The Persistence of Vanishing Things

Catastrophic global climate change is a reality. This has prompted anxiety for many and triggered a sense of nostalgia for how the weather used to be., as well as a range of other responses. This work prompts us to not only acknowledge the facts but to realize our own culpability and our capacity for making choices in terms of how, what and the way we consume as individuals, communities, and nations.

These photographs explore our interbeing with all things as well as the reality of constant change and the challenges that fact presents in being human. These images ask us to pause so that we might see and feel the miracle and fragility of our collective aliveness. Mark Doty writes, “Why should we have been born knowing how to love the world? We require again and again, these demonstrations.”

The spaces we move through on a daily basis, the full and complete world we inhabit together is, again to use Doty’s words, “a matrix in which we are held.” The choices we make have impacts beyond what we may fully realize. Our cell phones, cars, clothing, and the food we eat. The manner in which we treat the people who, with us, are in transit around the sun. None are discrete objects but also made of rain, wind, elements and families we don’t know on the other side of the planet who love and struggle for happiness as we do.

The ripple of effect is infinite.

We can remain in a trance or aim to wake up. What we think becomes reality. We can awaken and manifest true happiness or stay in a trance of disconnection and manifest destruction. We can keep the lights of our blue jewel planet shining or let them go out, perhaps slowly or in one sudden cataclysmic catastrophe. We can fall in love with the ten thousand things. Perhaps we can find a way to be in relationship to the world with its beauty and chaos that feels comfortable, balanced perhaps, as they say in yoga practice, between effort and ease; between compassion and wisdom.

Method:

I work in a highly improvisational method, where there’s a real balance between (stolen from yoga) effort and ease, that is between directing totally and allowing serendipity to occur. I come from a background in photojournalism and street photography, so I marry that sense of allowing things to happen and observing them with my narrative sense of placing some things in play and then improvising from there, which includes directing a figure as need be.

Also, I stick to my analog roots even though I now work primarily digitally. I make photos at about the same rate as I would for film and when using Lightroom or Photoshop, I don’t do anything I would not have done in the dark room.

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