Surface Tension

The photographic image that always collapses several layers into one: The three dimensions of the world into a two-dimensional plane, the curved plane of the lens, the flat surface of the sensor or the emulsion, the plane of the printed picture treated with the vectors of digital editing. The interaction of these planes is where images gain their story and their strength. The tension: The editing betrays the subject, the lens distorts the world it pretends to represent, the sensor loses resolution or dreams up colored noise, the emulsion is distorted by the development.

To come up with the idea of “truth” in this context is ridiculous.

the illusion of collapse. (the “good” picture makes you unaware of that: it just makes it “as if” you were there.)

these are bad pictures. There was not enough developer in the tank so we got smears and underdeveloped parts. The surface of the film got scratched, the details diluted; and how all this gets boring after a while: how quickly the distortion of “something” becomes just a distortion.

There is also a psychological undercurrent. The surfaces don’t give away what’s underneath; displacement by non-human entities.

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I don’t know what I want

I pursue no objectives, no system, no tendency. I have no programme, no style, no direction. I have no time for specialized concerns, working themes, or variations that least to mastery. 

I steer clear of definitions. I don’t know what I want, I am inconsistent, non-commital, passive. I like the indefinite, the boundless; I like continual uncertainty. 

— Gerhard Richter

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Your photography is boring because your life is

When exactly will you realize that photography is not important? Because: If it is important, what would be the thing about it that makes it important? Here we’re beginning to turn in circles, as everything begins with copying what you see. Not agreeing on whether the copy is worth your time immediately raises the question: Does what is being copied of any relevance? Or is it the act of copying that lends everything its importance, that tenderness of looking? What of a boring picture then? Can such a thing even exist? Yet, we argue: Your pictures are boring because your life is boring. Here, silence sets in.


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JW: Oh, god, yeah. I mean initially for me I just wanted to be famous but that soon disappeared.

Jason Williamson, in an Interview on “Treetop

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The Map and the Territory

If we were able to take as the finest allegory of simulation the Borges tale where the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory (but where, with the decline of the Empire this map becomes frayed and finally ruined, a few shreds still discernible in the deserts – the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction, bearing witness to an imperial pride and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, rather as an aging double ends up being confused with the real thing), this fable would then have come full circle for us, and now has nothing but the discrete charm of second-order simulacra.

— Baudrillard,Simulacra and Simulations

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