CHROMA

BEGINING:


WE SEE WITH TWO LENES AND OUT THROUGH OUR TWO EYES, PHOTOGRAPHY GIVES US ONE LENS AND BECAUSE OF THAT MONOCULAR VISION WE LOSE DEPTH, THE IMAGE FLATTENS OUT. WE STILL SEE REALITY, WE FEEL THAT THE IMAGE IS REAL AND SHOWS US SOMETHING TRUE OF THIS WORLD. OF COURSE, THE DISCOURSE OF THE LAST 50 YEARS HAS BEEN TO FLATTEN THAT TRUTH OUT, AND TO SAY THE PHOTO IS NOT REAL, THAT THE FALSE IS THE OPERATIVE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY. BUT I ASK YOU WHAT A 8 X 10 SNAPSHOT OF THE CRUCIFIXION WOULD HAVE DONE TO THE LAST 2000 YEARS OF WESTERN HISTORY, AND/OR, THAT WE ARE NOT ASKING POLICE TO WEAR BODY SKETCH BOOKS TO WORK. REALITY IS THE ESSENCE OF THE ALL THE NEW MEDIUMS, BE IT PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM, OR VIDEO. WHEN I CAME UP WITH THE COMBINATION OF IMAGE AND ABSTRACT SHAPES I KNEW I HAD EXPANDED THAT REALITY. THE POSSIBILITIES OPENED UP TO SOME INFINITE HORIZON WHERE THE DISTANCE WAS WHAT I WANTED AND NOT WHAT WAS ONLY IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA. PRINTING IN ABRACT SHAPES GAVE ME A NEW SYNTAX TO WORK WITH, A WAY TO MAKE NEW SENTENCES, PARAGRAPHS, TO WRITE A NEW VISUAL STORY THAT DANCED BETWEEN REAL AND ABSTRACT. THIS WAS EXCITEMENT, TO TELL A STORY WITH A NEW LANGUAGE. PIECING IT TOGETHER FOR A CONTEMPORARY WORLD, THE WORLD THAT I LIVED IN AND NOT A HISTORICAL PASTICHE OF FORM AND CONTENT. THE DENSITY OF THE STORY COULD BE ANYTHING I WANTED, VARYING HORIZONTALLY ACROSS THE PICTURE PLANE, CREATING DEPTH INTO THE IMAGE, ADDING OR SUBTRACTING TIME AND ITS VARIOUS HORIZONS, OR CREATING A CORSO/RECORSO OF A CIRCULAR TIME.
NOW IT IS GETTING INTERESTING, BUT HOW TO HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER AND NOT JUST BE A COLLAGE OF MATERIAL? I FEEL THAT WEAVING INTO THE “REAL" IMAGE GIVES THE PICTURE AN AUTHORITY, A REASON FOR BEING, EVEN IF TOTALLY ARBITRARY THAT SIMPLE COLLAGE AVOIDS. LET’S LOOK AS THIS REAL, WE KNOW IT WHEN WE LOOK AT A PHOTOGRAPH SOMETHING WAS/IS THERE, EVEN A HINT IS OFTEN ENOUGH TO ESTABLISH THAT GESTALT, THAT PRESENCE THAT ALLOWS THIS TO OCCUR. NOW WE HAVE TURNED THIS REAL ON ITS HEAD AND BROUGHT IN THE ARBITRARY TO MAKE THE CONCRETE, TO MAKE A NEW REALITY, AN ACTIVE PERCEPTION FOR THE VIEWER. ANYTHING ANYWHERE CAN BE SHOWN OR MADE UP IN THIS WORLD.
ACTIVE INDEED. IF WE DO ALLOW THIS INFINITE, THIS ALL, THIS EVERYTHING, THIS ALWAYS, WE HAVE ENTERED THE WORLD OF FREEDOM, THE WORLD OF THE ARTIST. BUT, I DON’T THINK SO! I THINK IT IS RESTRICTION THAT LEADS THE WAY. IN GRANTING LICENSE TO THE ALL WE HAVE A COLLAGE, A BOUNDLESSNESS THAT MAY SERVE, BUT THE RESTRICTION LEADS TO MORE, BY STICKING TO THE REALITY OF THE PICTURE, BY RESTRICTING MYSELF TO THIS POSSIBILITY I WEAVE A DIFFERENT STORY.


EXCITMENT:


IT STARTED WITH EXCITEMENT, AND THEN IT WAS EXCITEMENT: WITH COLOR. THE SYNTAX OPENED OUT IN NEW AND UNEXPECTED WAYS. COLOR GIVING ME A DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY THAT I WAS ONLY VAGULY AWARE OF IN MY B & W WORK. MUCH OF THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD SEEMED TO BE AT MY DOOR STEP, RANGING FROM ART HISTORICAL WORK SUCH AS DURER WOODCUTS, TO MOST RECENT APOLLO SPACE PROGRAM IMAGERY. THE CROSS HATCHING OF SPACE SHOTS TO SUBTLE USE OF THE AWL ON A BLOCK OF WOOD, SUDDENLY IT ALL MADE SENSE, AND I WAS IN POSSESSION OF A TECHNIQUE THAT I COULD USE; SAY IT ALL. NOW WITH THE CAMERA CAPTURING ANYTHING I WANTED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND THE ADDITION OF ALL THE ELEMENTS THAT HAD BEEN ELUSIVE IN PHOTOGRAPHY, HISTORY, GRAPHICS, TIME MOTION, ABSTRACT SHAPES OF MY CHOOSING AND ANY AND ALL COLORS OF THE RAINBOW. I COULD MOVE FROM SIMPLE EXCLAMATIONS TO COMPLEX RICH HISTORICAL NOVELS AND EPIC POEMS. ANY METER WAS MINE TO USE FROM DACTYLIC HEXAMETER TO IAMBIC PENTAMETER. THE STORY COULD EXPAND TO ANYTHING AVAILABLE, AS IF I WAS AT A TYPEWRITER AND ANY WORD/IMAGE WAS MINE TO USE.
COLOR GAVE ME POSSIBILITES THAT I HAD NOT WORKED WITH IN B & W PHOTOGRAPHY. THERE IS A DEEP, AND A SYNESTHESIA THAT COLOR PROVIDES, PROPELING THE IMAGE AND SHAPES TO A FULLER MEANING, MORE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. A WEAVING THAT ALLOWS FOR A PAUSE AND REFLECTION IN THE IMAGE, BETWEEN, AND BEHIND, THAT A SIMPLE SHIFT OF B & W TONES ONLY HINT AT.
SIMPLICITY REMOVED, THE INTERNAL IMAGES NOW PLAY OFF EACH OTHER AS THE IMAGES IN A POEM, RICOCHETING AROUND IN THEIR SONIC AND RHYMING CADENCE.

UMBRA_EL MIRAGE



I am visual bilingual, I see in Abstract, and Image. Combining the language of painting and the language of photography one has left the territory of clear distinctions. I want to dissolve the everyday in the river of forgetfulness and arrive on the opposite bank, far from the center; landing at a new place. In looking at our visual landscape I choose elements that add up to a new whole, a visual harmony of “rhyming shapes" creating a visual syntax to view our times. This recombination of diverse elements gives me a place to visualize our world in a new way. My experience of growing up in Southern California with the work of Karl Benjamin, and John McLaughlin among others was a rich introduction to the abstract painting of this time.

REALITY IS THE CURRENCY OF PHOTOGRAPHY.   ALL THE NEW MEDIUMS INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPHY, HAVE BEEN REALITY-BASED, ALLOWING FOR MORE INFORMATION, AND NOW THE ULTIMATE 2D: VIRTUAL REALITY: 2D INTO 3D.

FOR THE LAST HALF-CENTURY THIS QUALITY OF REALITY HAS BEEN CALLED INTO QUESTION AND ARTISTS HAVE PROVOKED AND WORKED TO UNDERMINE THIS ASSUMPTION. BUT THE CONDITION OF ALL THESE NEW MEDIUMS IS THAT WE SEE REALITY AS THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION, IN THAT THESE MEDIUMS SEE FURTHER THAN THE EYE, CLEARER THAN THE EYE, MORE DISTANT THAN THE EYE, AND ALLOW FOR MOTION AND TIME SEQUENCES. WE NEED ONLY TO THINK OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT HAD WE HAD A SNAPSHOT OF THE CRUCIFIXION CERTAINLY THE LAST 2000 YEARS OF HISTORY WOULD’VE PLAYED OUT DIFFERENTLY.

A ZENITH OF THIS REALITY-BASED PHOTOGRAPHIC APPROACH WAS DEVELOPED ON THE WEST COAST OF THE WESTERN WORLD IN WORKS SUCH AS ANSEL ADAMS AND EDWARD WESTON; WHETHER THEY ARE FETISHIZING A MOUNTAIN RANGE OR A BELL PEPPER, THE DETAILED VISUAL REALITY PRESENTING THEIR VERISIMILITUDE IS PARAMOUNT. IN A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT, THE LANDSCAPE WAS REMOVED FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH AND ARTIST DEALT DIRECTLY WITHIN THE WESTERN ENVIRONMENT: HEISER’S DOUBLE NEGATIVE, SMITHSON’S SPIRAL JETTY. THESE PIECES ARE A STATIC INTERJECTION INTO THE LANDSCAPE SEEN BY VERY FEW PEOPLE IN PERSON BUT EXPERIENCED BY THOUSANDS THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIUM. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT SMITHSON'S SPIRAL JETTY HAS BECOME REENERGIZED THRU THE MOTION OF WATER WHERE IT WAS SUBMERGED AFTER THE RAINS ONLY TO REEMERGE WITH THE WESTERN UNITED STATES DROUGHT IN THE OUGHT’S. WITH NEW PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING ITS REEMERGENCE.

VISION IS THE CURRENCY OF THE DESERT. THE CLARITY IN THE LIGHT IS WELL ATTESTED TO IN RELIGIONS AND IN OUR ARTS, AND AS A POND IS TO THE OCEAN SO IS A DRY LAKE BED TO THE DESERT, THE DRY LAKE BED FURTHER REFINING VISION, SEEING EVEN FURTHER, AND EXPERIENCING A BINARY QUALITY OF EARTH AND SKY WITH ONLY YOURSELF AS THE MEDIUM, A VISUAL HOME OF CREATION, ON A TRUE TABULA RASA.

IN MY UMBER SERIES I WANTED TO COMBINE THE REALITIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF ABSTRACTION. IN THIS SERIES ARCHITECTURE WAS THE PRIMARY BACKGROUND, THE REALITY IF YOU WILL, FOR ME TO IMPOSE AND PLAY WITH THE ABSTRACT SHAPES. IN THE EL MIRAGE SERIES I WANT TO TAKE IT FURTHER AND BUILD REALITY, CAPTURE MY OWN TIME/MOVEMENT, REVEAL MY OWN PERFORMANCE, CONCEPTUALIZING CREATION, AND CREATING MY OWN ARCHITECTURE. THE SERIES INVOLVED TWO PERFORMANCES ONE WITH METAL, AND ONE WITH GLASS. METAL BEING THE FIRST ACTIVITY (ETCHING PLATES) THAT I WOULD THROW IN THE AIR AND PHOTOGRAPH THEM AS THEY FELL. MARKING OFF AN AREA IN THIS INFINITE SPACE, I PERFORMED THIS DANCE PERFORMANCE, USING THE METAL PLATES TRYING TO HIT THIS AREA, HAVING THEM COME WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK, WITHIN THIS LIMITATION.

I WANTED THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REALITY TO CAPTURE ALL THESE POSSIBILITIES OF MINIMALIST ART, CONCEPTUAL ART, PERFORMANCE, AND DANCE, TIME MOTION SEQUENCING. COMBINING THIS WITH BUILDING A NEW ARCHITECTURAL REALITY WITH METAL, AND WITH GLASS IN THIS INFINITE LANDSCAPE. USING QUALITIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY PERSPECTIVE, ANGLE OF VIEW, TIME OF DAY, TO CREATE A NEW ARCHITECTURAL REALITY. THE QUALITY OF THE METAL, HARD AND SHARP CAN CREATE ITS OWN PLANE OF ACTION, NEVER VARYING NEVER BREAKING. BUILDING WITH GLASS IS BUILDING A FOOL’S HOUSE, TEMPORARY, TRANSPARENT, VISUALLY ARRESTING, AND ULTIMATELY FALLING; IN THAT FALL BREAKING INTO A NEW RELATION. FROM PLATO’S CAVE TO SARTRE’S ROOM WE’VE BEEN TOLD THAT WE LIVE IN THE FOOL'S HOUSE AND TO ATTAIN FREEDOM WE NEED A NEW CONSCIOUSNESS AND A NEW VISION.

IN

IN THE 60S AND THE 70S IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ARTISTS WERE WORKING WITH THIS NEW VISION. THE HISTORY, THE TRADITIONS OF THE EUROPEAN NEW YORK ART WORLD DID NOT SEEM TO PERTAIN HERE. A LARGE URBAN ENVIRONMENT SPREADING OUT INTO THREE LARGE DESERTS PROVIDED THE LANDSCAPE FOR NEW POSSIBILITIES. PHOTOGRAPHY BECAME THE CONDUIT FOR A NUMBER OF ACTIONS, PERFORMANCES, CONCEPTUAL ART, AND TOPOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTS. I WANTED TO WORK WITH PHOTOGRAPHY NOT ONLY AS A DOCUMENT BUT UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS THE FINAL PIECE AND TO USE THE CAMERA AND RESULTING PRINT TO ALL ITS ADVANTAGES. THE CONCEPTUAL BECOMING MANIFEST THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. THAT THE PHOTOGRAPH IN AND OF ITSELF WAS THE ACTION WAS THE CONCEPT USING PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRINT E.G. ENHANCING AND ENLARGING THE GRAIN TO CREATE A VISUAL SENSE OF THE DRY LAKEBED SURFACE.

OF COURSE THIS TALK ABOUT FALLING, BREAKING, DESERT LOCATIONS, HINTS AT THE HISTORICAL RELIGIOUS MYTHS THAT THE WESTERN WORLD HAS BEEN RAISED ON. WHILE HISTORY PLAYS ITS PART, IN THE SYNTAX OF THE 60’S 70’S CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK I WANTED TO PUSH THE STORY FORWARD NOT BECOMING A FOSSILIZED MYTHIC CONTAINER, BUT ENFOLDING OF MYTHIC STRUCTURES IN NEW CONTAINERS TO GO BEYOND OLD HISTORIES AND MERE DOCUMENTS.

BESIDES THE FOR MENTIONED HEISER AND SMITHSON, THERE WAS JAMES TURRELL WORKING WITH LIGHT, WHO WAS JUST BEGINNING TO SHOW THE PERCEPTUAL QUALITIES AND ABILITIES OF VISION, AND HAMISH FULTON THE ENGLISH ARTIST WHO’S COMBINATION OF ACTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE WORD WAS SEAMLESSLY BLENDED INTO A NEW LANDSCAPE DYNAMIC. ALLOWING FOR A WIDENING INTERPRETATION OF THE LANDSCAPE, BY ALLOWING ENTRANCE INTO THE WORK THRU A MULTITUDE OF POSSIBILITIES.