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Week 45


Image Poem Week 45

November 07, 2020

228.6 lbs

07:59 AM – Beacon Falls, Roundhouse

… beautiful fall day, have to get into the yard after breakfast… sitting by the falls, slow, thoughtful walk this morning… contemplating the election, the state of the nation, the difficult to comprehend place we find ourselves in…

05:17 AM – my studio

… my weight up, directly related to the alcohol i drank last night, it being the weekend… still no definitive call for Biden/Harris, though it is being said it is, at this point, mathematically impossible for 45 to win… Heather Cox Richardson opines about the completely different media universes Biden and 45 supporters live in, saying out loud that the info universe of 45 supporters is one of imaginary harms, dissatisfaction… it is something like what i imagine the dark ages to have been, where ignorance and superstition rule… an article in Mother Jones about how 45 will continue to impact the GOP, and what the consequences might be… i continue to ponder the idea of a book of image poems, a collection of image poems, i need to start executing… Jonathan Blaustein’s weekly photo book review, Some Kind Of Heavenly Fire

November 06, 2020

227.2 lbs

04:45 AM – my studio

… the shit show escalates, 45 claiming fraud and a polling conspiracy to suppress his vote, the signs are that he will not be going quietly into that good night, the question is, what are his supporters capable of doing?, what will they do?… Pennsylvania will likely be called today, possibly Georgia too, PA likely to go for Biden, GA too close to call, meanwhile, Arizona and Nevada look in the bag for Biden… i got so depressed yesterday afternoon, really depressed, i came out of it eventually, quickly, but man… this morning i catch up on the news, good news in that Biden will probably be determined winner today, bad news in that 45 continues to be an idiot, Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Shakespeare, Macbeth) maybe i should re-read The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner… an article about Sylvia Plath, long, i read it through to the end, save it to my Feedly Common Book, i resolve to reread her poetry, i have a copy of Ariel… an article in The Paris Review about the election, about William Eggleston’s election eve photographs, taken on the eve of the election of Jimmy Carter in his home town of Plains Georgia… i look at the photographs made yesterday with the iPhone, and they are better, i like them better, than the photographs i made with the Lumix the day before, successful, full of soul, i notice that the selection is all vertical, something the iPhone seems to encourage as turning the phone camera sideways is a little awkward…

November 05, 2020

226.0 lbs

07:53 AM – Long Dock Park

… the sense of an epic New Years Eve and the numbness of a days long hangover… the idea to ask the nieces and nephews where they get their news, after reading an article suggesting journalism should be more distributed and horizontally organized…

07:34 AM – walking

… more important than the quality of the image is the content, which is true for me and the reason the iPhone camera is suitable…

05:08 AM – my studio

… still no declaration of winner, Biden still favored to win, some civil disobedience, some rioting (Portland), seems relatively minor compared to worst fears… i scan the plethora of articles about the election, the state of the country, each promising to explain something i had not heretofore understood about America, i think, what a load of BS, how can i hope to know my country through a few articles, even many articles, each one more about the ego of the author than an honest probe, because that is what the system produces, arrogant claims to the truth, when none actually has it… H is angry, she claims that anyone she knows who voted for 45 is dead to her, i can’t have any kind of conversation with her about my cousins, who are my window into 45 alternate reality, my cousin M actually seeming willing to have a conversation without devolving into us v them, i am hoping H will temper her anger over time, in part because i don’t like having to absorb it, but in part because the dead to me idea is the kind of idea that leads to civil war, there is no possibility of understanding and common ground in such a scenario… i think we need a peace corps effort in the homeland, at least a year of required civil service, red staters deployed to blue states and vice-versa, expenses paid, like military service… we have got to put ourselves in position to witness one another’s humanity, that there is more we have in common than not, that the problems we all deal with, raising our families, making a living, putting a roof over our heads, and having something meaningful to do in this world, are common problems even if our preferred solutions to those problems are not… yesterday, i went out with the Panasonic camera, but today i have the inclination to go out with just the iPhone, something about it’s possibilities of immediate edit and distribution seems significant… an article on Gregory Halpern’s images of Buffalo, NY

November 04, 2020

225.6 lbs

04:21 AM – my studio

… the election has turned out to be closer than expected, Biden favored, but it’s down to a group of midwest swing states where the mail in ballots are yet to be fully counted, mail in balloting is expected to favor Biden by a large margin, the situation as it stands plays directly into 45’s hands where it will be litigated out the wazoo in the courts… on the Senate front, it is not clear it will change hands and looking like it will not… on the house front, it is looking like Dems will loose ground rather than gain it, though should maintain control… all in all, it sucks, even if Biden wins it will be a fiercely divided country and the Senate, led by Moscow Mitch will thwart any legislative progress… i will do my best over the next few days to think good thoughts and find my inner peace… fuck the fuckers, there, i got it off my chest… Photography as Self Therapy: An Introduction for Beginners, wow, i loved this article, the various exercises are amazing and would be meaningful at any level for photographers to do, as i already do… the work of Liz Cohen is amazing:

CANAL © Liz Cohen 2020. CANAL is a series exploring gender, belonging, passing, autobiography, persona, and geopolitics. I look at Panama, a group of sex workers and myself. We all struggle to fit in. We all end up in drag. These photographs document a night when Linette, a Panamanian transgender sex‑worker, dressed me up.
CANAL © Liz Cohen 2020. CANAL is a series exploring gender, belonging, passing, autobiography, persona, and geopolitics. I look at Panama, a group of sex workers and myself. We all struggle to fit in. We all end up in drag. These photographs document a night when Linette, a Panamanian transgender sex‑worker, dressed me up.

… this image appeared in a book Jerry Berndt: Beautiful America:

Jerry Berndt, Beautiful America Steidl
Jerry Berndt, Beautiful America Steidl

November 03, 2020

226.4 lbs

08:20 AM – walking

… vultures rising

04:27 AM – my studio

… Election Day, may Biden/Harris be the obvious victors by the end of the night… i read an irreverent article about the results of the election, the author predicts a blowout, i think that is likely too, just wanted to say it, put it on record, and no, i will not, did not, come back and edit this after the fact… an interesting article from Jorg Colberg on the concept of “social photographs,” photographs made to share on social media, where the sharing, participation in the communal sharing ritual, is the point, not the making of great art… this leads me down the rabbit hole i have been circling a lot lately, that i don’t like the capitalist system of generating value in a piece of art through the cultivation of genius status for its creator and the development of rarity (something photography is particularly subjected to, the very nature of a photograph being its reproducibility), i have somewhat pulled out of an attempt to be part of that star system, a luxury i seem to be able to afford, since i don’t have to make money off my photographs… the question then is, what now?… i feel compelled to make photographs, to find a unique expression, but more and more, i think i am heading in a new direction, in which my image making is part of a communal enterprise… that is, i am not in it for the unique status above others it can confer on me, rather i am in it to build relationships, with people in general, with fellow artists… my movement to the iPhone camera is an expression of this desire, if not in any entirely (yet) successful way… this is why i am moving to the iPhone camera, because i want to be more immediate, more social, more connected… i have been meaning to review posts from last year, starting from the beginning and moving through to the end… all before the start of a new year, reading and looking at the Week 01, which begins in the last few days of December 2019 and moves into January 2020, there are images of New Years Eve, the party, the fun, the friends, a kind of gathering we won’t have this year, which makes me sad almost to the point of tears… wow, what i was thinking about, what i posted, pretty amazing… i think i may go back to posting images of the day with each daily writing…

November 02, 2020

226.0 lbs

05:42 AM – home

… successfully resisted urge to get alcohol in the house, did so by remembering how bad i feel when i drink… Fiona and Chas escaped the back yard this afternoon, found the hole they got through, plugged temporarily, will have to walk them, not be lazy… Biden delivering his final message night before election…

04:34 AM – my studio

… election eve, the rumblings across the country grow louder… a long article in the Atlantic on 45’s legal exposures and speculation on whether he will or won’t “go quietly into that good night,” which he won’t, nobody thinks he will… reviewing my Feedly feed, i grow impatient with the photography, a sign that i should move on to looking at my own images, assessing them…

November 01, 2020

226.2 lbs

08:13 AM – walking

… a drone buzzes by overhead…

08:01 AM – sitting, Fishkill Creek overlook, Madame Brett Trail

… as i am walking a white woman saying she was proud to be white on the news, that sentiment never would occur to me, there is nothing universally special about being white… i am neither proud nor embarrassed about the color of my skin, i am rather embarrassed/proud of the way i and the company i keep behave…

04:51 AM – my studio

… did not drink last night, the results are predictable, am i done with drinking?, my body doesn’t seem to be able to tolerate it, fun in the moment, feel good in the moment, but the next day is never good, how long before i internalize that message?… it’s not just that i don’t hurt the next day, i feel so much better from the get go… a thought about HCR, and her immense following, which she achieves with relentless good work and writing about something important in a way that is meaningful to people, and i compare to my own daily efforts, which are disciplined and significant, and of appeal to practically nobody… i have always chosen the outlier place without, in many ways, being the true outlier… i read about Hervé Guibert, a French artist, actor, writer, yes, artist in the broad sense, his photographs are intimate, reminding me of Saul Leiter, but gay, his bedroom pictures of himself and lovers are of the post coital genre, sensual because they are of the bedroom…

Fay Smoking, Saul Leiter, via Sleek Magazine
Fay Smoking, Saul Leiter, via Sleek Magazine

… i look at “Good Sick” by Jordan Baumgarten, a photographic essay on the opioid crisis in America, i am disturbed by the unflattering images of addicts but as much so by the images of urban (American) decay, the sense of hopelessness, i wonder about the title Good Sick, i attempt to look it up but don’t find anything enlightening to the body of work… the work of Erli Grünzweil:

Erli Grunzweil, via Booooooom
Erli Grunzweil, via Booooooom

… this from Brain Pickings, writing about Octavia Butler:

Butler’s sentiment is only magnified by knowing that the word desire derives from the Latin for “without a star,” radiating a longing for direction. It is by wanting that we orient ourselves in the world, by finding and following our private North Star that we walk the path of becoming.1

… i follow my own private North Star for sure, always have, and because it is a star that takes me to the peripheries, but possibly also because it never takes me radically beyond the peripheries, i am in a wilderness, largely alone, unregarded, singing a song, off key?, not pleasant to hear?… i look at the two images just above, the nude, the levitating plastic bag, each a wildly beautiful moment in the universe, i would pair these images, facing pages or one next to the other on a wall, cozying up to one another, they are of the same thing… i am looking at, and enjoying a set of photographs by Rachel Portesi

  1. Maria Popova,

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