In September I wrote a series of Thought Pieces about the photographic methodology and strategies I use in the context of my underpinning ontology – Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) and in pursuit of Object-Oriented Photography (OOP).  These strategies are Metaphor, Fracturing, Reduction, Activation and Attenuation.

Exhibit 3 from Upgrade Document – Strategies for approaching the essence by altering states of awareness through activation or attenuation, and way of seeing through metaphor, reduction and fracturing (adapted from Ryan (2019) p43)

Here are the links to my previous blogs:

Fracture in Object-Oriented Photography

Reduction in Object-Oriented Photography

Metaphor in Object-Oriented Photography

Activation and Attenuation in Object-Oriented Photography

In addition to the STAR diagram above, I use the 10-Signifier (or construct) Model of Object-Oriented Photography Onion Diagram to guide and focus my photographic method.  I plan to write ten Thought Pieces about the high-level definition of these constructs, how they apply in OOP and the practical implications of focusing on these constructs.  At this stage in the development of my practice, they will necessarily be a starting point rather than a comprehensive articulation of the construct.  I expect that my understanding of the theory and practice of the signifiers will develop and be refined throughout Year 2 of the PhD.

Exhibit 13 from Upgrade Document – 10 Signifier Model of Object-Oriented Photography – Alison Price, September 2021

During the autumn, I focused on Metaphor and Reduction strategies and the lower order constructs that might enable me to access the essence of self and subject.  The constructs on the far right of the Onion Diagram are the simpler signifiers to master, while those closer to the centre of the onion provide deeper engagement, skills and mastery.  To date, I have worked on camera skills, analogous reasoning and subject commitment along with tangential connections to temporality and spatial persistence.  Having started my practice intending to focus on one or two of the constructs, I have found that my work often has primary and secondary connections rather than being exclusively focused.

Although each of the ten signifiers refer to a skill or ability, the non-conscious, in the moment of awareness, conjugates across all ten, creating an integrated impulse to act.  Accordingly, overlap between the ten signifiers is inevitable and hence I see this as a positive development of my understanding, and a validation of the constructs I have chosen.  Nevertheless, I will need to review and possibly refine the words as my photography develops and the academic research takes different directions based on that practice.

10 Signifier Model of Object-Oriented Photography (Interoception) – Alison Price, December 2021

I chose Interoception as the first construct to discuss in a Thought Piece because I find it one of the more challenging concepts but on the other hand it is fundamental to OOP.  OOP relies upon being aware of being and I believe that interoception has a part to play in developing this sense of oneself, as well as having a better understanding and feeling of those senses that come from within.

I like to start with some definitions and at the general level the Collins English Dictionary defines interoception as “sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body” from all of our internal organs such as the heart, lungs, gut and kidneys.  In our everyday lives we may not always be aware of this continual messaging system within our bodies and indeed much of the time this activity happens below our conscious awareness.  However, our ability to tap into the beating of our heart or the tension in our muscles may have implications for our mental health and wellbeing.

In Interoception, Contemplative Practice and Health (Farb, Daubenmier et al. 2015) the authors reference Seth et al (2011):

“As the embodied self is more fully realized through awareness of ongoing interoceptive interactions, two complimentary senses emerge:  presence, one’s connection to the moment, and agency, one’s ability to effect change, which are both foundational in determining a person’s sense of well-being.”

This reference, for me, explains in a few lines, how interoception is important in Object-Oriented Photography.  To be aware of being, one needs to be in the moment – presence as Seth et al define it.  However, presence will not necessarily enable agency if we are not able to effect change in our behaviour based on the stimuli we receive.  One’s ability to attend to, regulate, and our sensitivity to changes in signals all contribute to interoceptive awareness (Ceunen 2013).

I have more questions than answers as to how interoception might inform my practice.  What are my current interceptive skills, are there ways in which I might assess these and develop them?  What approaches might I take to first become aware of and then be responsive to changes and what are their implications for my state of mind?  And how might my state of mind impact positively or negatively on my practice?  How do I recognise or record activity that occurs below conscious awareness?



Ceunen, E., et al. (2013). “Accuracy and Awareness of Perception: related, yet distinct (commentary on Herbert et al, 2012).” Biol. Psychol 92: 426-427.

Farb, N., et al. (2015). “Interoception, contemplative practice, and health.” Front Psychol 6: 763.

Seth, A. K. and H. D. Critchley (2011). “An Interoceptive Predictive Coding Model of Conscious Presence.” Front. Psychol 2:395.


Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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