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Week 32

August 08, 2020

227.0 lbs

08:41 AM – walking the tracks near 9D

… i pass a drainage ditch filled with water and bullfrogs… it is quiet, summer towards Autumn… bones of a small dead animal, not sure what kind…

07:38 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… i continue to plan web site shift in my mind, excited… i watch a pile of foam at the base of the falls undulate like so much fat… i remember the mother duck abandoning her ducklings and wonder if any survived… a poem this morning about the majestic universe and the brutality of its logic for living creatures…

06:46 AM – dining room

… just moments ago, i remember a dream i had last night, asleep on the couch, 45 was a hulking shadow in my childhood bedroom, i screamed “get out!” repeatedly in the dream and started awake, i had been screaming for real H told me, dogs were concerned, H was concerned… strange, disturbing dream…

04:43 AM – dining room

… woke up with a start, forgot my BP meds yesterday, jumped out of bed, came down, took them, not supposed to skip a dose… Heather Cox Richardson with depressing analysis of political news, looks like 45 will succeed in screwing up the postal service in time for the election, Russians are busy spreading misinformation, a steep hill we are climbing to get rid of 45, he doesn’t have to win it, he just has to keep it close, then all hell can break loose, i long for 11/3 to come and go, i am afraid that the situation will be worse when it does, selfish people with lots of money are rumbling about, hopefully, there’s a plan for that… i review week 31 post, the photographs are good, they make sense to me, they show the world ticking by, sans people, the people are always present, not just me, my eye, my intent, in the pictures, few lack something human made, fewer lacking human influence… an Art Blart posting about Eugène Atget, though the work is revered i see many pictures i don’t think are good, not good in ways that seems in opposition to the camera he used, large, tripod, setup required, thought about placement required, etc, many of the photos could have been better framed, there are wonderful images too, those with more classic composition, am i a classicist?, maybe… a British Journal of Photography article on Elena Cremona, i like the story, i like the photographs, landscape, emotions, no people, she was on a road trip with her significant other, relationship falling apart as trip progressed, i can’t imagine the hell of that… photographs are haunting, presented as a boxed set of “postcards”… i visit her website, really like her work… just now, a thought about the Daybook project, this Daybook project, that it is the main corpus of my work, that the art folios, the albums, are subsets of the main thing… i am certain that i need to consolidate my presentation to one site… an article on drag queen Shea Couleé… this from Brain Pickings, There is no rigid barrier between makers of culture and its consumers. Art belongs to all and is a “function” of society.1, with this my feeling that the universe is confirming my direction of making the art freely and openly available without charge, fee, just there for the taking, i am in this position because i don’t need to make money, i am fortunate to have H as my patron, i do my best to return her patronage with domestic service, it works, i make what i want to make at any given moment… a wonderful poem by Jane Hirshfield, The Weighing… fellow Beaconinte Alison Moritsugu is part of a group show at Wave Hill Gardens featured in Hyperallergic, she conducts a virtual walk on the website presentation of the exhibition

August 07, 2020

225.0 lbs

05:03 PM – living room

… horrible story of 6 year old girl adopted from Russia dying of COVID-19…

02:36 PM – dining room

… D let me know the Flannery O’Connor article i posted this AM was problematic, she shared the article it was critical of, i read it, she was right, the article i posted was very problematic, i took it down and posted an apology with links to the critiqued article and the critiquing article so that a more productive conversation can happen, apology accepted…

08:17 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… been thinking about consolidating my web presence to my WP site, photo series will become albums, pieced together, perhaps like a loose leaf photo album of yore… no responses to my posts yet, no answer from M on my query, she queried first, I queried back, a sudden downpour, wind passing through trees, M is or will be back in town, the news churns my libido… checking for mail, waiting for HCR to arrive, is she taking a day off?…

03:47 AM – dining room

Brilliant Things to Buy This August, because, of course, it’s August and you have to buy something!, don’t you?… political correctness overzealous?, Flannery O’Connor, apparently struggled with racism, but then well read people knew that… a Libertarian take on Attorney General of NYS Letitia James’ attempt to dissolve the NRA, notable to me that it doesn’t defend the leadership of the NRA, rather suggests the move is a bit extreme and politically motivated, the dinosaurs are rumbling… an article on UBI (Universal Basic Income) in the Economist, i am beginning to think it an idea with merit, partly because i believe technology will reduce the number of available jobs, and partly because of my art career… i think it could be productive in releasing time for creativity of all kinds… another Economist article about OANN, the fourth largest cable news network by viewership, promoting all kinds of conspiracy theories and now followed religiously by 45, we need a return of the Fairness Doctrine… an article about Photographer Reka Reisinger, who has an impressive educational pedigree, how could she afford it?, my immediate question… not convinced i love the work… or like it?, too people driven, something i eschew in my own work… further introspection reveals my reaction is to her pedigree, something i could never hope to acquire… yet another article on Yurie Nagashima, she has a book to promote…

August 06, 2020

226.4 lbs

08:14 AM – Walking, walk of sorrow

… tall, slender young woman, tattoos, tight fitting black minidress, my body swoons…

07:42 AM – walking, Fishkill Creek

… stream quietly murmuring, a swimming noodle, evidence of swimming in the creek, sections of which are brownfield i learned recently… peaceful, calm, even while chaos unfolds all around… S posts about the NYS Attorney General announcement expected this AM, i predict US Justice Department retaliation, the dinosaur rumble escalates…

07:14 AM – walking, Catholic Church, crows making lots of noise then receding into distance, woman walking her dog…

07:00 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… beautiful morning, perfect temperature, have my Nikon today, made some good pics with it yesterday, feel like i’ve made some good ones today as well… worried we won’t be able to rid ourselves of 45, worried the descent into hell will continue, what will we do if it does?…

04:23 AM – dining room

… the weight goes, the weight comes, water weight i suspect, still, down a bit from earlier in week… news from R that J’s surgery went well but there will be second round, couldn’t do it all due to swelling… poor dear, this will throw monkey wrench into things… Heather Cox Richardson email indicates there are rumblings from the NYS Attorney General’s office, there will be a major national announcement today, one is to presume it will be related to presidency of 45 if not 45 himself… yesterday i read the chapter, Reconsidering Erotic Photography, placing it in the spectrum of image making that objectifies the female body, not calling pornography out as a genre unto itself, but rather an extreme end of the photographic spectrum that objectifies the female body, facilitates its commodification, a part of the patriarchal structure wherein male is subject, female object… I am reading about Lucy Soutter, photographic artist?, art historian?, she wrote Why Art Photography, i buy a copy, it’s out of print, used copy… I’m dreading to think how many photographs of empty streets and people with masks will come up after or even during the lockdown, but maybe these shouldn’t be so easily dismissed as they will be an important document for future generations.2, at which point i think, i have always made photographs of empty streets when i have made photographs of streets at all… Dominic Hawgood is mentioned twice in the article, i look him up, very interesting work, conceptual, the use of short videos which leads me to want to continue my short video work, i realize there is a validity to what i am doing, that photography is moving beyond the print, and i realize my perception that i should be making images for internet platforms, that my Daybook enterprise is perhaps not such a wrong direction to be going… i look up Lorenzo Vitturi, also mentioned, so far only once, and am enthralled with a project, Money Must Be Made I don’t have any problem with editions large or small, I think it is fair enough for photographers to try to make a living just like anyone else. I understand the urge of artists who want to try to evade commodity status for their work in pursuit of political or critical aims, but it is a purism that I don’t personally share. The art market, along with the artist star system, is like show business—an economy of spectacle, celebrity and branding. It is not necessarily the most meaningful, well-wrought or formally innovative work that sells best. Some critics rail against this as an injustice, but it just strikes me as a fact of life. Documentary/socially engaged photographers are the ones who need to think most carefully about the ethical ramifications of sending their work into the marketplace, and have been coming up with increasing innovative ways to fund and distribute their work outside or alongside the market.3, and here is something i have been pondering these past weeks, there is not an either or to art participating in the market, it’s the intent of the art and the artist that matters, some work needs to eschew the system because its conceptual structure is to critique the system, other work is the system and participates well in it… LS advises her students to stay open to the idea of their work being salable, to develop a strand of the work that is salable, even while focusing on work that is hard to sell… i take this to heart and understand now the role my Dark Matter work has to play in my practice, it is saleable… i skim read How to Steal an Election, frightening, depressing, i share it on FB…

August 05, 2020

224.6 lbs

12:41 PM – dining room

… R calls to tell me J broke her ankle in three places, bike accident, in the hospital, will have surgery today… i call C and J to let them know, talk to J, C out, leave message on C’s cell phone… C is at the club playing mahjong, not happy about that, what can we do?…

08:18 AM – walking

… periodic booms signal war games at the military academy…

07:45 AM – walking

… the quiet after the storm, a few birds, some people, water salad washed up on the shore, two women jog past, caring neither for social distancing nor for mask wearing, selfish… strangeness, instagram unable to establish internet connection via cellular…

07:21 AM – walking, Clara Sauer Trail

… the sound of a generator at the museum…

05:13 AM – dining room

… i slept in a wee bit, we slept without AC last night, it was nice, even if a bit close in the room, watched a bit of Rachel Madow before going to bed, i compare her as messenger to Heather Cox Richardson, i like HCR better, she delivers the bad news without the faux incredulity, the facts, just the facts, she doesn’t depend on entertainment ratings which require theater… i am a little depressed with my photographic output and ability to keep up with the rigors of this journal and posting etc., the cable blackout got in the way yesterday, everyone turned to Verizon instead and made that not a viable option, too damn slow… i become very interested in, and read, We Need to Treat Artists as Workers, Not Decorations, it gets many things right, but its foundational argument, that artists should be brought into the work for money structure of capitalism is just wrong headed in the end, if art is to be a critique of the system, it cannot depend on that system for nourishment, there should be universal basic income, which would not choose winners and losers (nor specifically favor artists), but make it possible for creators to spend time creating whatever they need to create, art history is rife with stories of artists who starved and gallerists and heirs who made enormous fortunes after the artist died… we simply don’t know who the next Van Gough is, aren’t really that good at detecting it in real time, and so just need to create the space for artists to make, assure them of sustenance, without strings or conditions, how they choose to supplement that is up to them, whether their art adds to it, is up to their ability to self promote and the whims of the marketplace… an article titled Who, in 2020, is a “good Republican?”, after bashing David French, while claiming to respect him, the author suggests what should be widely known, the Republican Party has no moral soul, only the wish to dominate from a minority, mostly white, position… an apologist article Give Thanks to Fossil Fuels, makes a no choice, “can’t live with it, can’t live without it,” kind of argument… maybe we need a system that doesn’t rely on 24/7, for a brief moment yesterday, when the cable was down, H read to me, it was still daylight, hmmm…

August 04, 2020

227.0 lbs

04:35 PM – living room

… cable down, wifi down, cellular data slow as molasses, can’t get any information about the what’s and why’s…

02:37 PM – dining room

… light flickers, computer shuts down…

01:11 PM – dining room

… the tropical storm has begun passing through, wind picking up, rain falling, wondering if my tomatoes will split, hope not, we’ll see…

04:33 AM – dining room

… rain, heavy rain, at long last… i read Cooking with D. H. Lawrence, a discussion of Lady Chatterly’s Lover and the food within… i glaze over on the recipes, find the discussion of the book, and especially the sex in the book, arousing, i resolve to read it… i made the Coq Au Vin last night, it was absolutely delicious, thought the old rooster part of it was so tough it was inedible, thank goodness for the pheasant that simmered with it… i am thinking that the Anthony Bourdain recipe i followed was meant for a normal stewing chicken and that he would have recommended a much longer cooking time for the rooster… we saved the rooster and will return it to the pot to see if we can cook it into submission… i read Heather Cox Richardson’s daily brief, i am dismayed, almost can’t make it through… this article on BillMoyers.com gets me riled, i share it to FB… the rain is pouring down outside, biblical flood images rise into my consciousness… this article on Joe Biden catches my attention, shared to FB… i confess, my latent fear is that Biden will not perform well in the debates… also, little attention is being paid to Republican efforts to smear Hunter Biden, which will have traction for 45 supporters and some on the fence… Exposure Time, reviewed by Jorg Colberg, The Incredible World of Photography, Kunstmuseum Basel

August 03, 2020

227.8 lbs

01:39 PM – 19 Dewindt St.

… Fiona not eating, she’s been finicky for past several days, otherwise, relatively normal, trying ground turkey, now ground beef, to get her going, thinking we may need to take her to vet… this pandemic time period has been rugged, mostly extra expenses, we don’t need the additional worry of a dog not eating…

07:13 AM – walking, Melzinga Tavern

… man walks by within inches, no mask, no attempt to distance, WTF asshole?… question of the week, what gives you hope?…

04:33 AM – dining room

… this from Heather Cox Richardson: Ignoring the virus, more than 250,000 people are expected to show up next week to the Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally, which business leaders pressured the City Council to hold despite the objections of more than 60% of Sturgis residents, who fear their town will become a hot spot.… through it, i come to a new understanding of the economic system that is plaguing us, it’s not democratic market capitalism, which would apply the checks and balances needed to mitigate it’s horrific effects on people and planet, it is Oligarchic Market Capitalism, where the welfare of the Oligarchs is the number one priority and the health and safety of the people outside the immediate family and friends of the Oligarchs is irrelevant, business must go on… i hope the people of Sturgis SD vote the entire city council out of power and punish the Oligarchs… and then there is this short article, announcing the funding of an artist and an invitation to submit memories answering this question, What is one specific moment from your past that shaped who you are today? among the memories submitted a 70+ year old woman remembering the day she and her brother walked into their new adoptive parents home… i find myself wishing the project were not tied to the work of a particular artist, which makes what could be a lovely collection of stories into something focused on the ego of the artist… the art should simply be the question asked and the responses given… just ask the question and let people get going, the artwork will unfold… a really beautiful and uplifting Brainpickings post. From it comes this quote: She would come to see that because the systemic assault of poverty impoverishes people of much more than wages, the opposite of poverty is not riches but dignity.… i share to FB with this statement: The post is about a Woman who started a microfinance bank specifically aimed at lifting people out of poverty. Contained within is a profoundly poignant story about how things can indeed change for the better even though it seems especially hopeless at a given moment in time. One needs only the will to go on and do better. We live in such a moment. My love goes out to everyone with the optimism to believe that the future can be better and with the courage to work towards that better day no matter what.… another BP post, this one about a beautiful poem by Marilyn Nelson, The Children’s Moon… this morning i have the feeling that i am finding my stride with this Daybook, that it is becoming something that might be worth someone’s time, other than my own to make it and review it… what an interesting morning it has been for my Feedly feed, this project comes to my attention… conceptual art that is really worth the artist explanation… the exhibition pageJulie Blackmon, whom i love even if i would never make an image like hers… this On Being program on poet Marilyn Nelson

August 02, 2020

227.4 lbs

08:27 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… rainy day, severe weather possibilities, if i remember what H read to me last night… humid, not that hot but humid… house cleaning today, stay inside…

04:33 AM – dining room

… air is hot, still, won’t get above 85, rain projected, half an inch, hurricane heading up the coast… read the latest post by Heather Cox Richardson, days old at this point, she is resting, apparently, it takes a lot to produce the daily emails… hoping she will come back soon… i read about how Republicans are trying to break the mail system… i undertake an interview between Blake Andrews and Peter Brown Leighton, i have been resistant to the interview format, so this is something… this: Dave Hickey wrote that “Bad taste is the only real taste.” What he means is that “good taste” is defined by our culture’s gatekeepers.4 … well, i tried to read it all the way through, too long, boring for stretches, like my daybook… going back to the bad taste thought above, i am building this resistance to the cultural gatekeepers, though i have this perpetual thought that if i keep on producing and not caring about where it gets seen, viewed, that one day a significant gatekeeper will find me and elevate me, what would i do if that happened?… i want something more organic, like instagram or Tumblr fame that organically happens… this story in The Bulwark, i share it on FB with the following explanation: This article in the Bulwark is an important read. I take it as admonition to take responsibility for the accuracy of the reporting we read, and more significantly, share with others. This is extremely necessary as we count down the days to, hopefully, November 03. Make yourself responsible for the accuracy of information you share. There are good sources out there no matter your personal political point of view. Find them, use them, forget the others. I find Mediabiasfactcheck.com to be very helpful in this regard. It has helped me winnow down my news feeds to those that are fact driven and span a range of political points of view. As the article suggests, finding, sharing and debating around good information is a responsibility of living in a democracy. Don’t be a hack that exacerbates the problem. Vet. Share good information. We will all be happier in the long run. …will anyone pay attention?, a few, perhaps i have helped the situation a little… rain starting, fairly heavy, was’t supposed to start until later, no photowalk?… i could poncho up and get going…

  1. China Achebe on Art as a form of Citizenship: Lessons in Creativity as “Collective Communal Enterprise” from the Igbo Tradition of Mbari, Maria Popova:https://www.brainpickings.org/2020/08/06/chinua-achebe-mbari/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+brainpickings%2Frss+%28Brain+Pickings%29
  2. Zak Dimitrov, Interview With Lucy Soutter, ASX Magazine, August 05, 2020
  3. Lucy Soutter, Zak Dimitrov Interview with Lucy Soutter, ASX Magazine, August 05, 2020
  4. Blake Andrews, Q&A with Peter Brown Leighton, August 01, 2020

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