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Week 44

October 31, 2020

229.0 lbs

05:18 AM – my studio

… three days to the election, i am cautiously optimistic… Economist Mag seems already ready to move on… HCR says election is all down to whether we can prevent 45 from stealing it, fasten your seatbelts… Jonathan Blaustein about A Yellow Rose Project, which has invited women photographers to celebrate the 19th amendment in images…

October 30, 2020

228.2 lbs

05:42 AM – my studio

… shared two photo poems with S, more for his pleasure of sharing a retreat, BI, in common, he critiqued them and said they seemed to be a bit of a jumble of a number of different possible themes, i review them this morning, it would appear he wants a more singular image type unfolding, rather than the walk, move, through the landscape sequencing that underlies most of the visual poems i have constructed… i spend some time looking at Minor White sequences, especially the later, more abstract ones, which seem more relevant to the work i do, sometimes i see clearly the relationship from one photo to the next, sometimes not… an announcement of female in focus awards, i look it over, read about the winners, decide it is social documentary and i am not interested (social documentary, anything directly about humanity, is not my wheelhouse, for better or worse), Valentina Sinis is selected for a project on women in Iraqi Kurdistan who self immolate in an effort to escape/protest domestic violence… i read the description and my thought is another photographer getting ahead on a project with sensational content… Ada Trillo receives second place with a project on the effects of policies enacted by the Trump administration on South Americans seeking asylum… then there is a single image award for Sara Lorusso, for her photograph of a queer couple at home in a quiet, loving moment, a photograph that radiates acceptance of diversity… i was passing it by, when i thought, stop that, you claim to be interested in photography, you should look at work that falls outside your immediate interests and try to appreciate it, so i did and i am glad, these projects are worth visiting… an article on Goraiko, a collection of postcards of and related to Mt. Fuji… i read an article about the decline of the digital camera market and think about my own recent move to make more pictures with the iPhone 11, the camera is very good… i have set aside my better equipment for the convenience in making and editing photographs on the fly… i wonder if i need to adapt a more iPhone centric way of making images, that is, make images that utilize the qualities of the camera, that can’t really be made with another type of camera, the on the move image capturing and story telling… i have been contemplating the pursuit of lower quality imagery, accepting and using it to advantage, particularly with iPhone camera zoom, which zooms in on a small portion of a larger photograph, with the attendant degradation in image quality, sometimes it works well, sometimes not…

October 29, 2020

227.8 lbs

04:18 AM – my studio

… an article on a Philip Guston exhibition postponed because of KKK imagery in the paintings, this painting being an example:

Phillip Guston, Edge of Town, 1969, Via Hyperallergic
Phillip Guston, Edge of Town, 1969, Via Hyperallergic

… i look at the painting, yes of course, clan imagery, knowing nothing about the artist i am left to wonder what is intended, it is menacing, to be sure, but was Guston a White Supremiscist?… i read the wikipedia article on him and am confused, as the article suggests that he often dealt with racism, fascism, in his artwork, from the perspective of finding them abhorrent, so what is the fuss?… on the other hand, Kim Kardashian seems to have been tone deaf in a tweet about a private island get away with her nearest and dearest, and MoMA rose to the occasion with a response that went viral

Henri Matisse, Dance (I) (1909), via Hyperallergic
Henri Matisse, Dance (I) (1909), via Hyperallergic

… i read about art taking a political stance, a social stance, i wonder where that stance is in my work, signs of the times i suppose, need to get that body of work up…

October 28, 2020

227.2 lbs

05:04 AM – my studio

… raining today, all morning, HCR with a lesson on what is and what is not socialism, fascism and the history of the fear of socialism extended from the time when African Americans won the right to vote, people without property won the right to vote, to improve their government, make it better, it is not at all the same concept that Marx discussed in his writings… the poem, Being But Men, by Dylan Thomas, in Brain Pickingsan article on Ed Ruscha… it is about a photographic/art project extending over 50 years, photographing Sunset Boulevard with a camera mounted on the back of a pickup truck, google streets before there was google streets, displayed on a website created by the Getty Museum, the project excites me, 50 years, half a million photographs, dedication to a project, it makes my daybook effort seem inconsequential, but also correct to be doing, right to be doing, i am uplifted… an article on images of men in love, this one strikes me in particular:

Photo strip, undated, 35 x 27 mm, provenance: US, (image courtesy of the Nini-Treadwell Collection © “Loving” by 5 Continents Editions)
Photo strip, undated, 35 x 27 mm, provenance: US, (image courtesy of the Nini-Treadwell Collection © “Loving” by 5 Continents Editions)

… an article on a Trump march/rally that wound up on the steps of The Museum of the American Indian in NYC:

(Supporters of President Donald Trump holding a rally in front of the Museum of the American Indian in New York (all images courtesy of Sarah Barton))

October 27, 2020

227.0 lbs

04:27 AM – my studio

… i am thinking about the dearth of attention i get when i post things, not even much in the way of likes, even though i have lots of followers, friends, whatever, few of them respond to what i am doing, saying, thinking, photographing, anywhere… and then when H posts something and tags me in it, the response notifications overrun my notification feed, i am considering asking her to stop tagging me because it is depressing to have all her notifications come in to my feed… she spends large parts of most days communicating with people, actually having conversations with them on social media, i do very little of that, mostly just liking what they post, not commenting, not conversing… an article on Alec Soth’s new Gucci Campaign, photography star gets coopted by the capitalist market system consumes everything of value and turns it into disposable commodity, rendering it valueless… not entirely sure why i wrote the everything of value becomes valueless part, i will have to continue to think about it, continue to digest it, see if what flew out of my free associating mind is accurate… i am having an internal conversation about the prominence my new iPhone camera has in my daily work… it is achieving that place because the camera is a good one now, and i can edit and post on the fly, which a more substantial camera is not able to do… i wonder for a moment if i should begin investing in the latest and greatest as camera gear, for example, trading in my current iPhone 11 for an iPhone 12 Pro Max, so the camera capabilities get awesome…

We are, then, built of living bricks, but of living bricks set in dead mortar. We saw that the great trees, complex and long lived, have more wood and bark and other dead substances in them than the shrubs, herbs, and grass. These in turn are less alive than the lowly water plants and yeasts and molds which have no wood or bark at all. The same is true of animals. The jelly-fishes and infusoria have neither skin, hair, bones, nails, nor blood, and are pretty much all alive. So the more a creature’s life is worth, the less of it is alive.1

… i left a comment on S’s blog, i often do, i have an infatuation with S, admiration from a distance, certain young women inspire me, M is that sort of woman, they live as planets circling close by the sun while i inhabit the distant reaches of my solar system, a Neptune to their Venus, i gaze at them in the night sky, have fantasies about them, but leave them as ideal, not part of my reality, it’s enough to know they are there, that i might cross their paths once in a while, say a few words to them, carry the warmth of their womanhood with me into the dark shadows of my distant existence…

Stone carving by José Manuel Castro López
Stone carving by José Manuel Castro López

these sculptures caught my eye, a rendering of pliable and fluid surfaces in a medium that is anything but, like carvings of human bodies, they are a little too literal in their connecting to the world of commodity, but many of them are quite beautiful, sublime really… i just watched my latest image poem video, i made it yesterday, after sitting with it for 24 hours, i watch it again and think it is a good one, that i like it…

… i will be interested to see how that translates into my WordPress posting…

… this interesting factoid:

(Homo neanderthalensis — the formal name for Neanderthals — lived quite successfully across glaciated Europe, the Levant, and as far east as Central Asia for 350,000 years before becoming extinct around 40,000 years ago.) What they created and how they created it offers a window into Neanderthal life, cosmology, and abstraction.2

… we experience anguish over the current unfolding around us, it is useful to remember we are but the briefest of brief moments in the cosmic play… Heather Cox Richardson is a barn burner this AM… Rinko Kawauchi, Utatane:

Rinko Kawauchi, Utatane
Rinko Kawauchi, Utatane

… as i look at the work of Rinko Kawauchi, it is light, effervescent, ethereal, delighting in overexposure, i think about my own work which is more traditional in framing and execution, images exposed well for the light of the scene, i wonder what it might be like to shoot in the style of Rinko…

October 26, 2020

226.2 lbs

01:49 AM – my studio

… posting images to FB this AM i notice there is a Beacon Photography Salon group, private, i assume this is the same one that has been in operation and for some time and has not invited me to join, it is by invitation only, this, plus the broad lack of interest in my photography gets me down, people just don’t seem to be into it in any significant way, it doesn’t get much attention, i like it, the general world, not so much… this depresses me, a little, but it also puts in the frame of mind to just persist… make the work, something will come of it…

06:47 AM – my studio

… we vote today, HCR largely about 45’s pandering to white supremacists and evangelicals, don’t like either, evangelicals especially heinous in my opinion… photo editing, new image poem composed, to the refined draft, sit with it a day or two…

October 25, 2020

228.8 lbs

02:52 AM – living room

… we went out to run some errands, got caught in a Trump Train, not as bad as could have been, voting lines seem to have settled down… might not be too bad during the week… squash soup, mushroom risotto, salad?… for dinner, would like to do grilled cheese, no cheese, no good bread, no desire to get any… shrimp salad maybe?…

07:48 AM – sitting, Round House, Beacon Falls

… cold this morning… as i leave i mention D’s anti abortion post which set H off on a tirade, i am not in the mood so i boogie on out… past week material up on website, needs refinement, have three weeks to post… no HCR post today, she needed sleep… H mad the dogs got her up, i had my headphones on and didn’t hear Chas wining… i knew that might happen, enjoying Bach cello sonatas, priceless…

  1. Alan Turing, quoted by Maria Popova in her post: The Science of How Alive You Really Are: Alan Turing, Trees, and the Wonder of Life.
  2. Hyperallergic Magazine

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