Unexpected Magicks: Prose and Photography

January 15, 2010

January 13-30, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall Grand Lobby, Seattle WA

I’ve always been in thrall to the Written Word. It’s nothing short of a miracle to me that a jumble of symbols—if they’re hurtled together with enough passion, vigor, skill, and imagination—can reach into the deepest most guarded recesses of your soul and pull out an infinite universe of emotions and pictures. And combining visually-charged words with actual imagery was a siren’s song.

Writing’s been second-nature for me for as long as I can remember, but I only began documenting the world around me photographically about a year-and-a-half ago. A soon-to-be-demolished building a few blocks from work was emblazoned with the image of a sad-eyed goblin (painted by some enterprising tagger); and I wanted to preserve it. That goblin—and seismic changes from within and without me—opened my eyes. Soon, pockets of wonder, mystery, romance, and beauty greeted me ‘round every corner. And I began capturing scores of them, with a massive equipment arsenal comprised of one well-worn Pentax Optio camera and an unjaded set of eyes (a few of them were collected in a book, Neighborhood Metamorphosis).

If there’s an aesthetic to what I’m doing here, I guess it’s just the simple act of seeing beauty and wonder where it’s least expected; and using all of the creative tools at your disposal to unearth it. Few of the words that accompany these images entail your typical “I was feeling this and thinking this when I took this picture” harangue; at least not in the literal sense. Some of them are meant to evoke a mood, the way a melody thrumming through a scene in a movie can evoke unexpected layers of emotion beneath the images. In other instances, the words just represent my imagination running rampant—seeing barnacles on a discarded pillar as romantic offerings from a love-struck sea god, or viewing a hard-luck case’s entire life in the reverse reflection of three numbers through a glass door.

Whenever I place pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to compose fiction or poetry, whenever I look through the camera lens and depress the shutter, I’m placing my palm upon the earth to transmit my feelings to others. If that sounds pretentious or soppy, so be it. But the intent–with all my mind, heart, and soul—is to telegraph magic.

I hope you enjoy experiencing the spell as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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One Response to “Unexpected Magicks: Prose and Photography”

  1. […] last weekend. The pieces originally showed at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in January as part of the Unexpected Magicks […]

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