repetition (again)

Just a little post, with a few things to say. I’ve been walking the same streets a lot lately (which may have been evident by the two posts about the mission, or all the odd salon posts, etc). And there’s a vein in photographic thought that echoes the popular sentiment: that if you’re not doing something new, you’re not doing something worthwhile. St Winogrand said something along the lines of “I never want to take the same picture twice.”

So what does going against that guidance get you? Well, the first picture here is one I’ve attempted dozens of times. Not every morning at the train, but many of them. A lot with just my phone camera. They never are quite what I had in mind, but each iteration is closer; there’ll be a cluster of some that kinda work, and then a long fallow period where nothing sticks, and then one like this comes along and just knocks me back. it’s close enough here that I imagine I might be able to pull a print from it that is what I actually want.

Fences, alleys: you’ve seen those, too. I’m super curious what the hell Boner Dog was. Now it’s an empty lot, of course, but it looks like there wasn’t ever even a slab in that lot. So what was there?

Odd Salon: never predictable, always interesting. The for-real devil came up on stage and drank whiskey at us. Maybe there’s a sameness to the practice that makes me call it the same things, and it feels like I’m shooting the same things, but only in the moment. I always say you can’t tell anything about how good the pictures are in the moment; I think that may apply to this idea of ‘sameness’ that I have in my head, too.

The pictures aren’t the same, they can’t be; Everything moves, everything changes. The light is never the same. I always thought re-photography seemed like a gimmick, a little hollow. But the idea of looking for ‘equivalents’, that is, things that are emotionally the same, or at least feel the same, that’s something really interesting.

Posted by Matt on 2018-07-14 06:39:41 +0000

journey to the mission

This was getting to one of the many things that happen around 16th and mission; I have no idea what I was doing there, and I’m too tired to go look it up. I just finished sorting through the roughly 12000 photos I took in 2017, looking for more San Pablo work. I found quite a bit, and realized in the sorting that 2017 was a hell of a year. A whole crapton of things happened.

Anyway, as I said, I’m pretty tired, but here’s some photos for today. hopefully I’ll get some more up tomorrow or later in the week.

Posted by Matt on 2018-07-09 06:23:17 +0000

odd moments

I’m grouping these together because I feel like it, and because I can. They’re from two recent Odd Salon events. There’s a kind of coverage that one of the regulars (maybe a fellow?), Alexander, does very well: the long lens, close portraits of all the speakers (if I knew what his web site was, I’d link it here). I tried my hand doing that, and found that I was much more interested in watching the talks. So now, when I have my camera, I might shoot a couple pictures of whoever is speaking, but I’m also just as interested in all the things that happen around the event.

There’s a set of sort of symbols I associate with Odd Salon. The Curator’s chair. The Podium. The light in the wings, and the odd sunbursts. They’re a thing. Anyway, here’s today.

(There’s also the angle of the people that are actually working the event, the food vendor and the bartenders; that’s a different essay.)

Posted by Matt on 2018-06-28 06:36:45 +0000

RAD volume 6

This was the second one of these I went to, and the first one I’ve taken any pictures at (that I recall; the last one was last november). It was just this incredible, engaged group that was gathered to talk about art that was happening in the media right then; Childish Gambino’s This is America had just dropped, as had Dirty Computer and one other thing I can’t remember; I think most people talked about the first two. Good discussion, but you really had to be there.

There’s always a theme, and the theme is different every time; the upcoming salon is on wellness. I might talk about book making, and how putting them together is a sort of therapy for me; a way to tie things up at the end of a project.

Speaking of projects: it feels like PROJECT SAN PABLO is coming to a close. I need to get some things scanned, and work on some editing, and then I’ll probably do a zine with the results.

Posted by Matt on 2018-06-26 06:08:47 +0000