Sunday, September 28, 2008


(4x5 Polaroid of God's Lonely Man, from Reminiscene, 2008)

This is rough...

I have to hold on to these things.

I remember I was sitting down at my typewriter, writing a story about a man who was so lonely that he almost disappeared. And maybe that man did disappear and all that is left of him is his last words.

I have to try hard to remember the best parts of my life because I tend to only remember the bad parts. Walking around and revisiting places I recall memories that are associated with those places. Each location has its own time and place that is best remembered. Some of those places I can only remember bad moments of my life and I am forced to see that place and see that memory every time I pass by.

The statements used in this series are taken from my own words from various times in my life. Each statement reflects on a memory within the space they are installed in.

I tend to remember the bad like most people, I have to try harder to remember the good. And as this series develops these good moments are revisited, so that I can see them again, and I can feel them once more. Maybe I can remember them forever. Like flowers to a place where your friend lost his or her life; that curb, that side of the highway, or courtyard in a safe neighborhood where bad things don’t normally happen, we want to leave mementos behind show we will always remember. These words will remain behind at these places, and even when someone scratches them away, they’ll live forever in my photography.

*note at the bottom of each post now includes a label, these can be used to gathered and navigate various posts on the same subject, in this case, any work for [literally] can be grouped together in a lovely package that makes, ...and this is what I originally set out to do with this series but ended up doing this, more sensible in getting the complete thought. No more of that searching or that, I'm too lazy or care not to look into this, it's late and I have rapid eye motive to do.
...And so the fact of the week is, on average we dream for only two hours a night, a total of 6 years of dreaming, (that's like watching Planet Earth 4,781.352 times!), in the average human life expectancy (and yes, I will also give that fact as well, 80+ for Canada of Free Health Care, 77.5-80 US of America).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Slippers From Hawaii

(test shot from the continuation of [Literally], 2008)

My mug, my favorite mug with the slippers on it and HAWAII in a fun font, the mug from my mother, would look really interesting if it just randomly exploded right now. There will be no trace of what force within the mug made it explode, it would just burst into a million, maybe a million and a half, pieces. There is water inside so that will just leak all over the place, including the very keyboard I’m typing on. Hopefully I’ll have my glasses on because I’m sure there would be about ¼ of that million and half pieces in my eyes. And if that happened, then I don’t think I’d be very amused that my mug just spontaneously combusted on my desk, then in my eyes.
I want something completely random and beautiful to happen. Whether it is in the form of an exploding mug from Hawaii or just a stranger falling on the street, right before me, and looking up scared and lost, I reach my hand down and they suddenly grab mine back and we start running, we leave our things behind, like bags and books held under armpits, and we just run like fuck.


I should probably talk about the photograph above. For half a year I have been developing the concept behind [Literally]. This project was first done with recycled images, pulled out of focus in the darkroom, and using a large clear piece of plastic I inserted text on to the surface. I then placed the plastic over my photographic paper in the dark and exposured the image. The results were these new and appropriated images with a new context. Each one varied and the series progressed into an emotional depth as the text started from straight-forward definitions to poetric descriptions.
The continuation of this series is installation base, working more on the lines of graffiti than appropriating images. Using the same plastic stickers to create font, I will place them on windows to reflect a memory I have of that place and view.

*I decided not to post my response to Sophie Calle and Gregory Shephard's Double-Blind, after all. Let's just say I really enjoyed it, so much that I wrote a personal story that reflects on the subject.

I Blame Hollywood for My Expectations of Romance

(Photograph of a Viewing of Sophie Calle & Greg Shepard's Double-Blind (No Sex Last Night) 1992, 2008)

…Maybe even literature, though I have read some sad and lovely stories of love from Leonard Cohen, some of which I relate to from my own history, and some of which I have no experience of but fall deeply in love with the words.
I’m not really sure where I stand, mostly confused, maybe even scared. The truth is I don’t really know and it is this uncertainty that separates me from anyone else, and separates the emotions I have to give. I don’t think I have ever met someone I loved and that loved me back, and so can be said for those who have loved me that I never loved. I can’t help it, neither could they. There is no ownership to love because it can never be transferred or traded away, you’re just stuck with it. We tend to label ownership to things of value. Love doesn’t have a value when you’re the only one feeling that, it’s a beautiful burden. It’s hard to live with a heavy thing, and we regret, hate, having to bare with it, but life in the cold, where we live on the dark side of the moon without the light of love, we regret not having love. And it is where I find myself mostly, sucking up the last of it, those fruits of burden, or at this point, the distasteful wine from decomposition. At times I feel like Dr. Frankenstein, taking parts of dead moments and reassembling them together to form something that is very much the opposite of its materials, something alive. And though it may be a beast, it is love, not from the process of bringing something alive again, but by putting life into something. And that’s where I’m at, this conception of love; you take a dying or dead plant and you transplant it to a new pot, with new soil, you water it, and you keep watering it even if it shows no signs of life, then your devotion is rewarded when his back straightens up, he begins to stand on its own, starts blooming, maybe it is a she, and then she grows and grows and you just look from a few feet away and admire what you have done. It isn’t what you have done but what should have happened. That nature should rebuild itself, that we should not have to aid it, but having such illusions of this act, like the feeling we created Dr. Frankenstein’s love, when we didn’t, we just think we did, like traveling to a destination. We will go somewhere with thoughts of getting somewhere, but inside we just wanted to experience traveling, that it was the journey that we were looking for, a journey that is generated by chance. And then when we arrive what do we discover, we’re living exactly how we were before we left, in a static state where we have a home again; a place for our shoes to rest, a place for our skin to bathe, and a place for our things to stay while we grow old and tired and then retire to our beds. I think of Hollywood, how we are just like it, full of ideas and conceptions of what love is. It is what we build, what we create, and what we willed together, with all of our strength and all of our heart. The plant, whether he or she, will still grow without us. The dead flesh will decompose and become life again. And everything will end, happy or not, without rolling credits, and without us. But I want to believe, that I can control something by being a part of it, and will I be controlled? It is better this way…because some things don’t change, and so she or he will grow, stronger and stronger, while I grow weaker and weaker, more and more, and less and less, in love, and without, and again, and again.

(Title name inspired by an interview from Charlie Kaufman talking about Hollywood, paraphrased.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Expansions III (Banana)

The image of a banana replaced the light bulb floating over my head this time.

Expansions III (Banana) picks up where Expansions II left off, expanding the scene through multiple images, giving the viewer a broader sense of time and place, as well as creating intimacy with portions of a scene. Banana is a focus on my current practice, reinventing the presentation of photography. Since Expansions is about dimensional distortion, as well as capturing meaningful portions of a scene to create a narrative, it would only be suitable to produce an installation that reflects this idea.

The idea of a banana occurred to me one night when I was thinking of representing a space. I wanted to document a room by photographing each wall, then floor, and ceiling to capture the atmosphere of this room as well as document all aspects of space. This was the original approach for Expansions I, where I did 360 panoramas of an interior spaces. The name, Banana, comes from the process of peeling a banana.

The banana is dissected section by section to fully exposure the soft fruit inside. Expansions III is doing exactly that, taking each portion of a space and dissecting it section by section. The soft fruit is replaced with the act of documenting what surrounds a space to represent the space itself; like the shell of a banana being reassembled to appear unpeeled. And like the banana, and anything that is photographed, it first started as a three dimensional object.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Reason for A Reason

(For What Remains... (When We Are Shadows), 2006)

What can be said for all this to happen…for a future to be born from just the chance of two strangers. I long to discovery a world that is free and without a past. A future without a plan, and without a history. Can we just forget it all before now? I itch for a moment, just that right moment that is filling up with the waters of chance, just about to explode and there we are, a static that fills the air.
I talk of experience, of moments passed, for each person I meet there is another story to be added to a larger story. At times I feel overwhelmed with responsibility to these people, that their friction with my life must be recorded. And little by little they are made permanent in my collection of experience. But I want us to be born again without a history. That there aren’t truths to discover from our past, that we left it behind like all the failures and regrets, a giant pile of rocks and rolled grass, even deer and small animals will be rolled up in this Katamari ball of the things that fall pass our shadows.
We’ll live our days with a motto like, “The More You Know The More You’ll Have To Leave Behind”. We’ll travel the world on motorcycles with our leather jackets and our matching leather gloves. We’ll look as fierce as friendly, surprising kids in backseats by turning a serious road face into a valley full of smiles; we’ll wave as we pass and they will put down their gameboys and tell their parent they want to ride motorcycles with us. Of course their parents will never let them, but when the sun sets and their parents are clocking those extra hours of driving those kids will dream of riding through the country in our newly added sidecars. There will be goggles. There will be adventures to be forged, and there will be new entries in our lives, all of our lives, together, shared on the road.
I couldn’t think of any of way to better put a proposal for escape. And so I rest by my cycle, waiting for the right partner to join me. Thump out on the side of the road, the bike still kicks, I just wait. Deep down inside I wonder if you can hear me now, the voice scratchy from the many days of absence of words. Can you hear me calling, singing with the road, a symphony with the idea of escape. The road turns orange-black as the sun kisses the peaks of trees beyond my stop, I can see the stars begin to wake, and the wind blows a humble sense over me. The reason blows right pass me, never stopping, as it continues with or without you.
*[in smaller text] I have a hard time telling people that I wrote something for them, that they were a source of inspiration, some get frightened by the level of intimacy I can imagine in my fiction, but my words and my affections for those in my life are mine to keep. I write for you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Singing in Unison

(Untitled from The Great Escape, 2008)

I keep telling myself to cherish this moment, to breathe it all in, and not loss one moment of it. But I can’t, and I cough from the lack of fresh air. I can’t hold my breath for very long these days, maybe ninety seconds. I remember when I was full of strength, pulling two minutes without trying, diving deep into the pool and letting out all the air in my lungs that made my body once buoyant. I was a rock on the sea floor. The fish would swim right by, waving these tails in their quick goodbyes.
You were here with me, an entire day, and a late night when the sun went down. Outside your window there was a monster in the shadows, with long narrow fingers, millions maybe, all dancing in unison. I looked away for a second and returned to your attention, we were safe again.
I just sat there wondering how long this night will last, it was too much fun, like being in a submarine. Underwater we didn’t have any humans to judge our fun, to hear them tell us why we should be their friends, to have them join our fun. No…they weren’t allowed to even dive into the waters that surround our vessel. The hatches were sealed tight, for the water and for the potential underwater pirates. We had this moment to ourselves, and what did we do, we just laughed until our bellies hurt, our eyes were wet, and our minds were forgetful. Thank God our submarine got YouTube.
We dove deeper and deeper, learning the secrets of the life beneath the sea, where mermaids and seamen hide when they fear the company of those who walk the Earth, and we were alone…to continue, continuing, and to vanish.

The image above is the beginning of the newest development of Expansions, this being II.V, or 2.5, expect further information on this new development on later post.
Trivia: Expansions III is nicknamed "Banana".

Friday, September 12, 2008

We're Splitting Up

(View from the End, 2008)

Something poetic should be said: Something proper, fitting, and right, for closure, for our goodbyes. But we don’t, and we'll never, it just begins when it ends. Stop calling me. Stop emailing me. You don’t even live there anymore. Why can’t you just forget it. Why can’t we forget it. I’ll try and forget you. I want to. The image of you has been split, you image is no longer with my image, we are two not one, and I’m throwing you away. I’m doing this because I once loved you, because there are emotions that need to be forgotten. There is a charge that needs to be dumped.
I’m going to be a runaway. I’m going to grow a beard now. I’m going to read more, be completely, totally, dedicated to my work. I’ll work harder, I’ll do, not try, I will. All without you, I don’t need you. I can never escape the part of me that was you, and you can never escape the part of me that is you. But please forget, I’ll stay up late at night, doing, not trying. And then when I can’t think of you anymore I’ll see you again. Right there and then, somewhere in the future, your image with the image of me, together as one, and we won’t be able to split. But I’ll try. We’ll try. But we will never do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Climbing the Hill

Remember that place when we were kids, where we found pond of tadpoles and try to catch them. They were fast, too fast even for the fastest of kids. We had our pants rolled up but they still got wet and my mom wondered where we were. We lied, not to lie, but to keep it a secret; our little pond of tadpoles.
Now when I think of that pond, I can imagine being fast enough to catch the tadpoles, but they are no longer tadpoles now, they have grown, transformed, and are adults now. Frogs don’t swim fast enough; they hop on the ground, having little memory of what life is like in the water. There is no challenge in catching frogs, but I catch one anyways. He doesn’t pee in my hands like my 3rd grade teacher told me, he just sits there waiting, calmly and carelessly. What fear must I strike in his frog-size heart, such fear to freeze a great forest frog in the winter only to thaw out in spring, alive again, hopping again? Here in my hands he just looks over this gigantic cliff above his world, seeing the tadpoles swim, seeing his kids grow, grow until they’re frogs too, up here the view is amazing, he is calm and careless, he sees beyond the pond, beyond the grass, and no longer dreams of the outside, his eyes are seeing a life beyond the pond.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Remembering Names

(Untitled 12, Greg and Lake Ontario)

At first moments, when your hand is firmly gripping the hand of a once-stranger in that brief moment they tell you their name is where I usually get lost. I’ll introduce myself and I’ll try to pronounce my name clear enough so that it is remembered, but I expect you to forget. That is where we are, unsure of our names, and in a way we remain strangers. I like that.

I consider these images apart of “summer”, even after I stated the summer portion of this series was completed with 10, make that, 12 triptychs. To me, like the image from earlier this week, is my last moment of summer. And like every summer, there is one image that represents the summer in a form of closure, like the epilogue to a film or book, that reinsuring summary of the ideas and morals behind a story. This story is summer, and like memory, we tend to remember how something starts but always remember how something ends, the in-between fades over time.

(Untitled 13, Darren and Hanslan's Point)


Up next week:

Mystery meat, potentially polaroids, and resurfacing relics. Until then, enjoi the last of what you still call summer, because summer is a state of mind not just a season.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finger Print on the Lens

(Farewell, 2008)

Dissecting a portion off, the meat rips from the bones, the bones shower the garbage can, and the waste is quickly disposed of soon after the cooking is done. The bread is grated and the oil is forming small bubbles gathering to burst. The kitchen fills with smells of a labor for hungry stomachs as a master of his own serves chicken, battered in bread chumps and spices, cooked just right, never to hard, always rightfully cooked.
Once the meal has been eaten the cook returns to the kitchen and cleans. In the sink over rushing water he notices a cut on his middle finger, the wound’s opening is folded over underneath the tap, the blood stops, and something happens. Inside this cook, inside his head, and deeper inside of his brain, a rush of activity rushes the networks of neurons; a small city of lights in a bird's eye view in the night sky.
The memory of a great tower being built appears from the depth of his childhood. How great this tower will be, it will take a million men to complete, some will lose their lives, their children left with widows, and the young boy destine to be a modest cook feels in his heart he will never see this tower completed in his lifetime. He thinks of his children seeing what he sees, a mighty tower, even mightier as when he was their age. The environment around them is different now, it’s the future, cars no longer use roads, they fly in the air. Everything is grey, concrete raises beside this mighty tower but stop to be taken by its shadow, swallowing all height as it rules the skies with the sun.
The memory of its beginnings are lost in the future, with its creators now gone, as a new generation builds skywards; this tower has no memory of its own. As the father to these children grows older his memory fades, his might as a modest cook withers to arthritis, and the man transforms into an old man. He looks up to the tower walking with his grand children as they watch ants in the sky dance with the sun. The man looks back down and sees another generation living underneath this mighty tower, he sees himself, these little eyes, glassy sky blue and shimmering earth brown, they see a tower with no memory, only they’re memory of it.

Most rememberable short stories I read this summer:
After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned by Dave Eggers (from How We Are Hungry)
The Tower by Steven Millhauser (from McSweeney's 25th)
Notes for a Story of a Man Who Will Not Die Alone by Dave Eggers (also from How We Are Hungry)