Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mountain Itself

It’s an uncanny experience – to navigate throughout mountainous terrain, even in the most basic of manners (in my case, with the ease of a car – stopping to wander for short bits). Reviewing photographs and video made on-site a couple of days after the “fact” – adds a layer of remove, furthering the incongruities between experience and representation. Why does a mountain appear as a mountain?  How does it transform when you are upon it, or beside it – either in its space or with its image?

A good friend (a partner in crime of sorts in terms of this kind of thinking) serendipitously sent along a Merleau-Ponty passage in an email the other day, just as I happened to be out on my excursion along the Icefields Parkway. Thank you, Leigh-Ann…
"It is the mountain itself which from out there makes itself seen by the painter; it is the mountain that he interrogates with his gaze.  What exactly does he ask of it? To unveil the means, visible and not otherwise, by which it makes itself mountain before our eyes. Light, lighting, shadows, reflections, color, all these objects of his quest are not altogether real objects; like ghosts, they have only visual existence. In fact they exist only at the threshold of profane vision; they are not ordinarily seen. The painter's gaze asks them what they do to suddenly cause something to be and to be this thing, what they do to compose this talisman of a world, to make us see the visible."
MMP Eye and Mind, pp. 128
Click on image(s) for larger view: 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Of Reminiscent Repulsion

I’m a couple of days late posting – been in and out of the studio, making photographs and capturing video around Banff and along the Icefields Parkway yesterday (a post on that to follow). But, it’s all about the random associations with this batch. 

Things/scenes/objects/material(s) – reminiscent to/from one another, and beside, or aside to/from one another – separate and distinct, yet common.

The phrase “on thin ice” keeps popping up – obviously because I was very near to some, physically, but I also feel as though I’m treading dangerously close to some pretty ridiculous territory with some of these images.

How far is too far? How dumb is too dumb? We’re talking brillo pads and trash bags, people. 

Ah, what the hell.

On that note, a brief passage from H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness,

The touch of evil mystery in these barrier mountains, and in the beckoning sea of opalescent sky glimpsed betwixt their summits, was a highly subtle and attenuated matter not to be explained in literal words.  Rather was it an affair of vague psychological symbolism and aesthetic association…even the wind’s burden held a peculiar strain of conscious malignity...

There was a cloudy note of reminiscent repulsion in this sound, as complex and unplaceable as any of the other dark impressions.

Click on image(s) for larger view:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Beyond; on the other side of

Instead of writing out a description or summary – I’m going with a list today, of sorts.  Things I’ve been thinking about, looking into.

• What is an ultra-perception (à la, Laruelle)?  How does it differ from/relate to Bergon’s “pure perception” in Matter & Memory?
“A perception which exists in theory, rather than in fact…capable by giving up every form of memory, of obtaining a vision of matter both immediate and instantaneous.” (Bergson)

• Abstraction and the land(scape)

• Pattern and atmosphere - distortion and clarity (visual and/or psychological)

A few images now, and a video clip.  Click on the image(s) for larger view: