Work & Play: Michael Linington, 23, photography student at Camberwell College

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The Independent Online


It's quite a theory-based course but there is obviously a lot of practical work involved too; they feed into one another. For example, you could get one big research essay every term and practical work and seminars that run alongside it.

The seminars are on contemporary art history and photography. It's a broad course and, in terms of art, photography is quite a new medium, so contemporary means the last 10 years. However, we went back to the early 1900s, as well as the Fifties.

We had a very small class of 30 people with five tutors between us. We had one-to-one lectures, group lectures and also mixed-year lectures. We often went out on trips to new exhibitions and that sort of thing too. Guest lecturers came every week: people such as the established British photographer Richard Billingham or other more up-and-coming photographers.

In the first two years of the course the assessments do not go toward your final degree. This allows you to evolve your own styles and ideas and to work out where you want to explore. In the final year, 25 per cent is assessed on your dissertation, 25 per cent on one project and then 50 per cent is your final degree project, including your exhibition.

My final exhibition was not original photography but photographs of existing images. With most of my work I make collages with posters and cultural retrofits. My dissertation was based on websites such as Flickr and the proliferation of these sorts of sites on the internet.

My ideas come from a mixture of high and low culture. By low culture I mean things such as advertising and leaflets for club nights. They are things that just exist; image junk with no value.

Work during the week varies, and it's mainly self-motivated. I would work every day, usually from 10am till 5pm. I would collaborate with other students when putting on an exhibition, but most of the work was individual.


I was a work hard, play hard sort of student. It is important to be outgoing - I met a lot of important people who have given me opportunities now I have graduated. I never went out of my way to find contacts, but there was always that awareness. Making links with people from the creative community is nearly as important as the work, especially in art.

I draw my inspiration from people such as Richard Prince; he worked on projects such as the Marlboro cowboy advertisement. Prince challenges the authorship and copyright of work, which I believe to be important. He is a constant reference point of mine.

I read anything by Jean Baudrillard. His work is about putting images into context. He's quite prolific.

My favourite film would have to be Requiem for a Dream. I first saw it when I was 16; my video production teacher told me to watch it and I was really freaked out, but it appealed to me. At the time it was the editing that grabbed my attention. I like the way it is so fast moving and compositional.

I mainly watch music videos on TV. The producer Chris Cunningham is one of my favourites; he directed a Björk video. My favourite music video is "Running up That Hill" by Kate Bush.

I'm on Hotmail most of the time. One of the images for my finals exhibition was of the Eiffel Tower, which was off Google.

Generally I don't really go into bookshops because there are about six libraries around me in London.

The last exhibition I saw was Global City at the Tate Modern. It looked at 10 growing cities around the world and then documented them. It was a really nice exhibit to view. I often go along to galleries to see different works.