Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Juicing through the summer.

  Compared to the alchemy of the darkroom, juicing is just raw industrial-grade mechanical work.  It's about like mixing darkroom chemicals.  You have to do this to do that.  I hunt and gather the raw vegetables from the stores I shop, looking for ones with some inside secret, but I've seen enough modern farming practices that even the "organic" labels merely indicate I'm about to pay more just to have bug legs in the Kale.

  Still, you have to be organized to be an artist, so I lay out the ingredients for one concoction or another and a sharp knife and I start feeding them into the chipper.  I'm currently wearing out a mid-priced juicer with a good reputation.  I can hear the bearings and see the wear on the blades and crush surfaces.  It sings no discernible song, just a soul-less post-modern whine.

  But this is the fight I'm in and these are the weapons at hand.  Katie has a taste for this or a taste for that and I was more amazed than she when I took over the kitchen.

  I didn't ask for any of this.  Katie fighting her life out on the couch and me hither and yon like a frenzied dueling second.  I make lists, I rub feet, I peel drug patches, I move the dog, I do laundry, I toss out garbage, I clean toilets, I detect fevers.  I juice.  I live to serve this ship, but it's not a voyage I would choose on my own.  Every once in a while someone among our amazing group of support people will ask how I am doing.  As if it matters.  Who cares?  I certainly don't.  When it's over there will be time, (because humans always think they have time), to de-scale myself of whatever armor or attachments I've acquired.  In the meantime a terrific commission from the Tyler Art Museum and a few shows here and there are keeping me searching.  Plus my devotion to Katie and our little household up here on the Blackfork.  I may blanch and I may blink, but my foot.  Will not.   Be moved.

  As one might expect, some folks were moved, but now we are at the place where the souls who couldn't stand the heat and the process made excuses and quietly eased away.  I understand.  It's a private war we are waging here.  Best wishes and good luck, little hearts.

  I can't seem to find a Biblical verse that applies.  Favorites involve wastelands and wandering.  Early Job.  Genesis.  Exodus.  I'd prefer something about traversing the valley of death, without fear, because I am armed to the teeth.  Or something about God being good, REALLY good, but he drinks, see?....and there just isn't that line anywhere to be found.   Like with most everything, its there but has to be teased out.

  I'd regarded juicing as a vanity.  (Why not just EAT the vegetable?)  Experience is revealing a little more of the interplay and subtleties of mixing flavors and aftertastes.  As the mixture goes through the juicer and then filters into the refrigerator jar I keep up with the ingredients fresh off the mesh.  I hadn't understood apple sauce, (basically a by-product apparently of...juice.) and certainly hadn't tasted it fresh, much less with a touch of ginger or jalapeƱo infused.  Lately I've taken to throwing in a beet or a plum just to get them as an undertone to the main taste. Anything stuck in the filter usually gets fingered up just to monitor the process.  Always interesting stuff.  Maybe this IS healthy and good for you.  Have a sip of carrot and ginger, you T-cells, then go and KICK some molecular K-RAST ass.

  The maintainence of the whole catastrophe is a drudge, like painting or chopping wood.  Nobody is eager to do it, but when you are finished there a sense of satisfaction.  Then just like mowing a lawn, you have to do it again.

  Killing Gaia, of course.  Electricity and manufacturing and garbage bags and paper towels and water flow and soap.  Thermostat at 72 in August.  Let the power grid sing.  She's staying cool.

  And probably it will add some inflection to art-making.  I'm searching with silver and lens and light for visions never before seen in nature or culture.  Maybe some collision of kale and celery will help get a foothold to see the next thing.

Learning something you need to know.

I'm interested in ideas and where they come from and try to notice when a new one appears.  Late in the week I learned two new things, both of which I needed to know.  They weren't grippingly important- one involved building frames, and the other a film processing tip, but both were unencountered new ideas.

Once I get a visual idea I'm interested in pursuing, I work out the details of shooting it in my head and let it morph a few times, then round up the subject matter and set it up.  The details shift at every step.   For some reason, I have to actually burn a piece of 8X10 film, then immediately I see the next incarnation.  Then I shoot that an see the next one.  If I can put on the brakes enough to go process film and contact it, then there is another level staring me in the face.  Takes about three shooting sessions to get an idea worked out.  I'm interested in visual ideas that have never occurred in nature or culture.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Two sisters, stacked canoes.

Two images from a little shoot last Saturday.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

100 Tylerites.

Irons in the fire this year, and lots of fire.  I proposed a project for the Tyler Art Museum called "100 Tylerites.  I'm in full mortal combat with the shooting.  Using roll film and Hasselblad.  Nice to use old workhorse after a bit, though I did shoot some trail people at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon during AIR so it wasn't that dusty.

Woman with dog, Bright Angel Point Trail.

  Some of ideas I think up and build out.  Some I search and find.  Every photo shoot always has a problem and a surprise in it, even careful plans.  Hoping for delightful, never imagined images. 

  The shooting part isn't a problem, but the scheduling can be.  Usually if subjects have a list of questions its a bad sign.  I go for three cancellations, then move on down the list.  Usually chasing about five people at a time, plus going where people are and winging it. Doing this all solo.

  I'm shy, so I've learned to push through that: walking into birthday parties at the park, approaching people in grocery lines and stores.  Judges, teachers, business folks, garbage men, sickbays, wanderers, neighbors.  I missed catching a man with the most interesting and ugly face at Walmart last month.

  So far, I'm in control of the list.  I've warned the museum about the danger of having any influence on the list- folks will be mad they weren't on it.  I'd rather them be mad at me than the museum.  I do ask a few people for input, but most of it is folks I already know.

  Shooting folks everyone knows, like the mayor and sheriff, but many people that are only known in their community.  When I can, they are in a historical background that refers to the city.  Captions will be one or two sentences, saying where who they are.

  Averaging three rolls a day.  Processing every few days.  HP5 in Pyrocat on reels.  Proofing out often and looking them over with cropping bars.  Not cropping much if at all except by camera viewfinder.

Jamal Logan and grandfather.

Jamal Logan at swimming lesson.

Peace marcher.

Clowns at the park.

Master gardners.

Linda, Cox's Grill.

Rusty Mitchum, Skunk Hollow.

Sherrie and daughter.

Doc Muckleroy at Doc Witt's house.

Gibert and Gus Ramirez.

Michael McClendon, Vintner.

Councilman Don Warren boarding the Red Line.

Hayes Caldwell.

David Demic with Harry Jenkins.

Alan and Henry Bell at the Marsh House.

RobinHood Brians, recording studio.

Dennis Smith, TxDot, on Loop 49.

    Staying with square format for matting.  Printing 14X14 I think.  So far just shooting and proofing, since tap water temp is 89 degrees.  Showing proofs to museum on September 1st and wrapping shooting about November 1st.

  Images getting a little bolder as I go along.  The interior mind talk is complex.  I'm pushing into what I don't know, doing things I don't do.

Mary Jane McNamera.

Mackenzie, Village Bakery.

Emma Grace at birthday.


Matt and Breck Watson, railroad depot.

Dr. Bob Peters, weatherman.

Joe Black, farmer.