How odd is it, in this age of free video hosting on the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, with the prevalence of podcasts and parallax web articles, that anyone, anyone, would choose a forum so basic as a bare bones HTML blog as their preferred conduit through which to share experience, expand upon introspection... To tell a story?
I'm frequently wondering if my stubborn reluctance to embrace the gracious provisions of Web 2.0 isn't somehow biting me in the butt. And alas... here I am, pontificating on the matter in that same "basic bitch" blog. Silly, right?
An emboldened part of me detests the idea of any pursuit not immediately graced with direct financial boons. And Web 2.0 certainly demands an enormous sort of personal investment, and far from a surefire pocket of unrealized success, it is a gamble of a thing, dependent on the inconsistency of content consumers to realize any potential of "virility". Suffice to say it is... a bad investment.
And yet a relative unknown started a Facebook page doing candid portraits and aligning them with wordage which may or may not have been the stories of those persons photographed.
Another, significantly darker, element at play is a wonder if my concept of vanity could ever be quieted enough these days to indulge those stories people would prefer to hear... The stories of other people. I am quite the narcissistic fuck these days.
Case and point...
... I have no idea who this girl is. We spoke at length at Grand Central this past Friday. Spoke to the point of cordial comfort, to the point at which she felt absolutely comfortable with me photographing her, even with the awful light, even despite the fact she was drunk and incapable of keeping both eyes open at the same time (let alone either eye open at all). I recall that she unraveled herself upon my verbal invitation, unraveling myself (which should not be considered a fair trade, ever, when dealing with the proudly unraveled). And yet I can't remember a goddamn thing she told me. I was not nearly as drunk as this (otherwise elated) young woman. Somehow I suspect she came away from the conversation, in her inebriated state, with far more insight and context to share than I.
Todd, my boyfriend, mentioned to me the other day that I used to come home from working assignments with long, developed, stories on those for whom I'd just assisted with my particular skill set. The people mattered, and even if it drove him to a bored eye roll amid my ramblings, the humanist enthusiasm persisted as a positive influence. He mentioned this because I don't often speak in such fond, enthusiastic reminisce so much these days.
Frankly, I'm quite tired of my defining narrative arc being that of tragedy and conflict and struggle. More frankly, I'm not even certain that concept ever translated through my work as an artist, in my years of photographic work, certainly not in my intermediary lulls as an illustrator. I've spent a substantial span of my most formative living years attempting to spin a narrative onto which others could identify and latch onto, and yet here I am, at least 5 years into that narrative's commercial realization, and could not feel less confident about the actualizing potential of those efforts. Most frequently, I find myself pondering if I have not actually been forcing a design of self with such ferocity that I am now, perhaps, a terrible person for it. No time allocated for friendships, no time allocated for family, no time for loved ones, no time for construction of relationships, no time for maintenance of relationships (I italicize that final point because it is absolutely the most poignant to me as I rabidly consume people, consume relationships, like an extraction industry resource, strip mining every last benefit of friendship before ultimately growing tired and bored and moving onto the next pool of emotional wealth).
The cliche of my childhood, the archetypal "bad guy", was always that of the great Free Market Capitalist. Always posturing, always dominating. But in the end, whose end goals left him, logically, alone.
I am Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my works, ye mighty... and despair.