Just a quick entry to give Mishka Henner and the BlackLab team a huge thank you for inviting us to the first (of hopefully many) Trawling the visual wreckage night in Manchester last night.

For those who werent there, BlackLab is a photographic arts collective which -in Mishka’s own words- is  “..trying to go after Photography’s sacred cows”. The BlackLab team are a firm believer that the photographic market is in a difficult transitional period at the moment, with more emphasis on nostalgia than innovation. Trawling the visual wreckage was their attempt to visualize their “manefesto”.  To do this they created two short films which were a mixture of short video clips from a number of sources; classic films, documentaries and B-movies to name a few.

I’ll be honest here and say it was a  joy to watch with equal parts thought provoking, amusing and totally bewildering. However I don’t think I fully grasped the message. It’s probably fair to suggest that I wasn’t really supposed to. The conclusion I have drawn -rightly or wrongly- is that the films were a process and by that I mean an opportunity for the BlackLab team to attempt to put in words moving images what they are all about and I think by offering this process to be viewed by others, gave them a chance to reflect which allows progression. I feel that BlackLab is about progression, in more than simply progressing themselves but progressing with the minefield that is contemporary photography.

No doubt Mishka is reading this now saying “what shite is Brian talking” but it’s what I took from it all. Apart from that fact it’s a great excuse to get a bunch of like minded people in a room together and chat about what they love, just like an exhibition opening night ;-).