Friday, July 27, 2012
First, I put my conformist hat on and joined in on this whole tumblr bandwagon. If you'd like, you can catch my work and little snippets of faux wisdom at http://kneejerkimager.tumblr.com. Warning you, though, I'm still getting used to the thing. And I'm pretty much devoid of social skills with its inherent community.
Secondly, I would like to apologize for my mute trend over this forum. The days have been busy, and only all the more difficult in the past 2 weeks. I'm sure a more adequate monthly review will come once the flurry of activity dies down in my professional life. Oh the woes of the working man.
Third and lastly, I've been in some rather engaging conversation with a certain someone over our respective approaches to photography as less a hobby and more a lifestyle and more importantly the trials of our private lives and how they seem to seep into the work we produce. Earlier this morning I made something of a series of confessions to him, confessions I feel compelled to share in this far more public space. Without further adeu:
"Sympathize on the whole "I'm not occupied" point particularly. I'm bored all the time, too. Video games don't hold the same allure they used to. Without driving off somewhere I just go nuts sitting around and stewing over how I wish I was doing anything else but sitting on my ass and staring at Facebook in less-than-giddy anticipation of updates. I think it comes down to the adrenaline junkie nature of urbex in general - we go to amazing places, do amazing things, see amazing things. When we return to the normal, functioning world, it's like we suffer a low-grade PTSD. There is nothing extreme, nothing incredible about the flow of our normal lives. We are never putting ourselves in grave danger or engaging in outright stupid acts of acrobatics, B&E and/or evasion. It's a safe world. It's a hugbox. And we're so much happier to feel the extreme of knowing our lives and livelihood are in legitimate danger.
That weird sense of post-traumatic stress had me drinking a lot, again drawing a parallel here. I'm actually just a week and 5 days sober, forcing myself to cut back on the drinking for a while. Even cut coffee out of my life since I was downing shots of espresso like a junkie. Everything in excess. The coffee made it impossible for me to relax and the booze gave me the false free ticket to do crazy stupid things from getting kicked out of places to starting fights to "urbexing" construction sites and falling out of second story windows. I was breaking myself in every way possible, and I liked the feeling of being broken. It was a private thrill to wake up after the nightly bender, figure out what I broke, what I lost, who I pissed off and put things back together again. It made me feel substantiated in the weirdest way. Nobody can put himself back together at the same pace he can tear himself down, though. It needed to stop, hence this current sobriety trial I'm putting myself through. Uncomfortable places. Like you said.
I think we're all desperate to be immortals. Artists, I mean. We feverishly record our lives, our points of view, the things and people we see, how they make us feel. What we do when we're bored, alone and can't figure out why we're still breathing. Our art is our cry for attention. But not just the attention of right now. We want the attention of some kid who stumbles upon an old shoebox in an old house 100 years from now and can't help but read the words on paper or shuffle through the polaroids. In this digital age it's harder to garner more than a fleeting existence in the attention of the masses. We are a culture of disposable talent, disposable people. Internet fads. But we'll figure it out in the end. We're just that persistent. We want to be remembered."