Cahokia: The Bodies at Mound 72

  • Post category:Travel

He is lying there on his back, you see his resplendency, at least in your mind's eye, in the white conch shell beads he lies upon, the shells brought here to just outside modern-day St. Louis from the Gulf of Mexico. The blanket of beads--some twenty thousand of them—were once sewn together into a robe or blanket, bits of string still surviving, and the silhouette the beads make hints at a bird-like shape in the original design. He is regal, kingly even. Directly beneath him is a woman, facing down, his body laying atop hers. Around them are six bodies, skeletons, five of them killed to honor the occasion of…

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Books on My Desk: Studying “Ballet,” Ice, and the First Road Trip Photographer

  • Post category:ArtBooks

On the Amazon-owned DPReview, probably the most popular photography site in the world, the forum area has over forty-five million posts spread over four million threads. Only eight of those threads mention (and only just mention) Alexy Brodovitch and only two of these mentions (and only just mentions) his book Ballet. In the graphic design world both Brodovitch and Ballet are legendary, the former being the art director at Harpers Bazaar during the late thirties through the nineteen fifties and the later a book of photographs by Brodovitch, which he also designed. Ballet can be purchased on the used market if you have three thousand dollars in your book budget,…

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Spring Is Coming

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

I went down to my workshop in Half Moon Bay—I essentially abandoned it in March—to clean up, organize, and prepare it for new work. When I had left the space I had just finished shooting the images for my project The Trial for which I had purchased three or four newspapers each day of the impeachment trial. No one really cared much for Trial TV or Twitter Trial. It was boring and the conclusion was foregone not just at the beginning of the trial but way back on September 24th when Nancy Pelosi at last announced that the House would begin proceedings. There was no chance of getting a conviction…

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Glimmerglassed: The Fast Fuji 50 f/1.0 with Diffusion

If you hold it and shift it around so the light reflects off the glass, the surface of a Glimmerglass filter looks like it has been sprinkled with some sort of metallic dust, maybe gold. The particles aren't really on the surface, they are sandwiched between two thin layers of glass, and they probably aren't gold, though for the price of the filter I'm thinking maybe they should be. It's a diffusion filter, it goes on the front of the lens. You put it on your super-sharp, modern lens and you make pictures. Why would you do that? There are several things a diffusion filter will do but the primary…

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Faithful and Confused

At two in the morning, California time, the number next to Georgia went from red to blue. Like some physics-class demonstration, the addition of mostly blue votes to the pool is changing the color of the pool, now more blue than red and getting bluer. But there is such confusion. People are wondering why the vote count is taking so long, COVID seemingly forgotten and out of the headlines despite record cases, over one hundred thousand today. Trump is telling them that all these extra votes being found are illegal, that votes shouldn't be counted after Election Day except, apparently, in states where he is behind. Fox News still isn't…

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Waiting for Trump

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

What is being shown here is a series of random characters. They appear on-screen fifteen times a second and each one is checked to see, wholly by chance, if it is the magic word. What's the magic word? I made several variations and the magic words were words like "Impeachment," "High Crimes," "Bribery," and "MAGA." If one of those Trump words was hit upon then the program would pause for one week. When I initially created the computer program in the fall of 2017 the average time it would need to run before it paused was about equal to the remainder of Trump's first term. I thought that was funny.…

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His Will Be Done

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

These photographs are from a slightly larger set of images I made over the summer. The portraits are of the key supporters of Trump—those who amplify (and in some cases, shape) His views either in the media or with behind the scenes financing of sympathetic media, or by implementing His will. This is the President and His real advisors, the King and his court. The images aren't photoshopped in the normal sense of the word. Yes, they are made up of three images layered atop one another but otherwise these are "straight" images. The newspapers are from the days of the impeachment trial, already forgotten by Trump and His opponents…

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New Work: Trump Faces (Adoration of the MAGA?)

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

"Trump Faces" isn't a proper name for the project. I originally called this one "Faces," but only as a working title—you can't have a dozen projects titled "untitled" if you want to stay sane. So "Trump Faces" it is, while I try to think of something better. The images are portraits of people at Trump rallies, taken from news photographs and videos of those rallies. All those little faces in the background? The mysteries of machine learning allowed me to take those tiny faces and enlarge them, and they still looked good. It also allowed me to enlarge them even more to give some of the faces an off, plastic…

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New Work–Black Sun (The Anomaly)

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

Black Sun (The Anomaly) is my newest project. Initially, I wrote two sentences here, all of the text that would accompany this project. But I felt it needed more and so, at just past midnight, I started to write that something more. The photographs should enlarge if you click on them. Tomorrow is Election Day and "breaking point" isn't quite the right phrase. With "breaking point" I think of a branch, bending and bending in your hands, the arc ever-increasing until with a snap it breaks, an upside-down "U" now an upside-down "V." Things break and then there is nothing. "Inflection point" doesn't work. A phrase borrowed from calculus, it…

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Transformation of Trump: The Primaries Project of 2016

  • Post category:ArtPolitics

I can't remember another presidential election in my lifetime where so much has changed, so much transformed in only four years. Four years ago to this day I was working on my Primaries project. My original conception was to make portraits of each of the candidates running for president, photographing them off of the television screen. I used an old Sony 27-inch Trinitron that I had purchased just after high school—it ran fine all these years and only stopped working yesterday—and decided to shoot each of the presidential debates of both parties, mounting the camera on a tripod in front of the television and setting the camera to shoot one…

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