A New Start

There’s something about the start of a new year that always gives me this feeling like I can restart, redirect…reboot my life. This year, rather than resolutions, a friend suggested the idea of “devotions” which took things in a direction of intent, rather than product. A devotion is a more fluid and thoughtful experience…it evolves over time. So my devotion this year is to make work, since that’s the core of who I am as an artist. This past semester was a fallow time - too much energy was going out to really have the mental space to make new work myself. Now, it’s spring (well at least it feels like it in SoCal) and the energy feels like it wants to move forward. I’ve worked on putting into practice the LensCulture written reviews I’d discussed earlier - it took a while to process - the experience is still informing my choices, 

After the Blur

A few months ago I entered a LenCulture portfolio review because it was going to be a written review of your work - one that would answer specific questions. The review arrived today, which was interesting because my semester has just ended and I am faced with loads of projects to review and grade myself. While I have been to many in-person reviews, this was the first time I’d gotten a written one - and it was (in many ways) a much better experience. With an in-person exchange, there’s a lot of energy just dealing with this new person you’re talking with that you often can’t really take in what they’re saying. 

The written review gave me a chance to read it in the quiet of my home and to really think about it. Even as I write this, I glance over at the words (I printed it out) and am aware that some of the suggestions will take time to fully process. But, it also gives me a deeper understanding of the power of the review interaction and my responsibility as an instructor. Yesterday, I had individual meetings with all of my students and many of them asked the same questions I had asked - “how do I move forward from here” “what can I do to improve” “how do you see my work” - all of which I answered as best/honestly as I could at the time. Going through this process myself gives added insight to the experience from both sides. I’m very grateful to have received what feels like a very thoughtful consideration of my work - but also grateful for the added awareness of my students’ experience as they sit across from me. 

The above still is from my newest video - I’m addicted to this new medium and feel like it’s been inside of me just waiting for its turn. 

What kind of photographer are you?

This past week I went out of my comfort zone and joined some friends who were attending a Star Trek convention. Yes, I’m a fan…while I like the show…it hasn’t played a meaningful part in my life. I thought I knew what to expect, but the experience went beyond that. What did surprise me was the generosity of spirit at the event - everyone was super friendly. It was a bit unnerving to see Star Fleet personnel sitting at Guy Fieri’s or in an elevator - almost as if there had been a rip in reality and this fantasy space was seeping through. 

A big part of it what really fascinated me were the fans … I found myself especially interested in the couples that I saw there. Not only were each of them passionate fans, it was a part of their relationship. The couple pictured above were the first that really caught my eye. They were just parked along the walkway and I asked if I could take their portrait. It’s not a great shot…but I do feel it captures a bit of who they are. Normally, I’m not that type of photographer and have avoided street work because it can be too easy to manipulate people visually. After this experience,  my goal for next time is to do a project on couples. I’m interested in those relationships and how it interacts with fandom.