Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Exploring Creation

I've been silent in this forum for a while. Sure I've been tweeting along and commenting on facebook things and firing a picture a day into the City Daily Photo mist with my helpers. But Visible Woman is where you are supposed to keep up with me, dear readers. Few though you are, I'm supposed to write here and you are supposed to read it and confirm that I'm still here and still not crazy. Well, still here anyway.

I have written down some writing topics that I've gone over in my head, but at the moment I can't find all of that. Was it in a paper journal? A sticky note? An iPhone note? Maybe the sticky note app on one of these computers?

Well, never mind. I'm just going to start dumping out a few thoughts a day here while looking for my own notes and other inspiration.

One thing I really want to talk about is art. I've been supporting the art of others a lot lately and honing my ability to be the critic. (Read: "I know what I like. So sue me.") I've also been thinking about my own art and taking it more seriously. But, what, you ask is that? What art have you produced?

Well, if I may be so bold, this blog is my thing. Its words and pictures. The neglect I've been giving it is representative of how I think I've been neglecting my own creative juices, subsuming them to others.

Of course, I don't consider myself a great artist or writer. I can't draw or paint. My work is largely the act of appropriation with digital photography and collage. I fully understand that it isn't going up in galleries to be oohed and aahed over by the in crowd. Since anything that might be my visual art is going to begin with some derivative work, some appropriation, we are going to be covering that ground. Of course, I'll be arguing for the side that says everything is appropriated and some people try to hang on to things as theirs alone that are themselves appropriated.

My 'art?' (Maybe we should always use the quotes around it since if the artist isn't sure and confident, and I'm not, then it's certain no one else will be.) Most of it consists of quickly shot reflection pictures. Usually of shop windows, although any extra lens will do. I also dabble in digital collage. There are three ideas I'm exploring. The concept of life in layers, most unlike sharp photo portraits with simple unobtrusive backgrounds. The realization that we recognize other humans (and indeed objects) with the tiniest visual clues and yet have trouble describing people (or things) if they aren't in front of us. The notion that the appropriation that occurs in photography and collage leads to the breach of the intellectual property rights of others.

For example, today's lead-in picture. I have given it a title: "Self-Portrait, Spring 2010." However I haven't used a field of Bluebonnets with me in the middle, smiling at a time release shutter. No. I have shot my reflection in a window with fancy spring clothes that I'd never buy. The clothes were no doubt designed by someone. They are on mannequins designed by someone. In the play of layers in this reflection shot, you have a bit of me and my camera. Enough to recognize me. (At least I could do it even if I didn't remember taking the shot.) The shape of the head and hair. The stance. There are layers here. The reflection of the 'architecture' of the strip center and self storage across the street. The street itself. I chose a shot without a passing car (though I shot several versions with one). No other people are obviously reflected as often happens in these pieces. I didn't do much 'work' on this in the computer. But I sometimes do.

Is it art? Does it explore the idea of Spring? The ideas of transparency and opacity and layers? The idea of recognizing people from small cues? Does it toy with the notion of what is my work, my vision and what belongs to someone else?

Anyway, that's all for today. We will be exploring this further in the days to come unless it is like most of my projects and I run quickly out of steam.

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