Heard and Remembered

I have heard and I have remembered.

Give me your heat. Nothing can be added, nothing can be taken away.
Give me your sorrow. I am stone.
Give it back to me.
Your hand and footprints on me, can you see them?

Continual waves, rising, falling.
The foundation song. I listen at the cracks.
At night, cool under the moon, you listened and taught me stillness, clearing.
Today I see your lines. The ocean dances me. I am driftwood. I am seaweed. I am rock.
Erode my surfaces. Many offerings, many teachings.
The circle meets in this place.

Classifications and interlinking threads

I have become fascinated with the categorization, taxonomy and metadata of digital photography through the process of selecting, classifying and organizing around 1000 photos in Aperture taken over the last 7 years, and then uploading these to Flickr. Fortunately the Flickrexport plugin allows me to seamlessly publish the same titles, keywords and classifications from Aperture, giving the benefit (without much extra work) of a different space to add context. In the case of Flickr there is an added social context, some limited interaction and the experience of kind of virtual gallery and talking pool where we can be exposed to a wide range of other work.

Now, setting up this site using WordPress I must consider again how best to organize images, not only in terms of an efficient workflow, but also in terms of presenting a portfolio and coherent body of work. This is particularly important for me when I consider how many ideas I would like to develop and how fragmented and wide-ranging my interests seem to be. What themes are emerging and what commonalities exist (and what links will be drawn or superimposed by me?). These choices are also important in understanding how to develop a clearer and more focused way of looking at the world. At this point photography for me is an exploration, an expression of life, a therapy, a challenge I set myself and a hunger to experience and learn. Then also a reflection after the event where ideas and threads begin to emerge, often as a layered process where new aesthetics and reactions to captured memories reveal themselves many years after the photograph was made.

Choices that define identity, as much dependent on what is left out, are evident in the design of this site, currently an anonymous default template supplied with WordPress simply called ‘2011’. The juxtaposition of my name with random generic stock photography illustrate this question perfectly and create a feeling of lightness, freedom and potentiality. I become aware of imagining that any identity would be possible at this point. Perhaps that is part of the freedom I associate with photography. Of being closely identified with the subject, and having the choice to shoot anything. Nan Goldin said that she eventually decided to only shoot the things she wanted to remember and I see much wisdom in that. If we let the camera be a spaceship and ourselves become a pilot of consciousness then we make very important decisions about identifying with specific feelings, which could  include a zen choice to observe many aspects of the world as one.