For a long time I have wanted to add an Olympus 18mm f3.5 lens to my arsenal. This legendry manual focus marvel from the 1970’s is well made, sharp, and very small. Finally, I was able to get one reasonably priced off EBay, and this image is my first made with it. Good tools aid in aesthetic interpretation, providing further enjoyment to the creative process.
“Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see.” – Bernard Baruch
This digital pinhole, drive-by landscape, high dynamic range image was made yesterday for the annual World Wide Pinhole Day happening. It was shot out the side window from the driver’s side while traveling at 60 miles per hour north on highway 13 near I-70. Using a combination of low technology and high technology, this work speaks to the modernist paradigmatic challenge to surface coherence.
“Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.” – Theodor Adorno
To the fore
Optimism fuels creative desire. Moving forward, I always feel my work is steadily improving, even as my understanding of value may also be changing. Ongoing debates swirl around aesthetics in philosophical domains with the prevailing cultural environment influencing perceptions of art. Thus, expanding beyond specifically confined intellectual convention seems prudent. Exposure to divergent and conflicting ideas offers a strategy for steady progress.
“Any art communicates what you’re in the mood to receive.” – Larry Rivers
The archive provides a repository of knowledge that over time begins to fade, crowded out by new experience. Still working on images from last summer’s trip to Alberta, sometimes it takes a while for the significance of a place and time fully to resonate. As another academic teaching year ends, I am looking forward to many adventures in the months ahead. First, I will spend time on North Carolina’s Outer Banks with my sister. Then I will be heading to Italy for my first PhD residency. After that, I will journey to Maine for a week of photography with my good friend Hunter Neal. So much to do in a relatively short period, it is going to be a very interesting summer.
“Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take the risks.” – Mark Rothko
This image is the first night capture, made with a series of long exposures, with my new Sony Rx-100 camera. While sitting on a conveniently placed park bench at the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site in Higginsville, I had the camera on a tripod within arms reach. Unfortunately, I physically had to hold the shutter down in the “bulb” setting during exposure. Why these modern cameras do not incorporate a much more useful “time” function is a perplexing mystery. Nerveless, I am happy with the sensor’s low illumination response, especially for such a small camera.
“A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. A long exposure creates a form that never existed.” – Dieter Appelt
After eight years of working flawlessly, suddenly my Movable Type installation has stopped functioning, not letting me login to add a new post. Contacting customer service at Globat so far has been useless, even though it is obvious; they have changed something on their server. To continue philosophical ramblings associated with my art practice, at least temporarily, I started this new blog. A final response may require finding a new hosting service, rebuilding the operational structure, and migrating the entire archive. As I will be soon embarking on my first PhD residency and will be sufficiently occupied, the time and effort required to totally fix this problem may be delayed far into the future. Bummer.
“One of the foremost tasks of art has always been the creation of a demand which could be fully satisfied only later.” – Walter Benjamin
Pass in review
Domain of tradition
An old storefront block in the frontier town of Florence, Kansas is a physical memory fragment, evoking thoughts of past time and associated circumstances. Built in response to a train line established by the AT&SF Railroad, rail transportation supported the town for many years. As the railroads declined, so did Florence, at least in terms of population and economy. It is, however, still good to look at.
“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” – Aristotle