Drunk on Words

Since I've been out of school, where I went to study photography, I've pretty much stopped taking pictures and instead can't seem to stop writing.

Studying fine art photography at a school mired in post modern conceptual practice might have soured me on art for a while.  I lie awake at night trying to fall asleep but in my head I'm writing blog posts, letters, tweets, and then I rewrite them and write some more. I think my brain is pissed that I neglected that part of it for so long.

In addition to the Nootsmaak, I'm writing on Alameda Patch, assembling a whole other world of words about life in Alameda (about which there seems to be a never-ending list of ideas, from needing to fix the poo smell at Central & Versailles to jet boat ferries to SF & the Peninsula and my awesome redesign of Alameda Point, all to come soon).

I mean, school was great and all... learning new things, the exhaustion, toxic chemicals... But finding out after a year & a half that the entire school seems to be all about pmod copho, as I call it (post modern conceptual photography), I couldn't take it anymore.

They don't tell you that when you apply.  Or after you get there.  Or when you're struggling to understand why your instructors won't respond to your work. (Most, not all - most - aren't interested in what you're doing unless it's postmodern conceptual.)

And granted, one should have a point of view, to want to communicate something to the viewer, but if you have to explain the picture, or what's behind it, then you're not a photographer.  Photo = fail.  And as a viewer, if you need an explanation - anything beyond a simple caption - then you're a lazy dipshit.

Having to make every single ever-lovin thing a deep, twisted, complicated rats nest of whoknowswhatall because no one wants to make the effort to bring something to the work - to interpret it on his own in whatever fashion... to have everything explained and positioned and rationalized and defended.  What an exhausting waste of energy.  And that is the complete opposite of being visually aware in a visual medium.  (Thank you, George, for providing some of the best writing about the hoax that is postmodern photography.)

Here, here's a photo of truck at a bowling alley. Wait, no.  No it isn't.  This - now this is an exploration of modern society... evidence of humanity in an urban landscape... The truck, alone in the parking lot without a license plate - anonymous and generalized like we've become in society, representing the transitory nature of humans and the never-ending struggle to find belonging... An empty, portable vehicle *juxtaposed* with the static, stationary building devoid of windows or any signs of life, a heavy, imposing cage of cinder blocks that imprisons its visitors... The "lanes" leading nowhere but inside a meaningless box... The more we search the more alone we become, the only signs of our efforts represented by the oil stains left behind where we once traveled...
You might laugh at that (and I hope you do) but if I could keep a straight face while saying all that in class, I could get most instructors to buy that, hook, line and stain.  Even better, if I paired that photo with this as part of the same conceptual exploration:
Fact is, I saw this at a gas station years ago and it made me laugh so hard I almost peed myself.  But no one at CCA seems interested in laughing.  Just thinking *really hard* about how to make things *really hard* or *really harder* and *more complicated* and *more complex* and *more more more* than it needs to be.

Gawd forbid we find joy in what we're doing, or try to impart joy into the world.  That simply isn't enough anymore - we need *narrative* and *meaning* and *complexity* and omigod I'm too tired.

Here's a picture of my cat.