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questions

is a piece of plywood factual?

it doesn't seem to lie. the truth of it seems apparent.

it can't be liquid when it's solid; it can't be transparent when it's opaque. although it can be cut and shaped and presented in different ways. reduced to ashes with fire, or result in foundation with labor.

data seems to be generally agreed upon as factual - although it can be manipulated to biased ends, presented in ways to persuade.

the raw data itself doesn't seem to lie either. it seems to be an index, or record, or evidence, of what has happened - regardless of whatever story a person wants to assign it.

it seems like facts can be shaped into forms.

so what's difference between plywood and data?

04.16.2016

thinking through the machine

"The essence is done very quietly with a flash of the mind, and with a machine." - Walker Evans

TL;DR - There are many hard drives accumulating with images I shot that I have never looked at.

I've been trying to figure out a certain "way of working" I've had for the past 3-5 years. It'd involve walking long lengths of old or new cities with a camera, photographing everything I saw. Some things seemed easily 'worth photographing'; other things would be approached with the thought, is it possible to even make a decent photograph of this?

Sometimes I'll give myself little faux assignments - "oh, I'm cataloguing this town's architectural styles" - and then forget the 'assignment' shortly after. Distance travelled wouldn't matter much, nor time passed. Something about having the machine makes looking intensely at everything feel OK; feel 'necessary'.

Thinking through the machine. Let's take apart this building, car, intersection, stretch. How did it get here, why did it happen? Is that cloud going to move or am I going to move? That's an odd blue to have on a vacuum hose. These fresh steps lead to a handicap ramp that spills into a derelict lot overrun by Queen Anne's lace. That's not a chicken; it flew. Hydrographics could make that decorative stone look more an ice cube, but one winter's wear would probably take it back to being a rock. Unless you went to the right body shop, paid the right price. There's always a way, even if there are no reasons.

Oh shit, looking too hard. Person waiting to cross probably wondering why I'm focused so intently on nothing. Shifting from one sidewalk square to off the curb, repeatedly. The cloud won. It always wins - and that's fine, I wanted a cup of coffee anyway.

I keep telling myself, I'll look at all these pictures one day - after some time passes so they'll look like something else to me when I see them again. The gigabytes turn to terabytes, the hard drives move further towards the back of the shelf. I can't be that zen that I won't ever make some time to look back at any of these pictures? But at the same time - after every one of these walks, I feel like I know slightly more than I did before. Doesn't matter; I've got to look at these other pictures this week and shoot a few more the next. Oh! I got an idea: I'll look at all these pictures one day, after some time passes - so they'll look like something else to me when I see them again. -- 06.02.2016

Delicate Approach

.

man

I woke up early

to hike up to Delicate Arch

.

it was totally dark out

at like 4.30 am.

.

i stumbled out of my tent

and drank a

five hour energy;

drove to the Park

parked in the dark

sat in the car.

turned off my headlights

turned on my headlamp

.

'this is kinda creepy,

why's it so dark?'

.

then i got lost

hiking up to the Arch

going off trail by accident

looking at a full moon,

setting slowly

.

then i almost died

when i walked to the edge of a gorge

my eyes were on the distance

.

four or five other people

beat me to the arch

at sunrise

since i wandered off trail

.

i think two of them laughed at me

because i came at the arch from behind

.

jokes on them

i dont give a shit

...

-- 07.26.2016, about 10.19.2013

Plywood Update

There's a non-profit website called datacarpentry.org; they're a non-profit advocating for universal data literacy through classes and dialogue. While I'm glad this exists, I also feel oddly vindicated for my plywood ramble. -- 12.25.2016

qs