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On April 30th, the Industrial Design Senior Capstone Exhibition was held in Brooks. Each student had 3 project designs displayed on posters hung throughout the hallway. Since these are the senior capstone projects, the designs …

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Submitted by on 01/28/2014 – 1:37 am 28 Comments

What is photocubism and what is it trying to achieve? What is David Hockney trying to achieve through his joiners? Please share links to examples.


  • Thor Odinson says:

    David Hockney & Photocubism

    Photocubism: many views of a single subject

    Influenced by Picasso’s cubist work
    Breaking up a larger composition or view into smaller, more focused views

    Uses photography to create cubist images and scenes
    Hockney thought that cubism comes closer to what the human eye sees than photography.
    I personally think he wants to change people’s perspectives on how they take in a space.

  • Kate Fritz says:

    David Hockney pioneered a new type of art and way to view the photograph. He was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s cubist paintings.

    However, Hockney created a different view of looking at things deceiving the eye and brain in thinking a collage of multiple images can be viewed as one from one single viewpoint, but through photographs.

    As stated in Nature’s Pencil’s website,”He has developed ways of producing multi-faceted photo-collages (which he calls “joiners”) from hundreds of smaller photographic images, and has applied them to interiors, landscapes, portraits, groups of people, and still-lifes. Basically he has invented “Cubist photography”.

    Furthermore, Hockey believed that one single orthodox photograph was seen as lifeless because it only captured a single image. In some works, he created a photo narrative through a collage. He wanted to reveal the dimensions and elapse of time in this joiners.


    Some spaces that I was thinking about photographing are:

    The Belltower
    Raleigh Water Tower
    Downtown Skyline
    The Courtyard Area by SAS

    I’m still thinking on some more but these are the buildings/ outdoor ones and I think we’re suppose to do a place. If we are allowed to do things/people I may change this list.

    • Kate Fritz says:

      I really like these because:
      I love the architecture of all of these, and I feel like I could capture them in different lights/time of day. I believe this will add life and spirit to the buildings.

  • Georgia says:

    Cubism is a way of looking at a subject from multiple angles at once, combining multiple viewpoints to achieve an overall impression of a person, place, or thing. Photocubism combines these well-known painting principles with photography to create photographic collages with cubist ideas of space.


    Joiners are Hockney’s interpretation of cubism through photography. He uses it to mimic the way we experience time spatially, and how we observe the world around us.


    Three spaces I think would be interesting for a joiner of my own:
    - The garden swing at Tucker Beach; I could photograph the movements of the swing and give an impression of what it’s like beyond a normal static picture.
    - The carousel at Pullen Park; I could do either a composition giving an overall view of the carousel (photographing all the way around while it is still), or photographs of its movement.
    - A laundry room; I could photograph the driers as they spin clothing, which could give an interesting impression of motion.

    • Sam Blevins says:

      I think all of your ideas sound great, especially the carousel at Pullen. I also like that you thought of a laundry room. It would be great to see a simple place turn into a composition like Hockney’s.

  • Sam Blevins says:

    David Hockney- “joiners” & Cubism:

    -”Joiners”- multi-faceted photo-collages

    Great example of Hockney’s joiner: (The Desk, July 1st, 1984.)

    This particular website provided a small list of why Hockney believes that most orthodox photos are ‘lifeless’. He believes that these photographs express less life than a painting or drawing. His list of reasons are as follows:

    -A photograph fixes a single instant, so there is no sense of movement through time. An entire dimension of experience is lost.
    -A photograph fixes a view from a single perspective (the one-eyed man looking through a hole). We have become accustomed to think of this as being “realistic”, but in fact the camera simply mechanises one particular way of representing the world, which was developed in the Renaissance. Other approaches are possible, and in many ways superior, such as the Cubist approach of representing many aspects of a subject simultaneously.


    I also found another website that has a written interview with Hockney and several of his artworks that helped me better grasp the concept of photo cubism.

    Hockney combines the idea behind cubism in painting and photography to express a new type of collage. His collages use a variety of different photos to create one end product.

    My three composition ideas:
    -The metal tree sculpture at the NCMA
    I thought this would be a nice composition because it is already captivating on its own. It would be aesthetically pleasing to include the natural landscape behind it as well.
    -The Gyre at the NCMA
    I realize these are both in the same area, but they are both completely different pieces. Thomas Sayre used concrete and steel bars to create these enormous ellipticals.
    -The cityscape from Boylan Bridge
    This place has a beautiful view of Raleigh and I think it would make a great composition, possibly incorporating different times of the day.

    • Lai says:

      I think the cityscape would be a very interesting composition with the different times of day. I think it would also be interesting if you can capture different weather condition(such as snowing or raining), but I don’t think that’s possible since you can’t control weather.

  • Alli says:

    Research on Hockney

    Hockney saw the world differently.

    I really like this piece because it doesn’t just the space it makes you see the world differently like. I especially like the fact “property of California” is on there.

    The piece of his mother is quite intriguing the amount of detail that went into piecing everything together.

    The desk that Hockney took pictures of is quite intriguing. If you look at the picture at a glance it looks like a normal desk but if you look at it carefully it obvious that the pieces fit together so closely that they make up this amazing space.

    As I did research on Hockney I started to realize he wasn’t happy with one picture and the idea of placing everything allowed him to become a designer of a space that is 2D that has a 3D feel. Because of the layout he produced in his pictures it allowed him to show someone the feel of the place or item.

    Photocubism Research

    Photocubism isn’t just about taking a picture of a space – it is taking a picture of the same space multiple times and in different angles. That way it is more of a collage look of one place.

    This place looks like NC State in some ways but I thought it expressed the paths and world very good.

    This is taken in a grave yard, even though it is depressing it allows for something’s to be done with a place that is hardly ever changing.

    My Choices

    1 Downtown Raleigh Ruins, a place that looks like its been there a long time that looks like something that would be in Europe or very old.

    2 Middle of Downtown Raleigh, the square., the place is of the statue and cannon. It shows not only life but death also.

    3. Food Lion Wine aisle, the reason for this one is that so many items and angles are available.

    • Devan says:


      I think Downtown Raleigh is a great space for this project. Like you mentioned, there are some interesting buildings that have a lot of character.

  • Devan says:

    Photocubism is an exploration of perspective. These photo collages aim to provide multiple viewpoints of a single scene while still being able to be read as a single composition.

    In the early 1980, David Hockney began to use photography to mimic the techniques of Cubist painters. In his “joiners” he used a multitude of photographs and “arranged a patchwork to make a composite image” (Shootingfilm.net). With this technique, Hockney aimed to express the way human vision works, bringing a three dimensional effect to a two dimensional medium. He also explores the perception of spaces, indoor and outdoor.

    This website has some great examples of Hockney’s photocubism work:

    Spaces that I feel would be worth exploring:

    1.Reader’s Corner – This is a small used bookstore off of Hillsborough. The space is pretty intimate and filled with a lot of interesting memorabilia and other items.
    2.Hunt Library – The library has a variety of different types of spaces, and is filled with color. The top floor also has some great views of the surrounding area.
    3.Pullen Park – I think it would be interesting to make a composite of the park with images from different times of the day

    • Alli says:

      I really like your idea of the park! Taking pictures of different times of day would be really intriguing. It would be real cool composition of multiple times of day!

      • Georgia says:


        Reader’s Corner sounds like a very interesting idea. You could really play with perspective in that space. Even if you don’t do the inside of the shop, the outside is unusual and would be a very interesting subject. You can concentrate on people in the space as well, or the change in the placement of books.

  • Grace says:

    Joiners by David Hockney are pictures that are broken up into smaller pieces the rearranged to create a new piece of work. Hockney began producing these in the 1980s. He created this process by putting together Polaroid picture to create a collage-like picture.

    Photocubism was really an inspiration for David Hockney’s joiners. Photocubism is a blend of fragmented pieces of photos to create a larger piece.

    Three places I would like to photograph are the farmers market, Carter Finley Stadium, and parts of the warehouse district in downtown Raleigh. I would also be really interested in doing a portrait.


  • Lai says:

    Photocubism is a single composition created many different photographs, similar to photo collages.

    Using the joiner principle, David Hockney is trying to create different perspectives to view a single object/place.

    Spaces that I am interested in:
    1. aisle down a grocery store
    2. a kitchen(I am thinking about making a composition of what people do in kitchen: cooking, washing, etc.)
    3. atrium


    Photocubism takes Picasso’s cubist paintings and spins them into a medium you can use and work with without knowing how to pain: photography!

    Hockney coined the term ‘joiners’ to refer to compositions that are made up of lots of square sections of photographs of the same place from (roughly) the same angle. This sort of composition brings in a new perspective that merges the three-dimensional with the two-dimensional in a manner that is both familiar and interesting, and that perspective is suggested to be closer to what the real eye sees and experiences, spatially and temporally, than a traditional flat image can usually convey.

    Here’s an example that uses a landscape as the subject: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H174iDjmoos/Taggo-6ZluI/AAAAAAAAAPk/J1GxTRv32bE/s1600/Ffrwd+collage+3.jpg

    Some intriguing spaces:

    1. The ‘common room’ of the James B. Hunt library, or maybe the downstairs lobby; always full, chairs and stuff get moved around a lot, different densities of people at different hours
    2. The outdoor Art as Shelter exhibit at the NCMA–the appearance of the building changes subtly but interestingly depending on time of day and weather
    3. A construction site. There’s a pretty big one on my street that’ll be around for a while.

    • Kirsten says:

      I really like your idea of the “common room” in Hunt Library. It would be interesting to photograph this space at different times of the day, or just different days in general because of all the different activity that goes on in the space. You would have a lot of different angles, colors and people to play with in your photographs.

  • Shelbi says:

    Photocubism is a series of multiple photographs arranged in grids. Each work gathers together images from everyday life including nature, cities and interiors. It focuses on isolated aspects of reality and shows the multiple perspectives. David Hockney is trying to achieve a way to show time and time change by means of how vision works with his joiners, which occurred accidently. Hockney’s idea was inspired by Picasso’s Cubism work.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hockney#The_.22joiners.22

    Source: http://www.taonasonakul.com/TS_02bio_02.html

    My Choices:
    Hunt Library
    Pullen Park
    SAS Hall
    View of Downtown from North Hall
    (There are more places but I can’t think of the names)

  • Kirsten says:

    Cubism is defined as: “A nonobjective school of painting and sculpture developed in Paris in the early 20th century, characterized by the reduction and fragmentation of natural forms into abstract, often geometric structures usually rendered as a set of discrete planes.” (from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cubism)

    Photo-cubism brings the same concept of fragmentation and reduction into discrete planes through the use of different similar photographs joined together to create one larger picture.

    (here are some examples, one of which is the front of Leazar! http://lizadoingphotography.blogspot.com/2012/11/photocubism.html)

    David Hockney created what he called “joiners” which are photo-collages using photographs taken at slightly different angles and perspectives then assembled together to create a complete image, creating photo-cubism. He describes his “Kerby (After Hogarth) Useful Knowledge” painting as having incorrect perspective but working pictorial, much like his photography “joiners”.

    (information from http://www.shootingfilm.net/2013/01/joiners-polaroid-collages-by-david.html … has a lot of great examples too)

    My three places that I am thinking about are:

    1. Lowe’s Park Pavillion by Mike Cindric – NCMA
    This is the one I’m most excited about. It has such a great color, texture, and sharp angles. I could get a lot of really interesting angles and perspectives.

    2. “The Pit” – Design Campus
    This could be interesting because of the different angles and levels already present. It would be fun to play with the direction of the bricks.

    3. Lake Johnson
    I was thinking of doing a scene from the small damn. I could play a lot with the tree line on the water and the angles at which the damn walls go down towards the water. Reflections would be really cool to play with too.

  • Tyra says:

    Cubism, as occasionally referred to, destroyed the fixed way of looking that most observers of art were accustomed to. In photo-cubistic art, the eye searches for and finds many points of focus. The artist sometimes employs as many as 60 to 120 single photographs compiled together to form one huge picture.

    Image examples of the photocubism form of art are found at:


    Some spaces that could be used:

    *The basement lounge of Turlington Residence Hall- every time I go down there everything is rearranged differently.
    *The video game room in DH Hill-you never see the same thing twice

    • Whitney says:

      The basement idea is really strong because I am sure that the activity level there fluctuates all of the time. It would be really interesting to capture the basement when it’s empty, and slowly show it becoming more crowded.

  • Whitney says:

    Photocubism primarily focuses on a variety of perspectives in a single image. Photocubism breaks the image down into individual focal points that exaggerate the importance of each segment of the picture, which would have otherwise been swallowed by the whole. This is a literal interpretation of how we see the world (in fragmented parts). David Hockney adopted this method of art from the Cubist movement and was particularly inspired by Pablo Picasso. He became intrigued with turning a three dimensional world into a two dimensional work of art while still maintaining the integrity of the scene.




    My places:

    Gym – The gym in my apartment clubhouse would be a nice place to capture. It is a vibrant red and has a lot of cool mirrors and unusual machines.

    Pool Room – I love to play pool. I believe that shooting a room with a pool table in the right lighting could have a really cool effect. I would also place emphasis on the balls.

    From the Car to the Apartment – I think it would be cool to document a short path from my parked car to the inside of my apartment. I would assume that it is still considered a “place”, but from a different approach.

  • Lan Luo says:

    Photo-Cubism is by breaking a whole picture, and then spell into a large image, there are a lot of concentration.

    “Photo-Cubism brings the 2-dimensional medium of photography into 3-dimensions. The solid structure behind the print accentuates or mirrors the shape of the subject creating optical illusions and changing appearance from different angles. It is also a method of displaying a variety of small pictures in one artwork, gelling them together in an abstract colour study from a distance, but up close is an almost infinite amount of detail and can tell a very personal story.”

    The following are some examples:




    As for my own opinion, David Hockney trying to achieve through his joiners is that some pieces of the wallpaper and furniture on the color similar to that of another to piece together into a completely different effect.

    My own place: home office because there are a lot of bookshelves and books which can be divided into pieces and then put all of them together to achieve something totally new.

  • jli25 says:


    Cubism: During early-20th-century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso and so on. This is an art technique of expression. So, it is not difficult to understand about “Photo-cubism”.

  • jli25 says:

    I like those photos, because those showing a extending design for us. What is design ? Design is breaking. If you get your idea and breaking it mix other elements come together you will be successful. Like David Hockney, this person used cubism style and combines his own, creating those amazing images. It also showing us a new image world: people consider things not like the old way. David used lots complanate 2D photos showing a 3D vision to us, it was a successful achievement for “PLACE” and “VIEWPOINT”.

  • Micaela says:

    David Hockney was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s cubist paintings. Instead of painting, however, he applied this approach to photography to create Photocubism. He called his work, “joiners.” Hockney aimed to show multiple perspectives rather than just one captured in a normal photo. These different perspectives can show time elapsing in a way that a single photograph cannot.

    Some examples of photocubism:

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