Speaking at ICA, San Jose

ICA

Hey Team,

I’m speaking at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose on May 14th. This is rare for me. Turn me loose talking about artists and technology. Will probably mention the old Blurb sidekick, but it’s really more about using the existing tools to tell the story you want to tell while keying on the creation of original works, which in my opinion is the only reason to use any of the technology. So, if you are around hit me up and stop by.

One Side to the Other

Images made within moments of one another. Wandering amid the masses of beach dwellers. Just shaking the dust off. A snap here, a snap there. Looking more than shooting. The distance is what is troubling at first, after so long in front of the screen, protected. Not here. Everything is open to the elements, including my eyes which dry and then water like a newborn. My depth is not quite right, but I know it and take visual precaution. My fingers tremble over the dials, a routine that comes back quickly no matter how long I’ve been away, and now, when I look down, the numbers are fuzzy. Yes, I’m that guy now. The one who lifts the spectacles to see what is so clearly right in front of him. Age destroys ego in most, and I can see myself leveling off in regard. “Know your limits,” someone wiser once said. Mine are clearly, or not so clearly, defined. I need no map to see the edges of the flat Earth. One boot hangs on the edge, but the other is dug in, braced and defiant.
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The camera allows me to become invisible. I know, I know, that’s impossible, but I beg to differ. A physical meditation if you pursue it long enough. I swear. You are there, and then you blend into the swatch kit of color that life provides. I turn one way and slow the shutter, pan through the railing. People running. A rangefinder so I need to compensate for not seeing clearly the frame I need to see. Who knows? And then a slow path to the other side where a woman in white strikes a pose for me, only not for me, but for someone I can’t see. Thank you.
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Spacing. It’s all about the spacing. I know this isn’t something that will live on paper, or even in my mind for any length of time, but this image deserves respect only for the spacing. The elements are there, in harmony with the environment. Open, sandy, spacious, limitless, broad, minimal. Ya, that’s it, broad but minimal. We all have a wheelhouse and this is mine. I like to dissect. Need to actually and when I do I’m so happy it feels guilty. A secret I tell to only myself. You want to know this feeling? Just go. Just go and press the button. Again and again.
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Behind the Orange Curtain Cover

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Here is the cover to my Orange County book. I’ve CASUALLY been working on this for YEARS, but don’t really have my heart in it. Orange County really doesn’t light my fire if you know what I mean, so I’m not dreaming about this project. The cover…I know and have.

Wrong font, size and placement but image is what I want. Do I know these people? No. Did I talk to them? No. Do I know what is going on? No. Was I incredibly fortunate the person standing is wearing an ORANGE shirt? Yes. And that is precisely why I like it. It’s just damn strange, like this place. Proof that it pays to carry a camera while on your bike. You just never know.

Bookmakers I Like: Luc Heasley

Behold the latest installment of the ongoing series “Bookmakers I Like.” This particular vignette features long time friend Luc Heasley who makes his living with his hands. He also uses wood, glue, a pencil, a few different saws and a variety of other things I can’t describe or understand. Luc and I are working on a project together and unbeknownst to me he made a Blurb book, which happens to be the criteria for me doing a film about you. Well, actually, his girlfriend made the book, but he benefits by default.
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His work ranges from what appears to be the simple(to my entirely untrained eye.) to the complex and sophisticated. All I know for sure is that when I look at what Luc makes I know I could never match it even if I knew what I was doing, but I don’t, which settles that point once and for all. Now, I did make a bookshelf in shop class in 1984, something I still have, but there isn’t a real right angle on the entire thing. It’s a miracle it works at all, and this little unsightly beast was enough to steer me away from using my hands. (Yes, a variety of jokes would apply here.)

As we get further and further into the “Digital Age” I, and apparently many, many others, have a growing appreciation for all things made my hand, all things crafted and sans computer assistance. I also have great appreciation for things that last, and both of these loves are covered with the artifacts that Luc is creating and ultimately leaving behind. Will an invading army find my digital files? Will the archeologists of the future sort the rubble of what was once Santa Fe and unearth my laptop? Maybe, but I really hope not. I’d hate to bore future people. But what they will find, I’m guessing, is the kind of stuff that Luc is creating.
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Personally, I took one look at what he was making and immediately began scheming to see how I could collaborate with him. We’ve come up with two projects.

Stay tuned Smogranch reader, stay tuned.