Juxtaposed

“I basically just write the same line a million times in slightly different ways to see what clicks.” Someone said that to me the other day and I think it’s a mark of genius. I’m trying to be a lot less precious about the photos I take and post. Still thinking about how I might approach this new hobby more like my approach to writing, but I haven’t figured out what that means yet. Thoughts? x Let’s getjuxtaposed,juxtaposed-Just supposeI juxtaposewith you. (Super Furry Animals – Juxtaposed With U) x “Now why should the cinema follow the forms of theater and … Continue reading “Juxtaposed”

AdventWord 2022—TRAVELER

Today’s #AdventWord is TRAVELER, and for the longest time, I’ve been fixated on a phrase that came to me repurposed from an album title, a phrase that became a kind of philosophy of life in molecular form: “I am traveling with another.” I ran that through a readability analyzer and it apparently corresponds to a 10th/12th grade level, which makes sense, because in many ways it captures a high school senior’s style of overthinking the world. Like an essay about serendipity that compares the concept to looking over the school yard fence and noticing a storybook style house you describe like a … Continue reading “AdventWord 2022—TRAVELER”

#AdventWord 2022—Messenger

Today’s #AdventWord was meant to be a collaboration, but it didn’t quite come together that way. And yet, even though someone else picked this word out for me, MESSENGER just happens to be one of my more favored from this year’s list. Charlie Brown wasn’t the first to wonder about the meaning of Christmas. From day dot, the Christ event has been the riddle that somehow turned the key on a cosmic mystery; everyone could sense it, but few had the words to describe what it meant, and we still fumble with the language til now. For me, the meaning of Christmas … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2022—Messenger”

September Estrangement Series

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing an assortment of #analogphotography from recent happenings and wanderings. This set’s from a staff retreat I was on earlier this month, my third time on this former military base. The first slide’s taken with a #Holga135 on #fujifilm200; the second’s almost the same shot taken on my phone. I greatly enjoyed my pre-dawn and early morning walks and felt like I’d completed some kind of cycle by being here, having sat with hesitation at the threshold of belonging the last time I was in this place. I’ve walked across now. I’m there. x The last night of … Continue reading “September Estrangement Series”

New Aura of Old

“Aura is a quality integral to an artwork that cannot be communicated through mechanical reproduction techniques – such as #photography. The term was used by Walter Benjamin in his influential 1936 essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Benjamin argued that ‘even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: Its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’ He referred to this unique cultural context i.e. ‘its presence in time and space’ as its ‘aura’.” (TATE / ART TERMS) I’m not sure … Continue reading “New Aura of Old”

Neither Art…Nor Nonart

“Artistic production begins with ceremonial objects destined to serve in a cult. One may assume that what mattered was their existence, not their being on view. … Certain statues of gods are accessible only to the priest in the cella; certain Madonnas remain covered nearly all year round; certain sculptures on medieval cathedrals are invisible to the spectator on ground level. … In #photography, exhibition value begins to displace cult value all along the line. But cult value does not give way without resistance. It retires into an ultimate retrenchment: the human countenance. It is no accident that the portrait was … Continue reading “Neither Art…Nor Nonart”

LIGHT/SHADOW

The French word for a camera lens is “objectif photographique,” a factoid I learned in a piece from a series of articles & books called “Object Lessons,” which, surprisingly, has yet to publish any histories of cameras. They’ve published a book on the potato, so… But maybe the story’s too big to tell too quickly; that’s probably why the article only touches on how the 50 mm lens came to be the standard for “normal” vision. Anyway, the French word is perfect because, as the author points out, it encodes much of what we tend to think photography is for: “truth and … Continue reading “LIGHT/SHADOW”

LOOK/SEE

There’s an ethics to looking that takes on sharp relief when one begins writing with light. Photography is the craft of capturing emanations from “out there,” and so, with a camera to look through, the predatory urge to survey and ensnare becomes a very real possibility. But to look is not necessarily to see, and there’s an ethics to that moment as well. Viktor Shklovsky writes: “this thing we call art exists in order to restore the sensation of life, in order to make us feel things, in order to make a stone stony. The goal of art is to … Continue reading “LOOK/SEE”

Trip Like I Do—E. Washington Roadscapes

x “I went in search of astral America, not social and cultural America, but the America of the empty, absolute freedom of the freeways, not the deep America of mores and mentalities, but the America of desert speed, of motels and mineral surfaces. I looked for it in the speed of the screenplay, in the indifferent reflex of television, in the film of days and nights projected across an empty space, in the marvelously affectless succession of signs, images, faces, and ritual acts on the road; looked for what was nearest to the nuclear and enucleated universe, a universe which … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—E. Washington Roadscapes”

Metafiction

A non-negligible number of books I’ve read of late have shared a common conceit: a chapter that holds the key to unlock the mystery of the whole. Granted, a climax or conclusion is pretty standard fair in any standard text, but that’s not what I’ve been reading. In ‘Camera Lucida,’ we have the clean break along the middle of the spine; in ‘Devil House,’ a whole number of a-ha moments, but only one chapter that literally fractured the narrative (read: act of narrating) in faux-Fraktur; in ‘Immortality,’ it’s part 6. Kundera tells us ahead of time what he’s going to … Continue reading “Metafiction”