Friday, October 30, 2009

Time and Stuff

The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once 
Suppose your life a folded telescope
Durationless, collapsed in just a flash
As from your mother's womb you, bawling, drop
Into a nursing home. Suppose you crash
Your car, your marriage, toddler laying waste
A field of daisies, schoolkid, zit-faced teen
With lover zipping up your pants in haste
Hearing your parents' tread downstairs, all one.

Einstein was right. That would be too intense.
You need a chance to preen, to give a dull
Recital before an indifferent audience
Equally slow in jeering you and clapping.
Time takes its time unraveling. But, still,
You'll wonder when your life ends: Huh? What happened?

--X.J. Kennedy


"Jorge Luis Borges (speaking of blind people), photographed by many, and quoted by even more, felt despair, Dyer noted, because his medium, words, could never describe the simultaneity of everything occurring at once in a given moment in our universe—the ur-realiy of our visible universe—because words (and photographs) are successive, not simultaneous.  But Dyer persists: 'To reconcile the simultaneous and the successive; that is one of the ambitions of these pages,' he writes."

 — Mark Power on writer Geoff Dyer thoughts on photography on Power's blog, the Salt Mine:


I'm thinking about naming my show The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once. I've always liked the simultaneous. It's why I like art but also statistics, indexes, air travel--anything that gives you an overall perspective. Of course I love successive things like novels and movies, too. But in my pictures, it's really the capturing of everything at once that grabs me. 

A sidebar: I suppose that the purpose of space is to keep everything from being in the same spot--maybe I should do some sculpture!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Work, at Last

Thank God it's not all kudo-gathering, paperwork, color-correcting, backing up files, and sending out packets. Some of what I do is make new pictures. Well, the kudo-gathering is also okay. But I like looking out my window for five minutes (top), taking pictures of tourists at the Boston Public Garden (second), listening to tour guides shout as I take pictures at the Granary burial ground (third), and my favorite occupation, standing on the Mass Ave bridge for half an hour (bottom). None of these pictures are quite finished, but I think they're close.

ICA/Foster Prize

I opened up an email last week, and it began, "You have been nominated for the ICA [Boston]’s James and Audrey Foster Prize..." 

This is a big honor, and what I like about it especially is that what the nominators (50 area art professsionals) are looking for is innovation, not just for who's best. The field is winnowed to 20 by January, and early in the year, 4 finalists emerge who will get solo shows at the ICA. Out of the 4, one gets the prize itself, 25 large. Nervous! Happy! Plenty of time later to be disappointed!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Caleb Cole

Caleb Cole

Caleb Cole uses a picture of mine on his blog Existing Light to make a comparison of fake v. real. I posted my thoughts over there on his very interesting blog. Also, Caleb's work is really good and funny. He poses in used clothing, imagining himself in the previous owner's original setting. (Sidebar: the above picture seems to be taken just a few blocks from my house, in front of the VFW post.) Look at his photo web site here. What I like is that, while his pictures might be said to "examine identity," his identity stubbornly remains, despite the odd trappings and scenes. The overwhelming feeling I get is that I am looking into the soul of Caleb himself (or the character played by Caleb in the pictures) as he moves through various incarnations.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Press

My work was featured on, which, according to Wikipedia, is the fourth largest Russian-language online news outlet. I got hundreds of hits on my Web site from it. This recurring culutre feature is apparently sponsored by a liquor company. It's called the Dewarist. I'm big in Russia!

The Boston Globe

The show I'm in at the Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA, was reviewed yesterday in the Boston Globe. That's my picture taking up most of the lefthand page. Mark Feeney describes my picture as a "glorious cacophony." I'll take it. Click here to read all about it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

(click to enlarge)

It's a sad fact that I don't feel quite alive unless I've got a new picture going. So it's both pleasure and a relief, after a month or doing other things, to be in the middle working on this one, which is of the MFA near closing time on a Sunday. I took about 400 pictures over an hour or so to make this composite, which is not done yet. My wife (that's her with the luscious hair, just to the right of the last column on the wheelchair ramp) and I had  intended to go to  the Greene & Greene exhibition, which was of special interest to Margaret. I stood outside taking pictures instead.