Friday, August 26, 2011

New work thoughts.

Recently, I have been posting work that’s different from most of what I have been doing. Although I have played with image layering before, at this time I find myself drawn not only to take photos from the day and rotate and layer, but also to take photos with the specific intent to rotate and layer. The results are often kaleidoscopic, with little or no evidence of the original image or images in the final work. Or the original images are there, but layered in such as way as to create a new apparently shape or structure, so that the eye sees an image of one thing, and then has to work to tease out the original images.

This is definitely interesting work to me, and I intend to continue doing it. I actually did similar things using copy machines when I was in college… I’d copy an image, and then blow it up or shrink it, make multiple copies, cut and paste with other images, and keep manipulating and copying, cutting and pasting, until I had something that bore little resemblance to what I started with.

I have some deeply felt ideas about creating these works that I have always had with any creative endeavor. I don’t agree with these ideas, really – they aren’t thought out on my part. I find them set up, rules set up by some part of me beyond my influence, and while I can try to work against them, it’s a futile effort. I have to follow their dictates. The one that’s clearest to me is this:

Source material is a Perishable Good.

Photographs when freshly taken are crisp and wholesome and good. Over time, they lose their freshness and their taste. The minerals and vitamins lose their potency. The creative process involves some sort of alchemy so that the finished work takes the power of the ingredient photo(s), magnifies it, and preserves it. But this process only works when the source material is fresh. So I can’t create work with photographs not taken that very day.

This applies to my work only. Other people can take a roll of photos and edit them over days or months, even, and I appreciate their work and don’t judge it or find the photos stale or tasteless. Which is very weird. But there you go. I never said this made sense.

As you can imagine, making images that involve a lot of editing is made more interesting when you can only use images taken that day. It means that every morning is fresh, unhindered by what happened yesterday. But it also means that I am more limited in what I can incorporate in my work. And it means that if I don’t have a lot of time that day, there’s not going to be any creation that day. Which will have to do.

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