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.

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