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Week 27

July 04, 2020

225.2 lbs

Susan Sontag:

One finds that there is beauty or at least interest in everything, seen with an acute enough eye. (And the aestheticizing of reality that makes everything, anything, available to the camera is what also permits the co-opting of any photograph, even one of an utterly practical sort, as art.1

7:48 AM – walking, 52

… why does it seem Republicans are more likely to be lying than Democrats?, or is it that their lies are more egregious and cynical?, or is it that it seems that way because i am liberal?…

7:33 AM – walking, Fishkill Creek

… a stray dog and i enter the bridge from opposite ends; we stand and watch each other for a while; i decide to move across, the dog decides to move across, me to the left, dog to the right; we eye each other warily as we pass; we turn and regard each other after we have passed; we go our separate ways…

6:50 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… i had a thought but it came and went… the thing about CIC, his lies are obvious, in the open, Regan’s were not, the government lies to its citizens constantly, propaganda is everywhere, the truth, harder to find… do we really care to find it?… H bemoans the loss of a more pure and progressive America, the loss of the Boomer generation ideals, at least those that hewed to the left, the enlightenment ideals…

6:00 AM – walking, Dewindt St.

… Ulysses failing right away, not syncing… 20 joggers down MS, close formation, no masks, really? We are fucked…

4:42 AM – my studio

… learning to use Ulysses, completed first lesson… tried to watch HyperNormalization last night on YouTube, got half way through and casting it from phone to TV failed and we could not get it back, H says she will figure out how to do without casting… just finished reading Both Sides Centrism is Fundamentally Flawed, in which the attempt to occupy neutral territory and present “both sides” of an argument breaks down, because, essentially, it allows legitimate arguments from within a particular experience, being trans is the example given, to be neutralized by critique from outside the experience, or, in the case of the 2016 election, it allows an abhorrent candidate and/or ideology to become normalized, the better thing, i suppose, is to read what’s written from within either side of an argument, then decide who has the better ideas…

… my exploration of Ulysses writing app is about trying to streamline my daily production and sharing of thoughts and images with a non-existent audience, i keep thinking to myself that the way of making and distributing content is fucked up in this world, it is structured to co-opt any kind of unboxed thinking into the center, commodify and commercialize it, i have been wondering about making any kind of effort to be shown in a system that at present is geared to making money off of me, the would be late in life artist with some bucks to spend pursuing my end of life passions, the promised reward for working hard and towing the line… it is premised on the idea that production requires a customer base and social media is built on the promise of supplying a customer base, the one with the most friends/followers, wins, but what gets won?… increments of power, the idea Tucker Carlson could run for president because of an enormous following, DT’s base essentially… more and more i want to make and share on my own terms, will anybody listen?…

I find this article on HyperNormalization.

3:44 AM – living room

… in bed by 8:30, up by 3:30, the way i roll… birds starting to twitter… wondering how well this app will work, or is it another app rabbit hole i will go down… a couple of loud bangs outside, who is up at this hour setting off fireworks?…

July 03, 2020

No weight

4:26 PM – living room

… Nicole Wallace on the TV, pandemic acceleration, national train wreck in progress… prediction of Republicans defecting by Labor Day, we’ll see…

2:49 PM – Living room

… misfits market box arrives, whoa, amazing amount of vegetables, gonna be eating lots of veggies, expanded into spare refrigerator downstairs… a strange root vegetable that turns out to be jicama…

7:04 AM – walking, Memorial Park

… thinking about the idea of Tucker Carlson running for president, that he has the most popular opinion program on any network, i realize that even if the 2020 election dislodges the CIC, we will have 4 years of a place holder presidency that will swing things back to the middle and set the stage for an epic struggle in 2024, with Trumpism surging back?… the full civil war is not now, but the conditions continue to signal “winter is coming”…

5:25 AM – dining room

… slept late, found the documentary HyperNormalization on YouTube, looks really interesting, seems to argue massive delusion Plato’s Cave style, rather than meeting complexity of world head on, we dwell in a simplified, ordered alternative reality that is interrupted all the time by the complex one…

July 02, 2020

227.0 lbs

1:54 PM – living room

… skipped my walk in favor of going to Adams, not sure how soon ui will do again, did not feel the risk worth the gain… couple hours of yard work before it got really hot, back yard starting to look good, you can see potential… i need some salt cod i am thinking’s at this moment… did get a couple of bags of shrimp for the freezer, got some wine from S, looking forward to that…

5:07 AM – dining room, waiting for coffee to brew

Pema Chodron:

Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.2

July 01, 2020

5:52 PM – front porch, watching the movement

… to D&E’s in a bit, H not feeling well, may have a meeting… the testing of new iPhone camera seems promising, better images, having extra wide angle lens a bonus, slow to transfer to computer where i can edit and catalog… indications support for CIC is failing rapidly, Russia bounty scandal adding to woes, hopeful he will be trounced in November, Republican party too… M posts on FB that his aunt is dying of COVID… rates of infection as high as they have ever been…

6:39 AM – walking, Long Dock Park

… an exercise class by a favorite spot in the park, i find it irritating for some reason… cloudy, my time mostly about getting new phone set up, taking the camera for a spin… the train station parking empty, an article about the economy and how it may be shifting away from real estate for work space to online, i was ten years too soon… cloudy, humid, need to head home, the big debate, should i stop off and get eggs…

June 30, 2020

226.0 lbs

6:42 AM – walking, bridge 9D

… iPhone case with lanyard… rooting out the white supremacy factions in government, what to think about white privilege…

5:50 AM – bathroom

… getting ready to go out and make pictures, where will i go?… read a review of my new iPhone’s camera, wondering if it will encourage a shit to shooting more with iPhone camera… i keep thinking it a good idea, in keeping with the development of the technology and outlets for deployment…

4:33 AM – my studio

… continuing with SS this morning, the confusing question of photography as art, are there solid criteria that ground it, especially in an age with phone cameras, where the life of a photograph is minutes to at most days, and they live most extensively on social media where they are the most attractive content, the interesting question being, what would SS have said about iPhone camera work?… BF contemplated BLM in his post yesterday, i wondered what i can do to express my consciousness of the moment and my support for Back Lives, my most effective statement in this regard is to be interactive with a black man in a way that suggests to him that this white man gets it, which in the view of that black man is rare…

June 29, 2020

226.4 lbs

11:02 AM – my studio

… computer continues to act up, read the most recent BF newsletter which centers on BLM, a quote to answer the “all lives matter” retort, “When Black Lives Matter, all lives will matter.”… Creative Cloud updating for at least the second and possibly even the third time… BF knows his content should not be the same old same old, that he needs to understand the racist blind spot he has approaching the subject of walking… i wonder if the content of my daybook can become more topical as well, what have i, a 65 year old white man, offer the conversation that needs to be had?, i don’t feel especially relevant to it, even though i am totally on board with the need to dissolve the influence of the white patriarchy…

9:23 AM – my studio

… computer crash, iPhone replacement considerations…

6:42 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… i have the Nikon with me which makes the picture making process more thoughtful, prime lens, composition about positioning oneself to frame the scene at hand, snatching moments of considered attention… i am leaning, this morning, to a new iPhone, and the idea of shooting with it more consistently…

5:26 AM – my studio

… preparing week 26 for publishing, going quickly… i look up Hariban award and see that it is open until July 15, i will enter, i am unlikely to win, the award usually goes to recognizable names…

4:45 AM – my studio

… more Susan Sontag on what an art photograph is, recognizable style and subject matter, this point of view prevails today, i find myself thinking as i read Sontag that she fully assessed and described what photography is and it has not really moved on from that description, which i can’t imagine is really true… but, it does seem to mean that most of the photography world has not moved on from these original possibilities…

June 28, 2020

228.4 lbs

14,100 steps

7:20 AM – Madame Brett trail

… i make pictures when something attracts my attention, it is a record of attention paid, that is where it stays most of the time, sometimes it gets embellished to suggest more…

6:25 AM – Long Dock Park

… woman doing the same circuit i am, possibility of bathroom stop thwarted, dense fog, i am not happy this AM, i have not been happy for a while, feeling efforts pointless…

5:05 AM – my studio

… continuing to read the biography of Frederick Douglass on Wikipedia, have also downloaded his first autobiography, my path to support of Black Lives Mattering being to educate myself about Black History, at least a little, to be able to say that Black Lives have been oppressed, that Black Lives have mattered, that Black Lives have given us so much… i read about the Christianity of Christ and the Christianity of America, and i think one of the problems of religion of any kind is that when it organizes itself well enough it gains power and the will to use it, establishing the conditions where it becomes a bulwark to less than Christian ways of behaving and thinking… religion is frequently perverted to defend the indefensible…

4:56 AM – my studio

… reading Susan Sontag, On Photography, the question at hand, does the camera capture reality, or is it the instrument of the creative individual, revealing a uniqueness of perception?… do great photographers have special powers?, if so, what are they?, and how then can the camera be the revealer of reality?… and, is it ever appropriate to manipulate a picture?, alter the reality depicted?… these questions are addressed in earnest and it has to be said that there is not one clear answer to what a photograph is and what makes a particular photograph rise above others… in general, i know it when i see it, both in my own work and in the work of others…

  1. Susan Sontag, On Photography
  2. Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

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