Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I really don't consume a lotta photojournalism --- but I think the work on Noor is so incredible. Most of the photographers really play with film/color/and alternative ways of showing
stills and storytelling.

About the site ::

“We don’t apologize for ruining your day and making you think hard about things,” said Noor photographer Samantha Appleton, answering the complaints about the presentation. “Some people probably will have a problem with that, and those are the people we’re trying to reach the most.”

pep bonet

jon lowenstein -- chicago

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Faulkner's Nobel Prize Banquet Speech

Preparing my portfolio for review this week, I realized there's still so much to learn and room for me to mature not only as a photographer but also as a citizen of this country and of this world. I noticed that I've veered away from what I used to better understand ... photography is not always about making a "beautiful" picture. It is really about capturing the journey of the photographer or the subject ... the journey of light, the mind, the journey of feeling, the experience of experiencing and understanding -- wisdom. I've gotten caught up in the aesthetics of things and have forgotten the personal, the emotional -- I've lost the drive to capture that "magical image" which holds beauty as well as knowledge, reality, truth, pure feeling.

At the end of class a few days ago, one of my english professors told us to go out and take on the wide wild sea that's before us. I know she wasn't completely serious, but I think, at least at this point in my life, that I often forget to take a good look of what's really in front of me. The world is warm, cold, funny, serious, sparkling, dull, banal, complex, confusing, clear  ___ insert your own adjective, etc. etc. etc. And if photography or art can help us to internalize these layer of meaning scatter throughout the world, why should we not use it as a medium of exploration? This is getting really existential, but I've realize that I need to use the camera to explore these realities and complexities. I want to say more than "this is a really pretty picture." It can be pretty, but why is it pretty, what does it capture that makes it beautiful or smart or real or unclear. 

I'll end with a piece from Faulkner's Nobel prize acceptance speech... (Written about the horrific aftermaths of war... but I think we can still apply this same spirit and wisdom to our own creative pursuits.)

"I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

surprisingly good advice from mickey rourke

Also, nice choice of location

Richard Burbridge :: more of his portfolio on Art + Commerce

Here's a Q&A with him that's pretty good :: from hint mag

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Imogen Cunningham :: on the photographer

"One must be able to gain an understanding at short notice and close range of the beauties of character, intellect, and spirit so as to be able to draw out the best qualities and make them show in the outer aspect of the sitter. To do this one must not have a too pronounced notion of what constitutes beauty in the external and, above all, must not worship it. To worship beauty for its own sake is narrow, and one surely cannot derive from it that esthetic pleasure which comes from finding beauty in the commonest things." 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

R3 Project

A group of people living together in Barcelona created a blog about urban eco-friendly living :: R3 Projects. They renovated an old flat and publish their progress on the site. What's cool is that the blog has turned into more of a collection of artistic projects than just an explanation of what they're doing. Creatively and environmentally inspiring... video tour of the flat

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shepard Fairey

Awesome exhibit of work from poster designer/propagandist Shepard Fairey going on right now at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. Even if you're not familiar with his overall body of work, I'm sure you've seen his Obama campaign poster. Here's the NYtimes article. Check out his website: obeygiant.com.

Disclaimer: these images don't even give you a moderately complete overview of all that he's done creatively over the past decade. Definitely check him out.


Friday, March 13, 2009

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
" Dr. Howard Thurman

Thursday, March 12, 2009

stevens and the imagination

Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour
Wallace Stevens

Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.


Stumbled upon Indexhibit, an application/template for designers' portfolios. A lot of the user sites look elegant, beautiful, and clean. gorgeous stuff

Dulce Pinzon

Saw an incredible exhibit, "Caras Vemos, Corazones no Sabemos (faces we see, hearts we don't know): The Human Landscape of Mexican Immigration" at The Museo Alameda  in San Antonio. Featured work from photographer Dulce Pinzon. Pinzon asks us to rethink our cultural obsession with the mythical superhero and acknowledge the real, often quite, heroes of our everyday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I'm still trying to decide how I feel about one of the pieces Nick Knight posted on SHOWstudio
To get the full effect of the project, you have to go to the site and watch his four minute fashiony/surrealist kind of kaleidoscope of light, image, and sexuality. I still don't know if it's beautiful or just weird and falsely pretentious. I guess what annoys me more than anything is the title -- I looked it up, and insensate means void of senses, without feeling, cold, foolish...etc. -- blah, wow, ok ... I mean, fashion is all about extravagance, but is Knight really just balling up all of the overused/over-sexualized conventions we see in a lot of fashion pictures and presenting them in a cool little pdf package you can print off and stick on your bedroom wall (he mentions each "print" is number, what?)) ... On a more positive note, the video, no doubt, draws you in. The movement is beautiful, it's trippy in a positive way, and overall visually stunning. I guess what it's lacking, for me, is the ability to become something smarter than what we always see. I realize I'm not the one to talk, but it'd be cool to see someone with so much power and influence give us something new to think about. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

the joys of the canadian tuxedo

I'm in Texas where head-to-toe denim is endemic.

pros: lottsa cotton, lottsa pockets

more pictures to come...

heart breakers

(skip to bottom to see poem)

I realized I haven't posted for a while, but now I'm on my break in San Antonio with some down time.

Last week, my poetry professor showed this image of Elizabeth Bishop and her fellow poet/lover Robert Lowell at the beach. I am definitely charmed by this relationship that lasted on and off for such a large part of their lives. One of my friends was telling me about Words in Air, which is a collection of their writings (over 1,000 pgs of letters). The NYorker published a great article a couple months ago about them and the book. I haven't read much of Lowell's work, but whenever I re-encounter Bishop, I'm always thrown off for a couple days. She just seems to say so much I wish I could but don't know how. 

Bishop's poem, "Man-Moth" (inspired by newspaper's misspelling of "mammoth") is about the creative process. It questions if individual artistic pursuits (or the imagination) can honestly survive within a common reality we share. Bishop quietly celebrates the artist's natural difference and his ability to be unlike other men. I love how the artists rides backwards on the train and searches the limits of the world unlike everyone else... he squeezes through the cracks... even though he's never successful. In weird ways, I think both Lowell and Bishop, and many other people who love to create, find common ground in the subject's pursuits. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Here, above,
cracks in the buildings are filled with battered moonlight.
The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.
It lies at his feet like a circle for a doll to stand on,
and he makes an inverted pin, the point magnetized to the moon.
He does not see the moon; he observes only her vast properties,
feeling the queer light on his hands, neither warm nor cold,
of a temperature impossible to records in thermometers.

But when the Man-Moth
pays his rare, although occasional, visits to the surface,
the moon looks rather different to him. He emerges
from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks
and nervously begins to scale the faces of the buildings.
He think thinks the moon is a small hole at the top of the sky,
proving the sky quite useless for protection.
He trembles, but must investigate as high as he can climb.

Up the facades,
his shadow dragging like a photographer's cloth behind him
he climbs fearfully, thinking that this time he will manage 
to push his small head through that round clean opening
and be forced through, as from a tube, in black scrolls on the light.
(Man, standing below him, has no such illusions.) 
But what the Man-Moth fears most he must do, although
he fails, of course, and falls back scared but quite unhurt.

Then he returns
to the pale subway so cement he calls his home. He flits,
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way
and the train starts at once at its full, terrible speed,
without a shift in gears or a gradation of any sort.
He cannot tell the rate at which he travels backwards.

Each night he must
be carried through artificial tunnels and dream recurrent dreams.
Just as the tier recur beneath his train, these underlie
his rushing brain. He does not dare look out the window,
for the third rail, the unbroken draught of poison,
runs there beside him. He regards it as a disease
he has inherited the susceptibility to. He has to keep
his hands in his pockets, as others must wear mufflers.

If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It's all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye. Then from the lids
one tear, his only possession, like the bee's sting, slips.
Slyly he palms it, an if you're no paying attention
he'll swallow it. However, if you watch, he'll hand it over,
cool as from underground springs and pure enough to drink

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