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Entries in civilized ku, manmade landscape (1347)

kitchen sink # 25 ~ thinking and decisions

spoon ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

In yesterday's entry, I mentioned that I had started to think about, while assembling the doors body of work, how the exercise of assembling all that work into separate collections began to feel something like, for lack of better terminology, an act of closure or the end of an era. However,not that I am about to stop making pictures, but I most definitely felt - and then thought about that feeling - that I was summing up what it was I have been doing for the last decade and a half, picture making wise.

Now I am left with the task of identifying the components which instigated that feeling and subsequent rumination.

Without question there was the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment which derives from putting all those ducks in a row or, to use another adage, that I have managed to be successful at herding cats. It is only natural that at the end (or so I perceive it to be) of that endeavor I was left with the overarching feeling of "now what?"

There was also a feeling that all the separate bodies of work were "accidental". They were all the result of "unintended consequences" which stemmed from my unfocused, referent wise, M.O. of making pictures. That is to write, I picture whatever pricks my eye and sensibilities, regardless of whatever the referent might be. And, what captures my attention the most is the possibility of transforming elements of the "real" 3-dimensional world onto the 2-dimensional representational world of the printed picture. Doing so with attention to the rhythm of surfaces, lines, and values in order to, as Garry Winogrand stated, find out what something will look like photographed.

That picture making M.O. had left me, post assembling endeavor, a little adrift inasmuch as I have been making pictures outside of the typical body of work M.O. - that is, finely focused attention to just one referent or thematic idea. Although, I make no excuses for that because that is quite simply how I'm wired / how I see (literally). That M.O. could be considered to be Part A of the overarching "now what?" question.

And that led directly to another question needing to be answered - having identified 12 individual bodies of work, can I go forth and make pictures which are the result of deliberately seeking out picture making opportunities to fit into a specific body of work? That possibility gives rise to the thought that, while looking for one specific referent, I might, in all probability, miss quite a few other picture making possibilities, whatever they might be.

Consequently, I have answered that question with a resounding "no". With that answer I have closed the door on the "end of an era" feeling. I can not end the making of pictures in the most "natural" (for me) manner in which I know how. My fear is that my picture making will become "forced" and not the spontaneous act that it now is and has been for what seems like forever. So I will continue to make pictures according to the dictates of my person-specic M.O. and let the results fall into whatever collection seems suitable.

And then there is "now what?" needing an answer - after all of my thinking and decision making, I am still left with the feeling / idea that I should pursue a new body of work which is driven by a deliberate and focused attention to specific theme / idea. And furthermore, that that theme / idea be undertaken within the new(ish) picture making paradigm of constructed or staged imagery ala Photoshop.

As an example, see my life without the APA work or my nascent what is a photograph work. Images - I hesitate to call them pictures - which were assembled / constructed from many bits and pieces of some of my existent pictures. In most cases, specifically life without the APA, those finished images were assembled from up to 12-15 different picture sources.

At this time have no specific notion as to what the theme / idea for this work will be. Continuing with and expanding upon the life without the APA or what is a photograph are two possibilities. However, there is also a nagging voice in my head which is trying to convince me - warning to wife, don't faint - to have people / persons be the focus of the new work. You may have noticed that people / persons are almost nonexistent - with the exception of single woman - in my various bodies of work.

In any event, there is still some thinking to do and decisions to be made.
Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 10:44AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments2 Comments

now for something completely different (or not)

covers • click to embiggen
quotes / statement • click to embiggen
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spread 11 • click to embiggen

I believe this collection is the last of the found / scattered bodies of work.

While assembling this body of work, I started thinking about the entire collection of bodies of work and have arrived a decision which I will air out in tomorrow's entry. That decision is tentative and needs some fine tuning and, who knows, it may also come to nothing. Stay tuned.

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 10:00AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

diptych # 126 / civilized ku # 2872-79~ 2 fer 1 • an entry in 2 parts

so close yet so far apart ~ waterpark • golf course views - Jay Peak Resort / Jay, VT. • click to embiggen
tournament champion / player of the game medallions • click to embiggen
ice rink / iPhone picture ~ Jay Peak Resort, Jay, VT. • click to embiggen

Spent Friday- Sunday past at Jay Peak resort in Vermont. I wasn't there to ski, I was there for hockey.

During a day long snowfall, the view from our cottage was just right for quiet relaxation and contemplation. The view from the waterpark bar/balcony was anything but. I leave it up to you to deduce where, outside of the hockey arena, I spent most of my time.

FYI, the iPhone pano picture is of Hugo and his team waiting for the tournament championship game - their last game of the season and the last time they will all be together as a team. In more ways than one, it was very fitting that Hugo scored the first and last goal of the game and, consequently, of the season.

Now on to picture making business ....

window art / 4 squares in a row ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
When making pictures, I most often do not "work" a scene. That is, most often it is one and done, click-of-the-shutter wise. On those occasions when I work it, the variations I make are usually very minor changes in framing. All of which means that my normal M.O. is to go with my first impression and move on.

That written, last week I pictured the above window art as seen in a vacant store. My first impression (and picture) thereof is the tightly framed window and door as seen in the 3rd-from-the-left-picture. However, in this case, I continued to work the scene and made 2 additional wider view pictures.

After processing all 3 of the pictures, I had them grouped together on my screen in order to choose the "winner". It was at that point I experience a very unexpected result. Not only could I not pick a "winner", I arrived at a point where I could not visually separate one picture from another because, in a way I can not adequately explain, when grouped together in a straight line with a 4th framing variation, they seem to be visually all-of-a-piece. My eye can not find a place to land in the grouping. It keeps dancing back and forth, hither and yon across the collective field of view.

The only conclusion that I can arrive at for that reaction is to think that the combination of a relatively monochromatic referent surround together with the vibrant color of the referent(s) themselves creates a kind of eye-brain recognition puzzle that my senses can not stop trying to figure out.

And, surprise, surprise, I like the sense-ation very much. I like it enough to go forth and find more monochromatic / vibrant color, competing wise, scenes in order to see if I can replicate the same result. If successful, I will be off to the races, eye-brain recognition puzzle picture making wise.

Anyone else experiencing the same field of visual energy which I see in the grouping?

civilized ku # 2871 ~ just looking and seeing

hotel hallway and lobby ~ Clifton Park, NY • click to embiggen

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 01:52PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | Comments1 Comment

diptych # 125 / civilized ku # 2870 ~ not so subtle hidden agenda

Union College arena ~ Schenectady , NY • click to embiggen
Shatter Point Hockey Tournament ~ Schenectady , NY • click to embiggen

Hugo's scheduled hockey season is over. However, the team is now engaged in post season tournament play.

This weekend past, they played in a tournament in Schenectady, NY - a NYS Capital District city. 2 of the games, semi-final and championship, were held at the Union College* hockey arena. Hugo's team played in both games.

The team went undefeated in the round-robin play (3-0) earning them participation in the championship game. Their opponent was the tournament host team, the Schenectady Chargers, a high level very well coached hockey team**. A team which they defeated 2-1 - in an intense and closely contested game - in the round robin play and a game in which Hugo scored 1 goal and was, as they say, making stuff happen (play making, puck moving, shots on net, etc.).

Unfortunately 2 things conspired against Hugo's team in the championship game.

#1 - As mentioned, the opponent team was very well coached and they knew, after experiencing Hugo's play firsthand, what they had to do to win the championship game. Namely, get all over #88. A tactic which they executed to perfection with 2 and, at times, 3 players (see action picture in diptych) stuck to Hugo like glue throughout the game.

What the opposing coaches didn't know was the fact that, if Hugo doesn't score, his team doesn't win - a fact which has held true without exception over the course of the entire season. The fact that Hugo's team record is 35-10-2 is testament to how many pucks Hugo has put in the net - 60 at last count.

#2 - While shutting down Hugo obviously helped the other team win, perhaps the biggest factor was the round robin schedule which pitted the 2 teams most likely to met the host team in the championship game - Hugo's team and a team from Massachusetts - against each other in an very early 7:10AM game which ended only 4 hours before the championship game began. That game was vigorously contested inasmuch as both teams were playing for a berth in the championship game. Needless to write, the host team, having played their last round robin game the day before, was well rested. Anyone who thinks that that situation was a scheduling coincidence should contact me so I can sell them a bridge in Brooklyn.

After a scoreless 1st period (in the championship game), Hugo's team started to "lose their legs" midway through the 2nd period and it was only a matter of time before their opponent scored a couple goals. And with Hugo shut down, that was effectively that.

In any event, there's always the next time - which arrives this Friday-Sunday in a tournament in the far reaches of northern Vermont.

FYI, the other picture in the diptych depicts why many hockey dads have sore backs - they're bent over tying skate laces before very game.

*Union College is a small - enrollment is approx. 2100-2200 students - college founded in 1795. Despite it's diminutive student body and the fact that it offers no athletic scholarships, the Union College men's hockey team, the Dutchmen, won the NCAA Division 1 (highest level of collegiate athletics) national Championship last season, besting Minnesota Gophers (enrollment 28,600 and plenty of hockey scholarships).

**The Schenectady hockey program is designated as one of only 17 USA Hockey Model Associations nation wide
Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 at 12:15PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen sink ~ the book / gallery

covers • click to embiggen
quote / statement • click to embiggen
spread 1 • click to embiggen
spread 2 • click to embiggen
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spread 9 • click to embiggen

The kitchen sink body of work is an outgrowth of my kitchen life body of work. In the act of making pictures for the kitchen life series, over time it became apparent that my kitchen sink needed separate attention inasmuch as it presented a very specific referent as opposed to picturing things which depict the generalized idea of life in the kitchen.

Making pictures for the kitchen sink series is a slow go. Even though I am constantly on the lookout for (to my eye and sensibilities) visually interesting arrangements in the sink, picturing opportunities are few and far between due to the fact that the arrangements are found as is / serendipitous / the result of happenstance and not made / constructed. Consequently, there can be long periods during which nothing pricks my eye and sensibilities and, therefore, no kitchen sink picture making.

I have given thought to making arrangements in the sink but have come to the conclusion that doing so would negative the entire point of the endeavor. That is, to recognize the random and serendipitous beauty to be found in the quotidian world.
Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 10:17AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen life # 67 ~ onion skins at midnight 

onion skins at midnight ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 09:59AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

ART: conveys / transports / reflects ~ the book / gallery - it's all connected

covers • click to embiggen
quote / statement • click to embiggen
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spread 10 • click to embiggen

Next up in my body of work organization endeavor is my art reflects work.

Unlike the rain work, this body of work began from the very first picture as a dedicated body of work. A separate folder was created from the start so no emerging-body-of-work recognition was required to cull these pictures from the herd.

All of these pictures were made in Montreal, CA. With the exception of just one picture, they were all made on a single street in Old Montreal - Rue Saint-Paul Est - a target rich environment for this body of work. The majority of the pictures were made during a single trip to Old Montreal.

I would like to add to this body of work and the work in the windows of the galleries on Rue Saint-Paul Est change every month to reflect that month's exhibition or, at the very least, a rotation of works from permanent exhibitors. In effect, there is a densely packed and never ending opportunity for picture making with these referents.

However, in making more pictures for this body of work, I most definitely want to stay with the look to be had on overcast days. In part, because I want the cohesive look of that light from picture to picture and that light seems to work best on a purely technical basis. I have made pictures on sunny days and the contrast is extreme enough that the resulting images just don't blend the elements - window interiors to reflected streetscapes - in a visually harmonious manner.

Consequently, in order to maintain the visual cohesiveness that I want, it seems a number of cloudy day trips to Old Montreal should be put on the calendar.

FYI, these pictures are straight from the camera single exposures. No multiple exposure techniques, no post picture making blending or PS tomfoolery was involved in their making.