Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garland Prairie or Why I Don't Share Everything Online

Sheep Barn

Monsoon Homestead
     I've been working this year on a new photo project. I have no idea when I'll show the work. But even after having started it several months ago, and not being able to work on it as much as I would like, I am still excited about it. (And, for me, that's saying something.)
     I can tell you that it involves how we regard place and how we inhabit, or no longer inhabit, a space; how something as sentimentally valued as a home or a personal item crafted by a loved one can easily become abject, cast off, and left to rot. It's another chapter in how I feel about memory and I'm curious about how it will be received, or if it will be readable by anyone other than me, or those who sit through my lengthy explanations of it.
     I have been hesitant to share it online for several reasons, but mainly because when art is experienced virtually, it is just that, virtually experienced. With painting and sculpture we can see, if we are attentive, that we aren't really experiencing the work first hand or in person when we view it online. With photography, however, we tend to forget that a photograph is still a physical object crafted by an artist.
     With some phones sporting very good cameras, photography has been at once democratized and cheapened. I believe that, just as pounding a few nails into a board doesn't make you a carpenter, taking pictures and applying filters on Instagram doesn't make you an artist. And the thing I dread most is that you will be viewing my artwork on your smartphone's tiny little screen, in whatever app you prefer, while in-dispose, rather than facing it at its intended scale in a space and time set aside for such a purpose.
     That being said, while I have elected not to toss the bulk of my work into the sea of snapshots online, I do create some photos for the express purpose of sharing in virtual reality. They are often images created to accompany a narrative, or one-off shots that won't be printed but tell a quick little story of their own without text. So, here are some shots from recent trips to Garland Prairie where I was working on the aforementioned project. Keeping my word to myself, these photos are not part of the project, but by-products of time spent in the field. Click on an image to enlarge and enjoy.

Barn Interior

Sleeping Porcupine

Low Hanging Juniper (Porcupine's Napping Tree)

Michele's Friend

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