Photograd Experience: Jocelyn Allen

Launch Photograd Jocelyn Allen wrote a short piece for us about her involvement in the Miniclick event, Photography and Performance, on Tuesday 9th August 2016. Continue reading to find out how Jocelyn got on…

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     Image of projection showing one of Jocelyn's dance videos   during the event. 

Image of projection showing one of Jocelyn's dance videos during the event. 

Miniclick is a photography organisation that was formed in Brighton in 2010 and the team put on a lot of free talks and events in Brighton and elsewhere. They’re a really nice bunch of people, who have invited me to be involved with various events of theirs before, including talking about which portrait I wish I’d taken (I wished to have photographed the Seven Sutherland Sisters), my favourite piece of paper (Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American album cover), short talks about my work and having one of my photos interpreted by an illustrator and then by a writer. They currently hold one free talk in Brighton a month related to a theme and I was contacted about participating in their Photography and Performance event.

The other invited speaker was Kate Radford who is a performer (amongst many other things). She gave a scratch performance of a piece called 26.2, which talks about running the marathon whilst addressing the fitness industry, social media and anxiety. It was very funny and also related to elements of my work.

My talk was around 40 minutes long, which is the longest I have done for Miniclick and it was interesting to talk after Kate as she is a performer who uses photography, whereas I work the opposite way round.  She said that she hates having her photograph taken… but I hate it too, though I have mainly been taking self-portraits since 2010.

In my talk I worked my way through most of my photographic projects in chronological order, then about my video work, as the photography projects fit together and kind of follow each other more than my videos. However, I felt it was important to talk about my video work because of the theme of the event.

Then Kate and I sat together to answer questions from the audience, which was good because people picked up on things that I had forgotten to talk about more, whilst it also drew comparisons between mine and Kate’s work. The usual after event chatting was accompanied by a playlist of my YouTube dance videos, which was fun to see big for once. 

Beforehand they told me that usually people speak for around 40 minutes and I took the basis of my presentation from one that I had made before. I deleted parts that I felt weren’t so relevant to the theme and added in more screenshots from my videos, so I wouldn’t have to play them all but could talk about them over multiple slides. I like to have a lot of pictures in my presentations, just from going to talks in the past where I wish people had showed more of their work.

I thought a lot beforehand about what I was going to say, but I forgot to ask to have the presentation put on presenter mode so I didn’t have my notes on screen (and I felt awkward about stopping it to put them on). So I forgot some points, and couldn’t remember the titles to my project Neblina but I still think that it went quite well. I get quite nervous on the run up to talks and couldn’t sleep for longer than usual the night before, but once I was sat on the stool my nerves faded away. It was probably the most comfortable that I have felt during a talk and I tried to pause for longer than usual on the pictures, as at a talk a couple of years ago I was so worried about people being bored (and I’ve seen my pictures so many times) that I was going through them quite fast. At university I used to hate having to talk in front of my class, but even though they make me nervous I feel quite proud of myself after for getting through it and each time I talk it gets a bit easier.

Celine Dion - It's All Coming Back To Me Now, an example of one of Jocelyn's YouTube dance videos.