It’s been a while!! Just got the camera back from across the Atlantic. It traveled a bit to France, Italy, Bali, and Norway. Excited to do some more work with this project and send it to the next few people. It has a WAYS to go.
Hands have been such a recurring theme in the project so far. I love this self-portrait Iris M. Crawford made for the project with her time with the camera. Iris is a poet from New York. (You should check out her poetry at http://www.irissblossoming.com)
Finally back in the darkroom to process rolls of film from the last four people to do the project.
In the picture below are all the chemicals and one urine sample.
What’s up, everybody. Have a new battery and our camera is ready to travel again. (Kind of excited we drained the battery.) Next week i will FINALLY get to processing new rolls of film. Thrilled on where our camera will be traveling next: it’ll be in my home town for a week then off to Monaco, then South Korea, Norway, Finland, and back to my home country for a spell. It’s traveling to all the places I never can. I think that is what makes it so exciting to me – part of the inspiration for this project came from my favorite television show. It’s been long off the air, but the show takes place in a tiny town in Alaska. One day the town receives a package addressed to someone who doesn’t live there. The postage on the package is from places all over the world. After days of curiosity, the town decides as a community to open the package. Inside they find items from each place the package traveled. There is a note inside too from a little boy who wanted to travel the world but couldn’t. He sent the package out into the world to places he’ll never go asking the people from each place to leave an item inside indicative of their hometown then send the package on its way to a destination of their choosing in hopes one day it would travel around the world.
“For that instant, he looked like his own paddle. There was a song in his heart. It crept to his lips but only the water and the wind could hear. You little traveler, you made the journey, the long journey. You now know things I have yet to know, you little traveler. You were given a name a true name in my father’s lodge. Good medicine, little traveler. You are truly a paddle person.” – Paddle to the Sea
(Photo by: Frances Jakubek during her time with our camera.)
Happy New Year, everyone. I’ll be posting new material soon. I have four rolls of film to process covering the next four people to do the project and I’m working on a little video to post about that. Our camera will be traveling to the Ukraine next!
In the meantime, I’ve been working on some personal work getting it ready for an exhibition in a couple weeks. If you are in my hometown of Rochester NY, come check it out. The photo with all the little details about the show is below.
Was so thrilled Dr. Panning wanted to be a part of this project. She taught the one and only graduate class I took. One of the assignments for the class was to create a syllabus for a creative writing class I would teach and then proceed to teach the class a lesson from the syllabus. I drafted my syllabus on biography and the self, and it was a complete disaster! (Dr. Panning reassures me it was not, but it was.) Firstly, I had only male authors on my syllabus, a fact which Dr. Panning questioned me on in front of the class – a valid question too for which i had no real reply other than I just picked my favorite autobiographies. Secondly, I got into an argument with one of the students while I taught my lesson. (Pro tip – don’t do that.) I had this grand vision of the class reading Franz Kafka’s short story The Bridge followed by this equally grand discussion on how the story illustrates biography being shaped by our understanding or misunderstanding of our true self (if there is a true self or nature). This… didn’t happen. The more it didn’t happen, the more frustrated I became and probably took it out on a student. To think that thinking people should think the way you think they ought to think is to think wrongly. Lessoned learned.
Anyway, years later, I have a blog on self-portraiture. (I guess i’m still trying to figure out the self.) Dr. Panning’s photos are spectacular! In addition to being a professor of creative writing, she is an author, and you can really see that in the images she made. Her images are of objects and environment. You can see collections of memory in the frame – in doll heads, a father’s barber’s chair, or a recipe and her interaction with them. In some photos, Dr. Panning puts a veil in-between the camera and herself. She, like many of you who are going to do this project or already had, is not a photographer. I find that brave of all of you and your work has been awesome – seriously really awesome. I am also finding themes and similarities in many of your images. Excited to see more and explore these similarities.
Here are some of Anne’s photos. Check out some of her books too! You can find them on Amazon (and you should read her book Butter – just do a search).
Sometimes photos just work really well together. I love these two photos juxtaposed. One is from Dr. Anne Panning and the other from Kate Lovering. Dr. Panning made some awesome photos I will post a bit later, but for now: