Friday, June 20, 2008


I've often been told that there is no possible perfect world. I'll buy that. But I'm also often told that there is no "best" world. That there cannot really be an ideal. That the world is as it is and could not be otherwise, or would be the same over all even if minor things were slightly different.

I keep finding that I idsagree with this idea. I have a fairly firm belief, so firm I get worried that it's faith, that the world could realistically be better. I don't believe in fate or destiny or purpose, so I don't believe in a grand scheme or a creator's plan. As such, I keep thinking that things could be better, and that a real utopia could be possible. How good that utopia could actually be is beyond me, but I feel like things are, at their core, good and reasonable, and with some effort, could be forced in that direction permenantly, or at least for extended periods.

Like I said, I do fear that it's faith. I don't want this assumption to be without reason, because if it is that makes it harder to have faith in it.

Luckily for my sense of self esteem, I've stumbled accross a bit of evidence to explain my belief. There are behaviors that are considered "good things" that we do. "Sacrifice", "altruism", "selflessness", and "charity" are words that we use to describe "good things". There are two kinds of "good things": the kind which provide benefits to the world, no matter who does them and for what reasons, and the kind that may or may not benefit many people, or any for that matter, but are done with the intent of being good or helpful. It's that latter that we get praise for. In fact, we sometimes look down on praise given to a deed which was done without the intention to be good.

The category of things we praise is special because we almost feel it necessary to have it be something the person performing the behavior doesn't want to do. If you do something anybody would do, something people want to do, even if it benefits others, it generally doesn't warrant special praise for the person doing it. One would probably not be praised for entering into a symbiotic relationship with others. Their fortune would be celebrated, but I don't think we would congradulate the person on their decision. It would be viewed as a good, positive thing, but would not be an act of "goodness".

Those who say no act is selfless I think could be true, but I don't believe they are. Sacrifice for others is the intentional act of doing something "good". Whatever our cultural concept of "good" is. Now, it's true that different concepts of "good" can step on each other's feet, even cause genocide and war, but I think that in general, war, murder, torture and selfish self preservation are caused by people who are torn between doing what they feel is "good" and "right", and what will satisfy their physical and psychological pains and pleasures.

I get criticized for being soft, too nice, a pushover, and a wimp. These criticism come, of course, when my choice of behavior that I see as "good" negatively affects me in the physical and psychological sense. But then, we expect this. Because if the behavior wasn't harmful to me in some way, it wouldn't be "good". It would be natural.

I feel like "good" is natural, though, and very achievable because when I do do something that's "right", that I'm sure will hurt me or not, and it works, either by benefiting me and others or just others, I feel as if I've tapped into the utopia. Things are working the way they should. Everything is easier. The feelings that I want all the time are there, all senses of confusion are gone. I feel like for the moment and in my tiny sphere of influence, the world has been pushed toward it's ideal state. And if everyone did it with one another, things might seem so clearly correct that the behaviors would be sustained, as would the feeling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Ol' Question Mark

I spend about ten minutes thinking about what I want to write before I start, hoping that it won't be awkward and I won't look at it in a few days and have it seem strangely childish. Then, just as I think I've got it, the phone rings (because I'm always procrastinating at work when im blogging) without fail, and my clever scheme is ruined. I think next time I'll try for a meditative blankness and hope that the phone call joggs some subconscious inspiration.

I think I've got a little of Nico's missing quarter life crisis. I've been spoiled by college and post-college excitements. I've had my closest friends at my finger tips and been constantly distracted by personal drama. Now things have settled down, people have moved away, situations have become simpler and more complicated at the same time, and I'm feeling empty... It's strange because I'm proud to feel like I develop in to a more adult and more interesting person each year. Yet somehow there seems to be a strange letdown and a frustratingly unromantic sadness that follows me into the shower each morning. It's hard to analyze what the problem is when all recent decisions seem so appropriate.

I think this is partly due to the silly fact that things have been so good in recent years. Much better than at any time before. I suppose I just expected things to keep soaring up up up! When they plateau it seems like everything's come crashing down.

My impending (hopefully) teaching career seems like a beacon of salvation, though a hugely terrifying one, which is a strange quality for a beacon of salvation to have. I worry, and probably shouldn't because that can only make things worse, that I'm putting too much weight into a career and building it up too high. Fortunately that adjective "hugely terrifying" helps to dilute my blind optimism.

Maybe all I need is some good ol' escapism coupled with a little personal creativity. I got turned onto a fabulous little fantasy adventure which cured my blues entirely for the two days it took me to read it. Of course when it's over and I'm forced to remember that I am, in fact, NOT an important piece in a world saving, millenia old prophecy of bold adventure and really do need to get this paper work done, it does make the monotony that much harder to cope with.

I'm convinced that photography and art in general is the catalyst that will begin the end of my funk. I havn't put any energy into pictures lately. I feel like I haven't had the time, though that's probably not true. However, reading Rice Boy has ignited the desire to write again. I've even been trying to flesh out difficult plot elements while on the toilet! I'm thiiiiis close to actually picking up the pen keyboard again.

Maybe hijacking a scanner would cheer me up...

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Don't Relate to Real People

I've always been annoyed that many of the media I love, like comic books, video games, and anything animated, are often looked down upon as lower forms of similar media. I think people are even willing to champion sitcoms by saying "yea I really relate to the people in Sex in the City" before they would admit that anime or comic books have real social value. So, for my own sake and anyone else who can't quite put their finger on why reading comics and playing video games seems like less of a waste of time than everyone else seems to think, here's a list of some works that have really changed the way I see the world:

Neon Genesis Evangelion- Eva is only really impressive the second time through. At first it seems like a mix of slow paced teen drama and entirely too short kaiju battles. Once you learn what the Human Instrumentation Project is, though, and once you've really gotten the final episode (and the movie, the movie's pretty important), it really becomes amazing. The slowness of the series becomes a meditation on loneliness and alienation, and the battles become emotional punctuation to illustrate how serious the ideas are. The entire series is perched on the idea that loneliness and individual loss is so hurtful that it is better to do away with all of humanity and the world than suffer through emotional hardship. The profundity of embarrassment and segregation are so palpable that I end up thinking about this series whenever I feel isolated.

Paranoia Agent- Similar to Evangelion, Paranoia Agent is only really impressive after you understand the permeating theme and purpose. This series, like Eva, is trying to convey something intangible through episodic meditations. Knowing the series' end, I find myself next to tears watching the opening of the first episode. If you haven't seen it, or didn't care for it, it's about responsibility and the misguided notion that guilt and responsibility are things to be avoided. Also like Eva, the supernatural aspects seem to be designed to emphasize the gravity and near invisible nature of the issue. This is one of the few works that actually makes me fear the modern world and electronic culture. I've never bought into the idea that automation and depersonalization are necessarily bad things. However, the idea that escapism and anonymity are breeding grounds for artificial and incomplete moralities is something that really affects me.

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye- I should say "The Dark Knight Returns", but that would take too long to talk about, and Sin City's value is pretty similar. The first of the Sin City books really strikes me as a great dive into masculinity. Marv is such a great character, so obviously perfect as a masculine ideal, so utterly broken as a person. His bizarre/not-so-bizarre treatment of women, his his utilitarian view of violence, the complete intertwined nature of his ego and sexuality all are things that have reminded me why I never felt discouraged when I didn't feel macho. However, reading it makes me feel pity and pride for men. It glorifies the strengths of stoicism while offering sympathy for the pathetic shortcomings and childishness that Marv embodies. I read this book as Masculist.

Epileptic- All these works mean something to me because they help me understand things that are hard to explain with words and simple images. They all require time and variations on a theme. Epileptic lets me into someone else's dreams and dazed memories better than any psychedelic music that I can think of. It uses simple language to convey the sort of information that's conscious and readily recalled; abstracted, surreal, aboriginal figures flesh out the emotional backdrop to events. The book manages to feel like those nostalgic memories that you have a hard time explaining to people, those mundane moments that are only valuable to you, but universally experienced. Everything that makes this book wonderful is invisible yet perfectly projected into my mind.

Shadow of the Colossus- I wish there were more video games to list here, but I really don't think there are than many good artistic achievements in video games at this point. This one, however, is a good'n. This is one of the best examples of romantic visual art that I know of. Aside from the fact that the player is...basically destroying natural edifices...this game exalts nature in a way that few paintings and movies manage to do. The act of moving through an expansive space and the fact that you really are forced to sit back and take in the scenery makes this one of the few effectively ambient I've seen. The sheer slow power of this game gives me the feeling that I can only assume Wanderer Above the Mist was going for. This game makes me want to walk out in the rain and look up.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Office Humor

my email to the company:
group x me

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Weekly God Inoculation

Stuart asked me a question the other night that I had sort of considered a fact of life. The more I thought about it though, the more it seemed like a pretty profound thing. Maybe its just me....

Church is something that I grew up with, and assumed that everyone else did too. It's one of those childish ignorances that inexperience yields, like my confusion as everyone on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego wanted to go to California. (why would anybody want to go here on vacation? Don't we all live there? Wouldn't you rather go somewhere exotic?)

Of course I learned a long long time ago that not everyone goes to church, but it's been a long time ingrained in my that everyone, least most everyone, grows up with religion in their life. I never thought of my family as being religious, but I went to church every Sunday for....well.... I assume it was at least a few years. Then it was every other week or so, then for many years it was Easter and Christmas (incidentally the worst times to go to church, because it was taken entirely too seriously). In fact, going to church on Easter and Christmas as a non-practicing family was something that I remember being a cultural norm well into my jr. high years. In high school people who "weren't religious" were really surprised, if they "were religious", shocked, to find that I had stopped attending church altogether. Ever. This despite the fact that I referred to myself as "Christian, I guess" and definitely thought of myself as spiritual (a phrase my mom still uses frequently when being religious seems inappropriate).

It's important for me to note that, although my parents are Christian and do not entirely share my ideologies, their beliefs and guidance are definitely a big part of why I think the way I do. I hold most of their beliefs about the world, save that one about God. But they never lied to me, never mislead me, and always helped find answers to any question.

Religion and theology are grand ideas, central to much of humanity and possibly older than any other cultural beliefs. They are fundamental to our understanding of the universe. At the same time, they are very, very much a matter of opinion. We have more direct evidence to support theories of physics that we have never experienced and are in direct contradiction with the ones we do.

I was never told that God existed. Or that Christianity was truthful. But it was heavily implied, and no attempt was made to directly dilute phrases like "thank you God who art in heaven" or "we give thanks to you our Lord, father of all". Those are big statements for an impressionable kid, and my church was full of them. I assume that most churches are, because mine was hardly evangelical. We read scripture and talked about being a better person. But you were really hard pressed to go more than a few sentences without hearing something from the set [God, Jesus, Lord, Savior, Praise, Worship, Almighty], all words which I now hear with definite distaste.

Actually, I'm sure my folks did tell me things like "no, we don't know if God exists" and "no religion is the right one". I think my mom always gave a little sigh before she said things like that, like they were opening a door she would've preferred to stay shut, but knew that it needed to be opened.

This is all a little melodramatic, so I mention how quickly I was disillusioned and began my journey to non belief. All this grandiose high and mighty crap comes from Sunday school. I loathed Sunday school. I think we're all pretty susceptible as children, and being told that in the past there used to be magic is a big thing. It's like Santa, or the Easter bunny, or anything that you're led to believe is true up to a certain age. The fact that you know they exist gives realism and hope to dozens of other beliefs that culture tends to rely on to define "childhood". Not that you reeeeeeeally believe Sata exists as he's explained to you, but for a time the fact that the impossible is possible gives explanation for so many unknowable things. Most are just revealed to be not true. Santa, bunny, card tricks, the democratic process. Some actually do endure up through adulthood. I wish I could forget all the times I've heard the word "magically" used to explain how skin care products work.

Sunday school for me was about real life stories. Now, I'm a little surprised that adults are fed lines about mystical forces and vague generalities about how to live, and the children are given specific, concrete examples that could hypothetically take place today, but involve miracles and earthly evidence of the devine. This seems a little bass ackward to me. I guess kids can't be expected to make the leap of faith! I think adults just think kids are stupid. At least Santa came when I was asleep. "God is with you all the time" was a pretty easy statement to disprove when I didn't understand it's poetic depth.

So, one day, when we were being told about Jesus healing the sick and transmogrifying matter, the skeptic that had been growing in me for years crept out and asked my hapless teacher "was Jesus a real person, or is he just a character?". I got a deer-in-the-headlights look from my teacher for a few minutes before it was followed by a very respectable, very ambiguous "some people believe he was, but we don't really know for sure." This prompted me thinking there was really no real reason why we were Christian and not Jewish, seeing as Jesus's existence was the only difference between the two in my mind. This, in turn, prompted my questioning of our being any religion at all, since we have no way of choosing.

I think my resistance to going to Sunday school was pretty solid from that point forward. It didn't take long to reject words like "worship" and "lord", but rejecting words like "God" and "heaven" was a much more scary process.

It just seems really strange to me. A belief structure, religion in general, is a pretty heavy thing to incorporate into your life. It's like a wierd scary movie where there's this invisible thing around you all the time. Except it's friendly. It's supposed to be so important that it becomes a major part of your life, an assumption, and for some a focal point.

So how come we were all dragged back to church? Why do we need weekly shots of God to maintain the faith? Along with broccoli and homework, God was one of those painful thigns that was good for you. If it was so wonderful and natural, why did everyone hate it so much? Nobody ever said broccoli and homework were great. Just necessary.

Coming to the conclusion that religion wasn't necessarily true, and that all I had to do was STOP BELIEVING, was a frightening freedom. Coming to the conclusion that it was essentially a millenium old scam to trick people into not killing themselves and others was an insulting jolt.

I do miss my church-inspired beliefs. I miss thinking that everything was goign to be ok, no matter what. I miss dreaming about Heaven. I miss thinking that there was always help out there. I miss thinking that whatever happens, I'll always get another chance and another life. But I'm glad I found my own answers. Church always left a bad taste in my mouth similar to when the answer to a question was "because".

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I've been envious of my friends who were musicians or drawers or painters for a long time. They were artists, and I wasn't. They could create and express on a level that I was not invited to.

On my Oxy application I talked about woodworking as my only creative outlet, but in reality, that wasn't true. It wasn't my window to expression. Isn't. Woodworking has always felt like a glorified craft to me. It's creative but not expressive. In fact, one of the reasons I liked it was exactly because it was less expressive. I had a really hard time knowing what to paint or sculpt in classes. I was mortified. Even with all my loud mouthery and opinionated pontificating I was unable to think of anything to express in my sculpture class at Oxy. All I wanted to do was build.

I've found that images are the most meaningful form of input for me. I can feel my gut reaction to images much better than I can to sounds or words. The only thing I like more than seeing is touching. But touch is shallow to me. It's one dimensional, hedonistic. Images are both pleasurable and meaningful. They can express and please simultaneously. That's what I think "artists" want to be part of.

I took a photo class in high school because I wanted to touch things. Thats what electives meant to me. Cooking, wood working, painting, journalism. Required education involved only intellectual stimuli. No sensory input. Specifically no touch. The less touch, the less I was interested. I always wanted to play with paints and instruments more than I wanted to create music or paintings. But I knew the romantic glory of art, and didn't want to dabble in the superficial elements of craft without achieving any of the philosophical depth of a medium.

So, I went for photography. It seemed easy. My dad did it all the time, I'd seen more pictures than I had paintings or songs or sculptures, and I didn't have to think too much about what I wanted to say. I could shoot what I thought was interesting, and wait to blow intellectual smoke up someone's butt later. (I've learned since that this is in fact what many artists do a good deal of the time, in all media. I even had art teachers telling me to do this without realizing it. "Everything you create is an expression of who you are, even if you don't know what that is.")

So, I borrowed my dad's camera, had a wonderful time touching it, the paper, the development equipment, and tried to take pictures of things I wanted to touch. I found the most pleasure taking pictures of things that were too big or too intangible to actually touch with my hands. The results were mediocre at best. Very forgettable, very thoughtless, very novice. I wasn't frustrated though, because I didn't have any plans to say anything with the lens. I at best hoped to create an image that was neat looking.

I got a very cheap film camera from a thrift store my second year at Oxy, and pretty much just played with it. My interest has grown steadily since, and I think with this class I'm taking I finally have a grasp of what the medium means to me.

Photography's strength, as with all art, is communication of things otherwise noncommunicable. Photographers depict the invisible that exists beneath the immediately visible. This can be two fold. They can show emotion, ideas, relationships. Actually show what a poem describes, similar to the way a painter might. And/or they can reveal things that are visible but are often overlooked; present that which the photographer thinks is important, but is not usually noticed. If you can do both, you're doing well.

The second has been my only interest up till now. Well, I shouldn't say that. It's been my primary interest, and the only thing I could do half way decent. My desire to "touch" comes from a fascination with texture and pattern, I think. Shooting objects and abstracts lets me touch those elusive invisible things, and lets my try to explain my desire to do so. If I can take a picture of peeling paint and make it seem engaging and elegant, then maybe you will understand and sympathize with my desire to absorb it into myself. Not to mention my frustration when I discovered that actually touching those things ruins them.

Thats one explanation. The other lurking truth is that taking objects absolved me from doing what's really scary in photography. Shooting people and time.

I'm still drawn to the images of William Eggeleston and Edward Steichen for the above reasons, and I've always been frustrated by the artistic and popular acclaim for Walker Evans, Dorothea Lang and Eugene Smith. Their art was always hailed as the greatest contribution to photography, the value of the medium and the true integrity of the artist's heart. And I never liked their work! They were of people, they were emotional and tragic, but ultimately unfulfilling. The objects were not textured and palpable. There were no patterns that I could drink or shapes that excited me. I think now I'm finally starting to get it. They are photographing the intangible and telling stories armed only with what actually exists. They are telling a story with an image that only exists for one instant.

I'm sure I understood this before, but I didn't really have a frame of reference. Well, now I do. Somewhat, anyway. Having been in this class I finally feel like I'm able to (albeit not very competently) see the intangible in the tangible. And I'm learning to draw it into the lens. The reason I think this sort of photography has been elusive up till this point is that it requires me to put myself in the scenarios that I want to depict. I have to engage with the subject and the environment the a way I don't when shooting objects that aren't going anywhere. I've always imagined photography and art production in general to be a very personal, relatively solitary process. Having to be social and outgoing toward strangers is sort of uncharted territory. Thankfully, it ads another element of pleasure to the whole process. It's scary, but when it works, it makes the whole process more personal.

There's a texture and a pattern to emotion and temporality that I want to show. I can't capture it yet, but I can finally see it in other artist's images. That's a start I think... For the time being I'll have to be satisfied with telling simple stories and capturing ideas in an image. I think that's worth my money.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Self Explanatory


me: ?
ye scurvy dog best be plannin to plunder some magical booty this eve


me: or ill run ye through!

Fred: The greatest of treasure troves this pirate be seeking!
Gold and riches, magical creatures, and powerful voodoo from the lands of the Far East!

me: we set sail for the shores of nerddom once our bellies are full of ill gotten goods from the dank stink of down town!
dude, i cant keep this up
this is hard

Fred: YARRRR!!!


Fred: Be ye still dinning with yer wench this eve, and by what hour of night's dark embrace think ye'll be ready to set sail on the high seas for adventure?

me: 8 prolly....yar
hold on lemme check....matee


me: avast! the sinister damsels of fate be meddlin with our affairs!
the tavern of which we seek be dead upon the hour we wish to plunder


me: we be needin to set sail sooner
a plan, methinks, be in order

Fred: Would a different day to set sail on our voyage be more advantageous, and perhaps the sea more favorable to our journey?

me: nar, we cannot wait


me: while our bellies be empty their growl will ony spur our gluttonous ravagings!
we need capture the booty then celebrate with grogg and mutton!


me: i need councel with my live-in-wench 'fore we raise anchor
but this plan be a good one, says i

Fred: YARRRR, agree does I. For been a long fortnight I've been lusting after the magics and adding to my treasure trove!

me: sweet

Youre Doing Everything Wrong, But It's OK!

I had my first day of my first class since college last night. It's a photography class called Photographing the Moment. It's being taught by a very experienced photojournalist, who's name escapes me, and who scares the crap out of me.

It looks to be an awesome class. It's an art class, not an art history class, or a DIY class. Because of that, I'm experiencing for the first time what everyone who has always loved to paint said they hated so much about formal art classes. Being told that youre doing what you love wrong. Or, possibly worse, that youre doing just fine, but not as good as someone who is doing it stylistically differently.

Our first lectures (3 hour class, multiple lectures) were about "the best"s and "never"s and "all those hacks at National Geographic"s. I'm going to make note that using absolute terms like "never" and "always" too much when it comes to artistic approaches makes you sound pompous and like an ass. All these comments were quickly followed by "but thats ok!" which was a little confusing.

That being said, this class is going to be amazing, and I do like the prof. He's is a pompous ass, but he's fully aware of it, and has no intention of having us take him too seriously. He clearly knows what he's talking about and is very accomodating. I do dread the peer crtique periods though... Welcome to art school! uh, class.

I'm going to have weekly assignments, the first of which im very nervous about. I want to do well and I'm very scared of my own confidence. I'm trying really hard to pretend I have no expectations, and having people look at my stuff and say "eeh, it's ok" is ok. Truth is though, I want to be good, and I want to do well. I fear that "do well" means "be praised" though.

So expect a camera in your face for the next month. It's a for class!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Hyperbolic Bitchfest

I'm pretty sure bitchfest is a compound word.

Forgive me if I say something thats overly harsh. I'm mad and I desire emotional ventilation.

I'm mad at creationists. Not Creationism, that I think is silly but harmless. No it's the people who encourage Creationist theories that I'm wishing ill upon at the moment.

I was listening to KPCC (cause I can't get KCRW. not that KPCC isn't great, but I miss the end of the alphabet) today and heard that United States'ian Creationists are trying to make nice nice with fundamental Iranian Islamic Creationists with whom they bitterly disagree with on all other points of contention except the general desire to not murder children and puppies.

This historic and wonderful joining of two opposing yet concerned humanitarian groups resulted in biologists being driven out of universities, students being confused by the stark contradictions within paragraphs of their text as Creationism vies with Natural Selection for intellectual space that incidentally can easily be shared, and science as a mode of thought and discovery being called into question by dissecting the word "theory", all in a part of the world with enough problems already.

There are a number of beliefs at the moment which I vehemently disagree with, and they come from all over the cultural spectrum. From sexual conscription to the fundamental principles of Jihad to anti-abortionism, I take issue with these ideas at, what I consider to be, a basic level of logical analysis.

However, I am hard pressed to find another widely held belief system which actively seeks to eradicate knowledge. Anti-abortionists have a valid point that I disagree with. Homophobes simply refuse to see reason, but don't seem to be on a mission to falsify anything. Creationists seem to be hellbent on making sure that not only are their views heard, but opposing views are systematically removed from places where they can be presented appropriately. They are removing factual information and replacing it with religious conjecture and literary hearsay. I feel like well-meaning and surely very nice Creationists are stunting the processes by which we approach human understanding and global maturity by insisting that neither science nor religion be treated with the respect they deserve.

I feel profoundly frustrated and angry because I feel like the hard truths of the world are difficult to accept and many things about life and reality don't fit the diznee colored view of our lives that makes them easy to deal with. But knowing the way things really are makes us better people. It's when we see a new truth in a hurricane of partial or non-truths that we find actual fact difficult to deal with. Spirituality is a truth in and of itself. Natural Selection, in all likelihood, functions slightly different from how we imagine it to. There are even some truths behind genital mutilation, Nazi genocide and Paris Hilton. And I'm not saying Creationists are worse than Nazis, or even Paris Hilton. But I think that blocking discussions from being had and whiting out information is worse than presenting even the most bigotedly and profoundly misinformed points of view.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Through Keyholes of Locked Doors

Gar! More about art? Aren't we done with this?
HA! Never!
Well, not yet anyway.

I had this thought, that my interest in electronic music and my interest in photography are very annalogous.

Comic books and dance music tend get an emotional response from me quicker than most things. Images with color and detail get me invested in stories and feelings better than most things. Beats and voices make me feel light and full and energetic.

But IDM and photography do something entirely unprecedented for me. They make me feel like I'm part of the world and the world is a gigantic jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces fitting into each other. There's nothing like feeling the interconnectivity of things unfold in front of you.

IDM : music :: photography : images

The sounds that are used in IDM are often very simple, very short, and very textural. Theyre pleasing in their own right but in a very simple, very one-dimmentional way. While they take effort to make, I'm always conscious that the effort is much less than what it takes to precisely plan an instrument.

Similarly, the images in photography are often very simple, commonplace objects. The objects must be represented so that they are interesting, but they're often just objects, or just people, or just a simple scene. The photographs that get me aren't vistas or landscapes, or lush images of models or colorful digital images. Theyre picturs of parked cars, of chairs from close up, of necks and arms and leaves. And theyre relatively easy to create. No skill in learning to paint, no time painstakingly manipulating tools for months. Just the click of a button.

The connection is that both these arts are not about creating sounds or creating images from scratch. Theyre about composition, about rearranging things that exist in such a way that it reveals something about those things that was previously unseen. It's the simultaneous joy of sensory stimulation and mental exploration.

Music has always been interesting because of its fluidity. Being time constrained, music has always felt like sort of a ride. A place to be and be swetp through and enjoy as much as you can while it goes by. Nothing gives me this more than Autechre. I feel completely wrapped up in a blanket of invisible colors listning to this music. But that does nothing for my thoughts. What gets my mind going is the continuous, subtle changes in every rhythm and pattern. It's like sifting through branches in a dense wood looking for a playmate just out of reach, trying to track her movement. The patterns sound like chaos until I start following one only to discover that all the others compliment it in their own ways. IDM is like watching the ellegance of a storm by following each disturbed leaf.

Photographs are a much less abstract joy for me, although their elusive aspect is what cements my affection for the medium. Seeing shapes, textures and colors is just fun, all by itself. Knowing that the things really exist is nice too. Makes me feel like im seeing more of the world than what's just in front of me. But I love photography beause it supports a perspective of mine that is often hard to justify: that everything is valuable and good in some way. Photographs bring to the forefront of my attention the patterns that exist all around me, the glory of color and shape. I begin to see things as both independent entities with no physical relationship to one another and as parts of a greater, distinct body. My eye traces patterns in photographs the same way my ear does in IDM, and just like in music half the fun is going back and forth between the individual elements and the larger concept.

IDM seems to make tangible thigns that aren't. Photographs add intangible fascets to things that i see and touch without giving a second thought. Together the two make it easy to love the world around me just for the sake of how deeply involving it can be.