Soccer ball/Decal (from “Lots”)
© Tim Davis
What is it to be able to make a complete image instantaneously? It is Art After A.D.D. It is also the perfect Modern, mechanistic pathology: the response to our world–a veritable theme park of Flux–with answers that are complete, edge to edge, and insanely sure of themselves. The camera doesn’t care what it looks at. It knows no history. Presidents are pixels; tragedies flatten. The flip side: EVERYTHING CAN MATTER.
In Ionesco’s children’s book, Story #2, “Papa teaches Josette the real meaning of words.” He tells her that the bets on all names of things are off. She makes up the names. Ever since that book was dropped in my papoose, I’ve favored renaming everything. It’s a way to resist authority. Visually, it’s distrusting design. Less grandly, it’s loving looking at things you’re not supposed to. Architecture, for example, is a form for controlling human behavior. It’s ideological. Try just noticing in every room you enter how some cognitive force has anticipated every move you make. Then notice how your presence in that room alters the grand design in infinite ways no architect could anticipate. You scratch surfaces. You add images. You misuse. That is how I feel about photography. It is the mapping of the way humans rename every syntax the designers can toss at us.
America (the booty-full)
Back to that Theme Park of Flux. It’s called America. This is the most historyless place in history. We revise the economy constantly. We revere revision. Nothing is sacred. Look at Carleton Watkins and Timothy O’Sullivan [heroes to this 'unhere]. Not a single man-made structure in their photographs survives. What’d Dorothy Parker call life: “a medley of extemporanea?” America is a symphony of One-Offs. We’re always Supersizing and Downsizing or something. That’s why photographing it matters.