Archive for May, 2008

Astounding Images of Africa

Transmitted on May 21 2008 to earth & nature

Nick Brandt’s photography uses the lens as a magnifier of the textures and tonality of the African wilderness, finding within its breadth and depth a sculptural, rather than pictorial, sense of beauty. The images Brandt captures do not concern themselves with the investigation (and subsequent possession) of their subjects as a whole; rather, they are an exploration of isolated shapes and surfaces that are otherworldly and thus scarcely capable of possession. One can understand what a zebra or elephant is, how it behaves, and what it looks like, but one would be hard-pressed to find themselves in the dream from which Brandt’s zebras have seemingly stepped. While their lives are entirely alien to us, their placement within such surreal context gives them a startling familiarity, as though we had once envisioned such beasts in legend or trance. In this way the work serves as a literal “image-world”, a playground for forms that, while already known and perhaps cherished, have become imbued with peculiar magic by the photographic process; we are part of these beings (we have known them) and yet incalculably separate from them (as we were never present in this space and time).
Elephant Drinking
This dichotomy is what I believe is Brandt’s main concern in photography. While these moments in Africa have in fact occurred, and have thus etched themselves to film, it appears unlikely-—in fact virtually inconceivable—-for us to ever again achieve the same experience in a world outside of the artist’s frames. It is this impossibility which leads to the images’ power, for they represent an unattainable world somehow informed by and cross-woven with our own.Portrait of Two Zebras
Yet, most importantly, for these images to be part of our reality (that is, to be seen at all), we must also acknowledge that these places, these beings, also exist now within our internal universe. Susan Sontag writes that our understanding of the world is affected not by our experience of it, but by our images of it: we are more aware of what has been captured than what has been merely seen. These photographs, then, serve as both an extension of our awareness and a reminder that that awareness will be forever limited to a single shot, to a few focused seconds of sunlight on silver.Giraffes Under Swirling Clouds
Absolutely phenomenal work. I urge you to explore it.

Laid Off? The One Thing You Absolutely Need to Do On the First Day

Transmitted on May 08 2008 to living fully

Fantastic post by Jason Kester of Expat Software, Laid off? The one thing you absolutely need to do on the first day offers one fantastic suggestion of what to do with your first day of freedom.
“When you get right down to it, you’ll probably find a way to talk yourself out of [doing this]. You’ll come up with some pretty believable excuses, but really it will come down to the fact that you’re scared.”

Well worth the read.

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