Collections

(C)2003, 2004

Three rolls TMax 100, Rodinal 1::25

Picking through proofs I’ve found a stretch of photos that I’d essentially forgotten — the ones that were made in the weeks immediately preceding the arrival of my DSLR. Like this one. Funny how I can tell myself that materials are secondary to ideas but it’s surprising, looking through these shots, how many ideas that seemed important at the time were completely dropped when the New Toy came along.

~1 min read

The Monster

12mm, Subaru

…has arrived, the big “popeye” Sigma 12-24mm zoom. It’s a full-frame 35mm lens, though on my digi its range is 19-38mm. Ran a bunch of shots through it right away, anxious about reports that some copies were soft in the corners. Not this one! It performed well for every aperture, with a minimum of barrel distortion too.

At last, a proper wide angle view for the DSLR. I am so digging it. But the size — yeow!

1 min read

A Kind of Blindness

(C)2004

Current listening: “Nightingale” by Yoshikazu Mera, whose voice anime fans would recognize from his melancholic rendition of the title theme from Miyazaki’s Mononoke Hime. The album is subtitled “Japanese Art Songs,” and is something of a rarity here: just voice and piano accompaniment in a Swedish recording of contemporary Japanese kunstlieder. It is at once close to the heart of conservative music and yet bold and expressive in its realization. For all the admiration I have for brilliant arrangements on a large and complex scale, whether it be a Kid Koala scratch track or Beethoven’s magnificent Ninth, there’s still nothing more expressive than the direct voice. Simple clarity. Eminem exagerrates (duh): “nobody listens to techno” but we know what he means.

I’ve been shuffling lots of digital pictures around lately, moving them from my space-strapped laptop to CDs as backups and also to one of the desktop machines. As long as I was rebuilding picture folders, last night I had Photoshop bulk-duplicate several of them in monochrome and ran the results as a slideshow for a while. The result surprised me.

1 min read

The Gray

Sunnyvale, May 2004 (C) K. Bjorke

The Kind of Blindness post has had me thinking further about color perception, cognition, etc etc — of the many interactions that drive the life of any sort of image (or performance): interactions between the world and the artist; between artist and their tools and medium; between the image as made and the artist; between the image and an external viewer; and sometimes even between that external viewer, as part of the world, back onto the artist (or their dealer). Wheels within wheels.

4 min read

every man for himself

Every

A few years back (okay, a bunch of years back), I attended a session at the University Film Society, at the Bell Museum on the University of Minnesota campus. Guest for the evening, Werner Herzog, I think to promote Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, though that night we watched Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

Afterwards, we went for drinks Herzog. The topic of the Jonestown People’s Temple mass suicide came up.The Jonestown Massacre. It was still very much in the press. What did Herzog think?

“I think that’s great, 900 fewer assholes in the world.”

2 min read