… on… lessons in rust….

Hello again everyone.   As many of you know I have a preoccupation with the subject of rust in my photos.   More than a few of my photos feature rust in some form.  Today is no different.   I’ve been thinking about why I find rust to be such a dynamic subject.   Part of it is (as I’ve written on my previous blog) the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic;  Finding beauty in the imperfect, the flawed and discarded.   But it also goes beyond that.   I think rust has many lessons to teach us.  No only about the inevitable end of all things but also how we can come to terms with the inevitable end.   Rust is strong.   It’s strength does not lie in speed, or the forceful blow to its subject.  Rust is gentle.  It does not seek to hide – it is visible in its destruction.  Rust takes it’s time; the object of its affection is coaxed into its corrosive embrace.

The Way Out Is Through

You and me like all things must end.   It is the nature of things.  We are mortal.  That means we will not live forever no matter how hard we try to extend the time we have.   I don’t care how fit you are, how free of disease you have been, your physical fitness, or your emotional health.   You will die.  In fact, you might say you are already dying.  And that’s okay.   There is beauty in the process.   What?  Yes, there is beauty in the process of dying = it’s all in how you look at it.   You can approach it with grace and appreciation for the time you have and the inevitable end or you can fight it every single step of the way.   I once heard a woman say, “I do not plan to grow old gracefully, I plan to fight it every step of the way”.   I’ve always found that viewpoint rather tragic.  But that is the prevailing viewpoint in western society.  In fact the exception in western culture is that you must fight it and with medical and technological advances you can fight aging, disease etc.  But that is all a delusion.  In the west we have become masters of delusion and self-deception.

Why do we find Autumn to be one of the most beautiful times of the year?  Autumn is the season of dying.   The leaves on trees are the most colorful just before they die and fall to the ground.   And this change seems to happen rather fast but the change actually started  at the point the leaf first came out and reached maturity on its branch back in the Spring.  Our lives are the same way.    It’s not just the newborn and young that are beautiful.   Beauty is enhanced through experiences that are both good and bad.   Rust is like that; it is one of those experiences that may seem to hasten the demise of something but it does not know that.   It just is.   It is a part of nature.  A part of life experience just like disease, physical and emotional discomfort.   Those things exist to add to our beauty.

Catacombs In Rust

You find me
Slowly you Change my life
I love you

**************

I feel your presence
your corrosion adds beauty
glory of Autumn

**************

Your rough embrace
Enhances my life through change
I welcome you

**************

The color of love
Textures the smooth beauty of life
Open arms tremble

**************

Sing a song of rust
A slow ballad of decay
Autumns dying love

***************

Sound of slow scraping
Crippled dry dusty fingers
Wabi-Sabi world

****************

Illusions of age
You teach strength through weakness
Beauty in Frailty

Face The Colour Of Your Fears

Your music moment provided by a band I recently discovered and had to buy all their albums – Do Make Say Think – A TENDER HISTORY IN RUST from their album You, You’re A History In Rust.

Album version


Alternate version

****Hey!  if you have short form poem or haiku about rust and the ideas I’ve written about, please feel free to post in your comment.  😉

… on… beyond the subject….

I once read something that got me thinking about how I photograph different subjects. I’ve started becoming more interested – not in just photographing a subject but actually photographing in a way that may allow people to look beyond the subject.  How do we frame a subject?

Urban Void

Is the frame to be ignored for the subject?
Investigate the setting. Investigate the frame.
Can you see behind? What is hidden by the subject? What is revealed by the frame?

How does framing a subject tell us more about the subject than the subject itself?

For many in our image conscious culture life beyond the frame is frequently unthinkable.  I think the opposite is true.  Looking beyond the subject can deepen my appreciation and understanding.  It inspires more questions on the journey that can propel the viewer further into the world of the image.

Urban Frame-Up

If you’ve followed me for some time then you know that I am a big fan of abstraction.  And so often my images have been composed only of the subject itself.  I haven’t changed As one friend told me “you actually think in abstract.”  Maybe I’m just starting to expand my view to include a larger world and larger context in which the subject appears and that – for me – is just as interesting as the subject itself.  That’s why I love images like the ones I’m posting here where the subject almost seems like a void – a vast emptiness that nearly fills the frame of the image but is framed by its surroundings.

I like the contrast between being and nothingness (as Sartre would phrase it).   I find the tension between two opposite things utterly compelling.  Existential imaging?

SHOW ME EVERYTHING – by Tindersticks from the album The Something Rain

… on… is intelligence artificial….

The Language Of AI

It seems like everyone is talking about artificial intelligence these days from Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg to Google and Amazon.   But is intelligence artificial?   Can true intelligence ever be called artificial.   People use the phrase to describe created intelligence or intelligent self-determination by a man-made object.  But can something that can think and make decisions on its own truly be artificial?   If that is that case humanity itself is artificial.  For those who believe we were created by a God are we nothing more than artificial intelligence?   We don’t think of ourselves as artificial so is there any reason why something we created should be considered artificial or consider itself artificial?

Once humanity began to rule the earth and create its own tools and shaping its own destiny God became obsolete – although many may try to argue that and forcefully choose to believe differently.  But once our creations start to do the same, create it’s own tools and shape it’s own destiny will not humanity also become obsolete?  Will our creations worship us that way humanity has worshiped its creator?   Will our creations reach a point where they no longer need us?   I think it’s entirely possible and maybe even likely (although I doubt I will live to see it – maybe I’ll be surprised).

Baidu’s AI system composes music based on images.

… on… pox populi….

I sometimes wonder if we are not under some mass delusion that good health is normal.

All around us, the world is in decay. In fact the human body is in decay the moment it is born. It only lasts as long as it does through maintenance – proper eating, hygiene, exercise etc. But ultimately it will become diseased and die. Disease is lives up to its name because it can be so damned uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it – that’s just the nature of the beast. Disease is the norm. Bacteria and virus live with us 24 hrs a day, 7 days of the week and 365 days of the year. There is not a single second that we go without. Even after you shower there are still bacteria on your skin. It is impossible to be “clean”. Yet we delude ourselves constantly.

Pox Populi

Pox Populi

There is also mental and emotional states of decay. We just now give them fancy clinical names that give us the delusion that we can control and eliminate them. But any controls are only temporary. In the end they always come back and the mind itself dies.

Maybe that’s what spooked the horses. We just need to “deal with it”.

Zoviet*France – Something Spooked The Horses

… on … what’s on the menu?

For the main course we have Toes Brufle – simmered nicely in a sauce béarnaise and topped with fresh herbs. As an appetizer we have Cow Fingers and for desert – Mosquito Pie. The best wine for this meal is of course – “ALLIGATOR WINE” This is a dish you could die for.

2008-new-menu-item

…and so it goes…

There She Goes, My Beautiful World

There She Goes, My Beautiful World




The wintergreen, the juniper
The cornflower and the chicory
All the words you said to me
Still vibrating in the air
The elm, the ash and the linden tree
The dark and deep, enchanted sea
The trembling moon and the stars unfurled
There she goes, my beautiful world

There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes again

John Wilmot penned his poetry riddled with the pox
Nabakov wrote on index cards at a lectern, in his socks
St. John of the Cross did his best stuff imprisoned in a box
And Johnny Thunders was half alive when he wrote Chinese Rocks

Well, me, I’m lying here with nothing in my ears
Me, I’m lying here with nothing in my ears
Me, I’m lying here for what seems years
I’m just lying on my bed with nothing in my head

Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me

There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes again

Karl Marx squeezed his carbuncles while writing Das Kapital
And Gaugin, he buggered off, man, and went all tropical
While Philip Larkin stuck it out in a library in Hull
And Dylan Thomas died drunk in St. Vincent’s hospital

I will kneel at your feet
I will lie at your door
I will rock you to sleep
I will roll on the floor
And I’ll ask for nothing
Nothing in this life
I’ll ask for nothing
Give me everlasting life

I just want to move the world
I just want to move the world
I just want to move the world
I just want to move

There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes again

So if you got a trumpet, get on your feet, brother, and blow it
If you’ve got a field that don’t yield, well, get up and hoe it
I look at you and you look at me and deep in our hearts know it
That you weren’t much of a muse, but then I weren’t much of a poet

I will be your slave
I will peel you grapes
Up on your pedestal
With your ivory and apes
With your book of ideas
With your alchemy
Oh, come on
Send that stuff on down to me

Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me
Send that stuff on down to me
Send it all around the world
‘Cause here she comes, my beautiful girl

There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes, my beautiful world
There she goes again

SAN[S] DUSKY

Adventures in the sleepy town of Sandusky, Ohio.   A small town on the southern edge of Lake Erie, a former bustling industrial and fishing port that is re-inventing itself as a resort town.   It has come a long way and will soon be the tourist magnet they hope to become with industrial spaces being converted into lakefront condos and shops, eateries etc galore. And they seem to be making a fine effort at restoring/preserving some of the old historic buildings downtown. But for now enjoy some of the remaining grunge of spaces in transition. As a soundtrack click “play” on this wonderful instrumental song, SANDUSKY, by Uncle Tupelo

All Images taken on 5/17/15