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.
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.
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
Illusions of age
You teach strength through weakness
Beauty in Frailty
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.
****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. 😉
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
“And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.”
“How many people
have forgotten how to dance
~ mobius faith
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.
Quantities of “stuff” from the local rail yard.
A great cover
and the original