Advanced physics aside, the material world is real. Obvious? Not to everyone, not to Christian Scientists. As a teenager I began to rebel against my parents’ religion, which declares the physical universe nonexistent. I consider visible, tangible existence not only real but also sacred, and I try to convey my reverence in photographs. More than 60 years later, my rebellion endures.
When I photograph, I pursue the sheer corporeal existence of things. I aim to affirm and illustrate the substance of matter, so attributes like line, color, and texture interest me more than the overall scene or object photographed. I purposely forsake imparting a sense of scale or a metaphorical message. It is the pure beauty of matter that moves me.
My photographs feature aspects of the built and natural environments usually considered unremarkable; many of the subjects lend themselves to abstraction. When I spot something I wish to explore, I try to create a composition that accentuates and celebrates its splendor. Two major bodies of work offer examples. One is large trash containers. The other is an iron-breathing prismatic film resembling an oil slick that the Leptothrix discophora bacterium forms on water. With this work, I hope to impart my passion for our material surroundings and transmit my profound awe for the physical world.
It was a pleasure to reread this statement today.
March 22, 2021 at 12:57 PM
Thank you, Lynn. Over the years, I’ve rewritten this passage over and over. Each time I get it a little bit closer to the bone.
March 22, 2021 at 7:48 PM
I just finished a book titled “The Anomaly,” it’s a fiction but brings forth the idea that we all exist in a computer simulation created eons ago with such processing power that to us it appears as real as, well… our reality. I do like your Matter Matters statement and I’ll go with that as the grounds for my real existence.
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March 28, 2022 at 12:58 PM
Okay, I just put a hold on The Anomaly. I hope you thought it was a good book; the tiny review I read was intriguing. I can deal with a fiction that reality is a fiction, but not with a serious proposal that it is. Glad you will go with my Matter Matters statement as grounds for your real existence. Believe me, it’s better for any engagement outside your own head—and better for what’s in your head, too.
March 28, 2022 at 2:02 PM
Lovely to be here. Would love to learn anything I can from an imagemaker’s perspective.
November 21, 2022 at 12:24 AM
Thank you, Narayan.
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November 22, 2022 at 9:06 PM