Category Archives: PHotography

disappearing, disappeared

IMG_2349The “Hearts for Charleston” quilt has been set aside for personal, holiday sewing. But I wanted to post some of the photos that I continue to obsessively create on my iPhone (with the dianaphoto app).  For some reason, these photos have a way of making the awful shooting of June 17, 2015 more real to me. Perhaps it’s their haunting quality. Or maybe it’s the way that the heart can be made to disappear and how that hints at loss in a potent way.

This pink heart with a shibori’d circle will be dedicated to Myra Thompson, who was 59 at the time of her death. A proper post will follow down the road, but here are some of the photos, starting with the ‘straight up’ quilt block front and ending with the actual block’s back.


  
      

To read more about the “Hearts for Charleston” quilt project,
please refer to the the sidebar category
of the same name.

Original vs reproduction. Reading Walter Benjamin. 

Last weekend, I fInished two books. A compelling memoir by Ta-Nehesi Coates (below) and a slender volume called “The Ghost of Hampton Plantation.”  More on those later.  On our way to Salem on Memorial Day, a parade in Peabody forced a new route. We enjoyed hot dogs and beans with my sister.

A friend dropped by. We took Finn over to Crystal Lake where he found a dead fish to roll in. That was as gross as her gift of a silk kimono was delightful.   Of course, I couldn’t resist a little photo play with the wavy lines in the kimono.  Which leads me to this: I have been thinking a lot about “the made thing” (involving time, skill, energy, and occupying a place in tradition) vs. the reproduction. Mo kindly insisted I read an essay by Walter Benjamin on the topic (see comments a couple of posts ago).  I resisted. Even though it would be easy to discount what he had to say because he wrote the piece decades before Warhol and Rauschenberg, never mind digital media, I was nevertheless impressed. He supported his central thesis about the superiority of the original, crafted work to reproductions in a compelling way.

For those of us abiding in practices of Slow Cloth, Benjamin’s words stand as important reminders about why we do what we do — even when it makes no economic sense.

He wrote:  The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object.  And:  One might generalize by saying: the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence.     … the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice – politics.

Very provocative.

Not sure where that leaves double exposures created by tapping a teeny screen and hitting a “save” icon.

I mean, these are pictures that may never even assume the form of a print. Is that yet another level of degradation? And if the original work has elements of the religious, and the reproduction has characteristics of the political, what does the binary-coded “work” in the cyber sphere embody?

I would like to read a more recent essay on the same topic. One written post-internet.

Turning into November

Time went a little wonky this week. K was in India. I spent a lot of time alone. Sleep, not so great. And, Faulkner’s been taking me on a slow ride in “Light in August”.
IMG_1143Mostly I enjoyed the solitude, the expanses of quiet. And today, with snow and the time change, It is officially another season. A season were ARE MEANT to be more quiet.

One friend sends an email saying she is putting the “NO” in November. Another announces a retreat from social media. In another email, I read: let’s leave the space empty. This is the time of year to pull inward. It helps to be clear.

Even though Halloween is so last week, I have to report that its mood drew me to the studio bin labeled, “body parts”. A few beings ‘fell out of my hands’ (as Mo might say). They gave me sparks of pleasure and in a very real way, kept me company. Those of you on FB have already seen ‘the Plaid Boys’… but here are a few more shots. ‘Argyle Girls’ to come! And a few of my seasonal felt mice.
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Refraction

This self portrait from the 70’s is posted here as a submission for The Daily Post blog.  Theme of the week: REFRACTION. This is photograph of a photograph. The glare is reflected off of one of those awful plastic photo-album pages, making this a reflection of a reflection and not a refraction, but still.

Hancock, MA 1970's

Hancock, MA 1970’s

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/refraction/

 

Distraction

Overwhelm - dble exp: quilt and collage

Thanks to Christi over at Sweet Pea Path for turning me onto the DianaPhotoApp and to Art of Mob (on instagram)! And, for saying she DETESTS the ‘new flickr’.  I actually understated how much I have disliked the updates. They really kinda ruined the experience for me. For instance? I can no longer post directly to wordpress. Writing this simple post with photos from flickr is a nightmare.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/clothcompany/14990047904/

The Nor’easter continues here with wind and rain. Nothing too drastic, but some branches down here and there and pools of water on the roads. Two maple branches blew into our yard from somebody else’s trees — I can’t quite figure out whose!

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