Category Archives: State Fair

Ritual Order

Life is habit
Dynamic in nature
Extensively treated

Late summer marks my annual pilgrimage to the Missouri State Fair as a creative experience. With senses operating at their peak, the moment resonates in aesthetic splendor.

“Ritual is the passage way of the soul into the Infinite.” – Algernon Blackwood

Action Potential

Ideal glowing
Awakened inspiration
Triumphant light

Embracing the primacy of perception, colored lights can hypnotize in a late summer search for exterior entertainment. Opening on the carnival midway, recreation is employed as the reciprocal action between the finite and the infinite. Awareness stems from discovery while speculative anticipation builds on malleable materialization.

“The object of the sense impulse, expressed in a general concept, may be called life in the widest sense of the word; a concept which expresses all material being and all that is immediately present in the senses.” – Friedrich Schiller


Midway intensity
Aesthetic experience
Harmonic dissonance

At the carnival, an abstract energy extract made during the ambient light transitional period translates actuality.

“Any explanation of something translates it into terms other than itself, and the dangers of reductionism will not be avoided by refusing to compare different domains.” – Paul B. Armstrong


Artificially induced
Heightened susceptibility
Sideshow jollification

Experiencing the structure of experience is exaggerated by creating a temporary artificial environment in what amounts to a large parking lot. The absurdity of the event adds to its attraction, as awareness is never an isolated or simple process.

“I was sure that somewhere a grandiose carnival was going on in the sky, and I was missing it.” – Eve Babitz

Cliff Hanger

Plot device
Revelation feature
Serialized fiction

Enchanting moments emerge on the midway as the day transitions into night. The controlled carnival atmosphere provides a temporary respite from accustomed societal strictures. Color and movement pass by at a glance in a world full of wonder.

“So past, present, and future are threaded, as it were, on the string of the wish that runs through them all.” – Sigmund Freud

Explicitly Arranging

Understand relevance
Disclose significance
Actually encountered

The aesthetics of photography is often as much about the possibilities of the medium as it is about the subject at hand. The pinhole turret helps to uncover additional truth.

“Things at hand are always already understood in terms of a totality of relevance.” – Martin Heidegger


Certain alignment
Enhanced sensibility
Transfigured complication

Revisiting the same venue on an annual basis is a distinct exercise in continuity and alteration. Things are always similar but different as the transitory nature of the carnival accentuates questions of universality. The particular is operative under transcendental structures of possibility that formulate experience.

“Philosophy of art neither begins at the beginning nor does it, in the end, quite return to the beginning.” – John Sallis

Heat Lamps

Mobile catering
Concession stand
Fair culture

At the carnival, normal rules of engagement are suspended and replaced by an alternate behavior pattern. This mental adjustment changes the desirability of objects and their concurrent value. For the artist, such an exchange temporality provides visual stimulation within the confines of a proscribed pretend environment. Various contentions can follow from this materialization.

“There is much that is strange, but nothing that surpasses man in strangeness.” – Sophocles

Experimental Givens

Reflective consciousness
Common characteristics
Subsequent abstraction

I decided to visit the State Fair in the middle of a bright sunny day and make a series of direct impressionistic photographs with my pinhole turret. From an imaginative transcendental viewpoint, this technical approach was a good choice. Exercising creative proclivity validates the existence of free will.

“Awareness of principles is a primordially presentive act and, as such, is analogous to sense perception, not to imagination.” – Edmund Husserl

Fire Ball

Liberating period
Actualizing forces
Shape shifting

Sensory overload on the Midway reaches a peak at dusk, when bright moving lights balance with the fading daylight. This short window of visual opportunity stimulates the ancient inquiry into the nature of beauty as being either universal or subjective. Fortunately, resolution of this question is not required for aesthetic appreciation.

“Beauty is, for the greater part, some quality in bodies, acting mechanically upon the human mind by the intervention of the senses.” – Edmund Burke