©Robbie Cooper

In his later work, ‘Immersion’ Cooper explores human interaction with a computer screen, this idea came from his experience of being in conversation with someone whilst they were fixated on the TV or their laptop. The interesting this is the way in which Cooper made his subjects feel comfortable. His sister was cooking all day long hoping the homely smell would relax the subject, he also ensured the camera was hidden, so although the subject knew they were bing filmed, they might eventually forget about it and relax.

You can see Robbie Coppers work here.

www.robbiecooper.org

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