Nine Statements

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Here are nine statements that I hope clarify to readers (and myself) what I'm on about here at PhotoRant.

It's also a useful prep for me as I try to write up more about the nature of my actual working methods. I don't expect them to apply for everyone, but here they are:

  1. I attempt to involve myself in work and ideas which constantly challenge that which I previously understood or thought I understood.
  2. I am interested in the relationships and play between an unfamiliar picture/object content and the familiar photographic image.
  3. As aspect of the work has to do with altering the literal/cultural meaning of existing public images and additions. Using superimposition, juxtaposition, and other contextual changes, I am functioning as a visual guerrilla.
  4. I am interested in the various ways that photographic images transcend their relationship to actuality.
  5. The pictures and objects are not related to direct experiential camera vision, but represent formalized symbolic equivalents of experience.
  6. The figure, because of its human, erotic, sensual and psychological connections, remains my primary subject interest and is the vehicle for the formal content of this work.
  7. Often the work relates to my ongoing interest in random and aleatory occurrences and associations. The images are the result of situational rather than visualized stimuli. Synthesis rather than selection is significant.
  8. Through my work, I am involved in extending the photographic medium into new processes, concepts, and areas of concern and utilization of new light sensitive materials.
  9. My basic aim is to be able to relate the concept and the content of the last piece into the next, so as to be involved in the constant development of individual subjective work. I value the open-ended evolution of ideas as opposed to a particular aesthetic resolution.

In fact, this list was actually created by Robert Heinecken in 1963, two years after starting to lead the UCLA Photography Department. I recently encountered it and was surprised how well it resonated 40+ years later.

"Students seem to want to know where they should stop," he wrote, "rather than where they might go."

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