Monday, March 17, 2008

Finding meaning

Ok -- I think I need to get something off my chest -- this is probably an extension of the art theory discussion.

Consider the image above. In the hands of a skillful art theorist, I'm sure many levels could be projected onto the image. Surely this harkens to the classic Madonna praying imagery. But what does the nudity mean -- is this a debauched Madonna? Surely it speaks to the artist's disillusionment with modern religion. This must be amplified by the gas mask -- a symbol of the toxic society in which we live. The contrast of the white on white (symbolizing purity) must be contrasted with the relatively obscene subject matter -- perhaps signifying the dystopia in women's roles and reflects the photographer's discomfort with the dual conflicting ideals of woman as whore contrasted with woman as Madonna. What do the green eyes mean? Since green reflects envy -- perhaps it speaks to the destructive power of sexuality and how we envy those who feel free to express sexuality while at the same time castigating them.


What do you think it means?

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Sometimes you have to highlight someone with amazing talent (that you will of course shamelessly copy -- of course that would be way too transparent). Anyways, Koray's various galleries:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Art Theory

Ok -- not doing a lot of shooting at the moment as I'm out of town. It's depressing to come from shorts weather to parka weather. Spent a good chunk of the plane ride absorbing two new media art theory books, neither of which I care to enumerate at this moment but suffice to say that I'm convinced that art theorists embody the idea that one talks to hear one's self. I can envision bespectacled, black garbed, pseudo trendy theorists quivering at the thought of doing their verbose treatises as spoken word performances in front of rapt audiences, letting each word flow out in rhythmic repetition. Who are they kidding? I am definitely not a fan of art theory -- I doubt I could use Marx, dialectic, hegemony and valorisation all in one essay let alone one paragraph.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

It's been about a week now so most of the sound and fury has passed over. The day after Gygax died, most of the major news outlets covered his death -- this should stand as a testament of his impact. I note his death because more than any other celebrity or famous figure who has died in the recent past, Gary's death resonated on a deep level for me.

I've never met the man. Never been anywhere near close. I haven't followed all of his work. Yet for some strange, inexplicable reason, I feel as if a portion of my childhood has disappeared. I recognize that there has been some controversy about his legacy -- that Dave Arneson has claimed the moniker of "father of role playing". Ultimately, I suspect that neither man can truly make the claim -- by all accounts, there was a nascent movement interested in the style of gaming both men pioneered and while their actions catalyzed the movement, they by no means invented it. But E. Gary Gygax ultimately was the force that gathered together most of the disparate strands of the movement into something that pushed itself into the consciousness of the mainstream albeit not always in the most positive light.

Moreover, for an eleven year-old boy, RPGs were the precipating force behind catapulting one fevered imagination into realms beyond. I suppose this is what makes this tribute relevant to my evolution as a photographer -- that in the back of my mind, much of the source of my mental imagery still remains largely in that realm. Sometimes those images explode into explicit manifestation. But more likely, it's in the subtle composition and image choices that the beyond finds its way out. In fact the RPGs were also a rich fount of visual imagery and often what I love to look at remains firmly rooted in fantasy and science fiction (which explains a passing addiction I had to this site).

So to Gary Gygax, I salute you for the impact you've had on my artistic vision and my world view. Godspeed to you into the next plane.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Dooce" glow

It's been awhile since I last posted. Since this is mostly for myself anyways that's ok. Here's the "Dooce" glow effect. She didn't originate it but that's where I discovered it from so it'll do.

Here's the original photo:


1. Duplicate the image layer
2. Gaussian blur (in this case 19 pixel diameter)
3. Set the blurred layer to blend > multiply
4. Adjust since it'll be darker (I used an adjustment layer here using levels)