Originally uploaded by me at flickr, as fotogail.
Sunday I stopped by the road in Cloverdale, California and peeked inside an old “teepee” or “wigwam” sawdust burner. With low light on the rusty dome colors were remarkable. Once used for burning sawdust in a lumber mill, now it sits rusting in a field, with a gorgeous rusty dome above.
This image is called “draped #2…”, and it was originally uploaded by Bruce Grant at Flickr.
I came across this shot at Flickr ths morning, and realized that the emotional impact has to do with a sequential exposure to one photographer’s work. In this case, I have become friends with Bruce, but I think it holds for people I have little knowledge of as well.
Here’s what I posted in my comment to the photographer, who incidentally is unfolding a largely abstract but context-laden epic on two photosharing sites in tandem:
i just took a sharp breath. i love the emotional reach of the tarp folds and the logical framework of the steel. that much would read to me in black and white. but then the steel is colorful — that’s like spock laughing or weeping. out of nowhere the rigid grid is singing.
question to self: if i didn’t know about the drapery, construction and grid themes, would this be as thrilling? is there a sequential drama to watching a photographer’s work online that adds a dimension, that makes this a new artistic venture altogether?
sorry to get so wordy. how exciting to see.
The words I threw out remind me of all I learned about online interaction and addiction from Scott McCloud’s groudbreaking work, “Understanding Comics.” It’s a book (in comics form of course) about the evolution and meaning of sequential images mixed with words. Which is of course something we are doing on our blogs and our social photo sites.
Just as comics is a form of its own, not a series of captioned images, continuity in socially networked photoblogging makes this take on the qualities of a new and distinct art form.
I can find meaning because I have learned a new vocalbulary. In this case, I have learned Bruce Grant enough to laugh with amused pleasure when several of his “concerns” and themes colide in one basically pretty esoteric and semi-abstract picture.
It’s a new art because it has an intrinsic timeline.