Blank Book

Mr. Andrews’s Apology

It’s not uncommon for an apology to be publicized; for example, Harry Shearer makes a point of archiving apologies on his weekly radio program “Le Show:”

Here is an apology that appeared last month. I can relate:!/2012/08/im-sorry.html

I think I have a soulmate.

Viv Lives!

“Open through summer 2013”

Integrity in Music Videos

Ansel Adams addressed the problem of images and text combined, and how difficult it is for one not to dominate the other; Garry Winogrand referred to the similar challenge of balancing form and content in a picture. We’ve all seen so many music videos, some of which are favorites–we memorize them, as we do with works that we find striking in all media–and some that are clearly inconsequential stinkers. Recently I was talking with my friend Paul, who was in the pit orchestra for a local production of “The King And I,” about Sonny Rollins’ excellent recording of “We Kiss In A Shadow,” with Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones; later that night I searched for it on youtube so I could send him a link. I found a stinker. Oviously, the person who did the posting mostly wanted to get the music up, and then complemented it with a piece of nouvelle vague cinema. I watched for the first time through, then averted my eyes during subsequent hearings.

Several days later I was directed to this new music video: a piece by Randy Newman which is so integrated that I cannot imagine hearing it without watching, and vice versa:

See if you agree.

Q. o’ th’ D. (x 5 or so): Philip Perkis

“I’m really interested in the fact that looking can be magic. If my pictures convey that at all, then I’m really successful. My process is so incredibly simple. I really do almost nothing. I just put a camera between me and what I’m looking at and I click it. There’s no technology involved in what I’m doing at all. The magic is in looking. Looking really is a miracle.”

Surveillance of Surveillance

“Any and all things are photographable.” -Garry Winogrand, 1974.

W. o’ W.: Luc Sante

Regarding “the foundational paradox of street photography:”

“Its practitioner is right there in the middle of the scene, ostensibly a biped like any other, subject to the same conditions of weather and traffic, and yet the photographer’s eye is of necessity detached. The photographer’s job is to part the veil of pretext–the business or pageantry or camaraderie or regimentation that ostensibly determines the meaning of the tableau–and isolate the specifics, which may well reveal a completely different and perhaps violently contrasting truth. This work separates the photographer from the other actors on the scene even if he or she shares their beliefs. Maybe at length it will chip away at those beliefs. Maybe the discipline imposed by the task will cause the photographer to question the bases of whatever presents itself to his or her eye, and not just the camera’s lens. Maybe the eye and the lens will become so interchangeable that the photographer will in a sense be perpetually working. It’s a lonely job.”

The rest of this essay, and these images, are in Simpson Kalisher’s recent book (his third in fifty years), “The Alienated Photographer.” Get this book.