New work: Simultaneity No.88 – 92

New work

First new Simultaneity images in quite a while. It seems I am not quite yet done with this project.

My approach has changed slightly though the goal is the same: Simultaneity is a visual representation of experiencing the natural environment. They describe an experience, working like poetry but with images instead of words. I use my tools in unconventional ways, with my own techniques that allow me to inject extra meaning into an image. A conventional photograph isn’t expressive enough alone (and is burdened with its own traditions and expectations), so ‘unconventional photography’ is where I work. I don’t even like calling them “photographs”.

I now recognize that these experiences are highly personal, and that they are unique to me. I am not and cannot be an impartial observer… I can’t remove myself from the work. The artist is always present. These new images illustrate this.

Creating Simultaneity

Simultaneity is essentially on-site photographic collage. I ‘build-up’ the image (and ‘build-up’ meaning) by combining many faint exposures. Each superimposed exposure is nearly invisible by itself, but when combined together with many others, the image is formed. Overlapping bright areas get brighter. Darker elements stay dark. All of these pictures are combined ‘in-camera’, so I don’t quite know the result until I’ve finished. Chance and discovery are important to success.

I find this method of creating very empowering: it allows me to show more than a single point of view, I can emphasize an element by including it multiple times, or do the opposite by ‘working around it.’ Like a painter, this work is additive; to start with nothing and add elements to create the image. The resulting abstractions are both less and more descriptive than a single image alone.

/RonJohn

Simultaneity No.88-92. (2017). Photographs, 20×16″.

Jackson Pollock in action

Terribly low quality, but the last half (Pollock paints on glass, with the camera beneath) is worth the watch.

Apparently the filming taxed Pollock emotionally, and by the evening, the painter decided to pour himself some bourbon, his first drink in two years. A blowout argument followed; Pollock never stopped drinking again; and it was downhill from there…

Jackson Pollock 51: Short Film Captures the Painter Creating Abstract Expressionist Art

Don’t know Pollock? Here’s a couple more to watch:

Simultaneity Multi Studies 27 and 28

Simultaneity Multi Studies 27 and 28, 2015. Photography.

Wanted to show these images side-by-side. They were made on the same day (perhaps less than an hour apart), and notice how vastly different these photos are in character. In Simultaneity Multi 27 (left), the dark areas read as a foreground, maybe silhouetted against a bright blue and white sky. Multi 28 has this flipped, so we automatically read it as a reflection. But which is correct? (The answer is both, or neither). Now, try flipping them over (This is a lot easier on a phone than on computer LOL). Completely different, right?

When photographing…

Don’t settle for just your FIRST interpretation of a scene when photographing. Move around. Hold your camera in different ways. Shoot up and down. Shoot up from down (and down from up). And when you make your prints (you’re printing them out, right?), look at work in different orientations, in different situations. You might surprise yourself.

/RonJohn