Dream Photography, and Other Chance Results
Welcome 2019 and the first blog post of the year. I’m going to use it to close the book on some unfinished projects from the end of 2018. Like a lot of you I’m sure, I don’t make resolutions for the new year, in my case because I already have enough personal OCD regarding my artwork, i.e. the weird insistence that I complete any project or piece that I’ve invested more than a few hours on, no matter what better projects I have waiting. So I already have a reinforcing loop of adherence in my life that keeps my brain occupied without needing more personal vows about what I need to do in the future.
So in the interest of giving myself some peace of mind, today I’m posting some pieces I made in the last few months of 2018 but only recently scanned, sized and completed, but not ready for production which means I probably won't be printing them at large scale or putting them in shows. Some of the work I made this year I’m really proud of and I felt good enough about them to put in my portfolio, but others like these not so much. Which is how it goes in any profession, not everything you do or make is a “winner” and particularly for artists not everything you create will please you or get a response from people. I’ll just post these experiments here on the blog and then archive the pieces so I can feel like I close the chapter on this work.
This piece came together while I was looking at some double-exposed images I shot a few years ago but never used. Layering the film created an even more intriguing set of abstract architectural forms, which reminded me a lot of the forms I often see in my dreams. I deliberately kept white space at the bottom of the composition for text, so I added the poem about my dream life to the scanned file in post.
This piece above is a poster design that includes the last Mt. Rainier compositions arranged together digitally, with the title text added. This consists of 8 different scans, one of each composition. These compositions are created from transparency film from my photo shoots in the alpine meadows of Mt. Rainier National Park between 2017 and 2018. The title is an offhand tribute to the Fluxus art movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, whose affiliate practitioners embraced the documentary aspects of technology, but also pointedly subverted the very mediums they worked in. It was in that spirit that I wanted to make more evident the process - the two-shots of each scene, the cut-ups, the repositioning, and most importantly the film frames - in a single piece.
“Verdant Phases in Minor” and “Verdant Phases in Major” are both prints from 35mm film shot in the Fujica Half - shot on the forests floors and fern fields on Tiger Mountain, Washington. These pieces consists of triple-exposed shots taken on my 35mm Fujica Half camera, which means I manually rewound the roll of 36 exposure slide film and shot it three times. Sadly the camera broke a few months ago, but considering it was manufactured more than 60 years ago and the amount of work I put it through, I got more than my money’s worth.