Archive for the 'photography' Category

The Modern Era: finding out about a death through your stats

In the Spring of 2011 I was living in Bali, Indonesia. I didn’t have connectivity in my place, so I’d go into work early to do my web biz. One day I checked my Flickr account and saw my set from a 2008 road trip with a friend had gone crazy, record breaking hits on those shots. I was excited for about two seconds, figuring the site had “showcased” it…”explore” or something. Then I got a creepy feeling. And sure enough, a stranger linked to one of the pictures of Mitchell, as I was sitting there watching, a report of an accident in the Athens Banner Herald. He’d flipped the ’72 Maverick we traveled in ’08, making youtube videos, my favorite of which have been deleted. Rather than anyone telling me in person, this “data” informed me he was dead.

On that trip we had a talk about the mediocrity that seemed to accompany our approaching 40’s. We didn’t exactly share the same lifestyle, but the point was “we don’t want an end to ADVENTURE!”. There seemed to be little but compromises and responsibility and memories of freer times ahead. Death seemed better. We were egging one another on through an overnight drive between Wilmington, NC and what turned out to be Westchester, PA, though at the time we had no idea where we’d stop again, or what might happen when we did. We didn’t have enough $, but he’d just sold one of his home made tattoo guns and there was gas in the tank and coffee in our cups. Cliches were used = it’s better to burn out, than fade away. Balls to the wall, or no balls at all. It was a conversation about Freedom and the Road and Night.

Neither of us knew of course that he’d be dead two days shy of his 40th birthday, leaving two kids. I was sad to miss the funeral and memorials, but glad in a way, as I had to watch comments play out in the links to the article. It was a chance for people who didn’t like him to take shots, and as he’d been drinking before the wreck, a chance for the moralist crusaders to come forward preaching anti-DUI. (Of course, DUI is stupid, but there is a time and place.) Others came forward to defend. Maybe it was an idiot move, but he was our magic idiot and fuck off and let us grieve.

Anyway, a few weeks ago it happened again: lots of hits on a shot of a bartender we met during that trip in NYC. She and Mitch had a fling while we were there. She was an obvious WildChild, and I sort of knew when I saw the stats, even though I didn’t know her or anyone had spoken to her since. I posted a comment, and sure enough someone was kind enough to take a minute to write and confirm my suspicion, Geri Lynn is gone. She was also around 40. There’s a fund to get her body home which seems to have hit it’s goal, but if you want to donate, there can’t be too much.

Looking around at where my friends are now in their lives, it’s not exactly mediocrity, but certainly not the same level of adventure. Weddings, suicides, kids born, re-locations, mortgages, terminal diseases and sure to be more of those as we continue to age. But this is life. Each instant is important BECAUSE of mortality. The trick is learning to live each second with that in mind. We are all just passing through. Even the “mediocrity” is an “adventure” compared to non-being, or some state no one knows.

Liu Zheng

I’ve stayed rather nomadic over the last decade – Oregon; Maine; ATL; Athens; Liaocheng and Beijing, China; Kuta, Bali as residences and side trips off those. A lot of my possessions go straight into storage. I’ve especially grown to love times like these when I get a chance to sort through it all – my own rummage sale of forgotten treasures. “Oh yeah, that shirt… well, have to get that art framed even though it’s gonna sit here.” Uploading CD’s that never made it into the media gigs salvaged from the last crash or laptop, and of course the books.

I originally found Liu Zheng during my first trip to Beijing in Jan ’06. 798 was much smaller/less commercial in those days. In one little shop I found a series of photography books and LZ spoke to me right away.

Here’s an article I found. And I’ll go ahead and point out those great tits you’re staring at are quite possibly tranny…not that I’m one to judge….


Nick Nostitz

When I was walking around Melbourne last month on a pathetic budget, I saw plenty of things I wanted to buy. Included was this coffee table book by Nick Nostitz called Patpong: Bangkok’s Twilight Zone discounted in one of the great discount bookstores down there. Then when I got some money, I bought it and have just now enjoyed reading the text bits, which are mostly notes on the characters photographed, quotations which seem to be things overheard in many cases, and one insightful ex-pat interview.

The Bangkok I love doesn’t even really include Patpong. I’m not sure I’ve ever been there. Maybe late night, a tuk tuk has taken me somewhere on the edge. And one evening I spent with this guy Glen, we wandered by, as he lived quite close, and we were in wandering state of mind. But I’ve never “done” Patpong: intentionally immersed myself in the district, never done the ping pong show etc. But of course much of what is documented goes for the city in general, and similar scenes elsewhere in Asia.

There are some great photos (though I wish I had the full version of the one above with the dog as well, which is the dust jacket for the book) and an unapologetic and real look at that scene, or as it was in the ’90s. I definitely recommend it, especially if you’ve ever enjoyed certain works of WT Vollmann, Hollebecque, or Bukowski – though this has nothing to do with Bukowski’s LA…well, maybe 70’s LA…in a way. Anyway, Nostitz is still in Thailand working on other projects, maybe a bit more political in feel but I sense still with a heart “in the street/scene”.

Collingwood collage

If you’re following the Flickr account, I’ve renewed and the AU shots are going up. Many are graffiti, and while I haven’t finished the Collingwood, Mebourne, Victoria uploads, here’s a collage sampling some of the stuff. I’m sure I’ll make them for other neighborhoods down the road.

Collingwood collage

Houses of Flores

I wanted to make this collage months ago, but Picnik wasn’t working for me in Indonesia. Now I see it will soon close. Anyway, I obsessed on the different styles of home during that Nov 2011 trip. Standing alone, the photos may not fit with my others. But in a collage, I think they make a statement.

houses of Flores

Mask Man goes large

Those in the Buckhead ATL area might be seeing some strange billboards in the near future featuring Mask Man with non-commercial messages. My friend and former roommate Jasonaut is responsible, a character he has been working with for some time. Since I’ve left on this latest stint abroad, J has been constantly surprising me with news of career changes, restoration and art projects. I congratulate him! I wish everyone “back home” were keeping it so fresh.

Chinese Love Land

I’m gonna have to make the trip to check this out when I get back over there. This has bizarre photo op written all over it.

*update 5-19-09* Oh no! But I’m not really surprised…

Nerdy small world

I was just wandering around on Deviantart and came across Yaya Han‘s page, realizing I’ve photographed her at Dragoncon, and favorited other shots of her from the event. I guess she travels Con’s almost constantly all over the world and makes a living modeling and making costumes. Apparently also was/is a huge BSG fan as well.

Yaya Han as The Hottest Elektra

What’s the point of this post? Nothing really, and I don’t know why I should be surprised to realize there is a semi-celebrity factor to the entire Con-model/cosplay scene. It was just weird to come across the info.

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