Memory Landscapes: Shadow Pictures Two

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Laurie says:

This is a group of shadow pictures that I’m considering for my major work in progress, Memory Landscapes.  The gallery is here and a description of the project is here.  Since I’m in the process of creating a complex aesthetic of memory and memoir, the description of the project is also a work in progress.

I’m putting them up much larger than usual to give a sense of what they’ll look like as iPad art.

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I posted about some of the shadow images earlier this year. I’ve been working on the photos and the associative memory chains but haven’t been writing about them nearly enough. The shadow pictures represent a place where you space out and “your brain goes to Brooklyn”, so to speak.

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We remember vividly, with intervals of presence without definite thought or focus. (This is not the optimal description but I’m working on it.)

I have a newer “in progress” version of the associative memory chains that includes some spoken word pieces and shadow photos that I’ll be linking to and writing more about pretty soon. Here is the present version I have up.  Check it out if you’re not familiar with the project.

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I’ve been somewhat obsessed with these shadow images in recent months. I’ve also been working on some shadow video that I’ll be posting about as well.

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I’m taking some down time so I probably won’t be posting for a few weeks.  Then I’ll be putting up a major photo from Memory Landscapes.

Wild Fires: Stunning Flames

Laurie says:

These remarkable photos of wild fires by David McNew are from In Focus by Alan Taylor in the Atlantic.

Once more, triple-digit summer temperatures and dry conditions are fueling wildfires across California. Getty photographer David McNew has been covering many of these fires for more than a decade, and has an eye for finding the visual beauty amid the horrible destruction and efforts to battle these blazes. Gathered here are some of McNew’s compelling photographs of Californian wildfires over the past decade.

As I have written before, I have serious reservations about the way art can valorize and glamorize human awfulness, especially in war photography. There are so many, many beautiful photos of war, devastation and poverty. I am very uncomfortable with the aesthetization of human misery

These images of fire don’t affect me that way. Somehow, because fire is a natural element and fires are among other things part of the natural ecology, I respond to the beauty of these photos without emotional reservations. The ones I’ve chosen do not involve people but are simply elemental fire. I chose Taylor’s simple photo information rather then more complete information that was embedded with the photos. The details of the complete information context these photos in a way that involves me in the destruction and its effects, which distances me from direct involvement in the beauty.

I think the photographs speak for themselves.

..

LAKE HUGHES, CA - JUNE 1: Yuccas catch fire as the Powerhouse fire makes a fast run toward Lake Hughes on June 1, 2013 south of Lake Hughes, California. The 19,500-acre wildfire destroyed numerous homes overnight. Nearly 1,000 firefighters have been working in hot, dry conditions to establish containment lines around 20 percent of the fire so far. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)Joshua trees burn as the Powerhouse fire makes a fast run toward Lake Hughes on June 1, 2013, south of Lake Hughes, California.

Large flames are blown from burning mobile homes by strong wind on November 15, 2008, in Sylmar, California

The landscape glows immediately after the main fire front swept over in a fast run toward Lake Hughes on June 1, 2013, south of Lake Hughes, California

The landscape glows immediately after the main fire front swept over in a fast run toward Lake Hughes on June 1, 2013 south of Lake Hughes, California