A photo-based digital creation.
Asking & Hearing – posted as a tribute to the late Ornate Coleman 9 Mar 1930 – 11 Jun 2015.
Cheers to the man who showed us “THE SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME”. He also taught us that the “CHANGE OF THE CENTURY” would affirm “WHEN TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION!” and answer “FREE JAZZ” and involve “THE ART OF THE IMPROVISERS”. Right up to the end he espoused “THE NEW VOCABULARY.” Thank you for teaching us the “DANCING IN YOUR HEAD” and opening our eyes and ears to all of life’s possibilities “IN ALL LANGUAGES”.
“The idea is that two or three people can have a conversation with sounds, without trying to dominate it or lead it,” Coleman said in a 1997 interview with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.
“What I mean is that you have to be — intelligent,” he said.
“I think the musicians are trying to reassemble an emotional or intellectual puzzle, in any case a puzzle in which the instruments give the tone.”
He had a notorious relationship with music labels. His groundbreaking works were considered on the cutting edge and he had little patience for the industry’s business side. “I’ve never had a relationship with a record executive. I always went to the record company (because of) someone that liked my playing. Then they would get fired, and I’d be left with the record company,” Coleman told Cadence Magazine in 1995.
I’d like to say that the creative muse has abandoned me. But I cannot say that in all honesty because she hasn’t left she has just been trying to help me understand my own work and take in new directions. I have no idea what the end result will be like.
I once wrote,
The photographic image is the tabula rasa up on which I ‘paint’.
And in the introduction to my first book I described my process thus,
I’ve never cared or desire to learn about my camera and it’s functions…. I am much more interested in the creative process and things that come from imagination and the human mind….I am interested in the “paints”, “brushes”, “strokes”, “Hammers and chisels” that allow me to sculpt and paint something new digitally. The images I create…in some cases…dissected,distorted and destroyed.
I’ve come to believe that the photograph in itself is not sacred, not art and just represents a fading, record of a moment, a memory, an occasion that is an illusion and pretends to be truth. Now I know a lot of people will want to argue and fight about that and that’s fine. I still take photos and am interested in abstract photography which I post on 500px.
I recently watched a film (only for the first time) and discovered that when it comes to creativity I definitely have Lettrist tendencies. That film was Lettrisme founder Isodore Isou. The film was VENOM & ETERNITY. In the film he states,
Photography is too banal… All attempts at angle shots, low key shots, double exposures… prove that one must go further…One must go beyond the image… And attack the film stock… Before anything, Photography must rot!
He then goes on to state that genuine film and photography as art must be destroyed and rebuilt outside of established conventions and expectations.
This really struck a chord with me. It’s what I’ve been doing for some time. I suppose it started in college when I was into punk and began to research surrealism, dada, situationist philosophy, etc that began to subconsciously shape my understanding of what is art and creativity.
The digital revolution has done two things. It has turned everyone with a cell phone into a photographer of the banal. If I have to look at just one more photograph of flowers, sunsets and cute children and animals I will become violently sick. But that is what has happened. The technology has turned everyone into a banal image taker. HDR photography has made it even worse because it pretends to be something it is not.
That was just the down side. BUT!!!!
There is also an up side to this digital revolution. It has given people with imagination new ways to destroy the image to manipulate it beyond recognition and create something completely new. I’ve always like Picasso’s quote (paraphrased), “The first act of creation begins with destruction”. That’s what I do. I destroy in order to create something new.
With this clarification and understanding of my work and process I’ve started doing something different. Not content to just have prints of my digital work I have started manipulating the prints themselves. I have started creating “photo weaves” for lack of a better term. I’ve been taking the prints I have and cutting them into strips. I’ve then been weaving the different strips together to create a wholly new and different work. I did the first photo weave about 10 years ago when the photo processing lab started giving me double prints and I didn’t know what to do with the extras. I only created one at the time out of two 4″X6″ prints and then set it aside as something to remember. Now, this notion has come back to me. Here is a photo of 2 recent works that I made. They are not framed (yet) so apologies for the presentation but at least you will have some idea of the result.
PW#3 and PW#2