It's been a very long time since I wrote anything for this blog, but I'm rededicating to it, starting today. Rededicating myself is something I do every day, really. Today it feels like all the photos I've made before are in the past, and today I need more photos. I don't know why that is. Sometimes I wonder, when do I get to enjoy the fact that I have a huge backlog of images, projects, portfolios...more than I will ever represent on this website. But, somehow the only work that feels important to me is the work I have yet to make. That's probably good for my productivity, but I don't know that this point of view offers the greatest chance at happiness.
As of this writing I'm halfway through my MFA degree at Goddard College. Unlike the photography schools I might have gone to, the interdisciplinary prograpm I'm in encourages me to look beyond orthodoxies, trends, or conventional concepts of cerrectness to find the real purpose and meaning of my work. For me, that means exploring more fully who I really am, not just as an artist, but as a man. When one clears away the conformist questions of the past, and strips the inquiry back to the most primal level, I'm left with these clues about myself, in the form of values:
My highest value = authenticity
Great defiance against mendacity, facades, and heirarchies
The deep need to feel connected
A desire for immersion (living in the work)
The urge to transform liability into advantage
Value of the psychological/emotional experience above data/facts
All of these values or core aspects of my identity are rooted in my childhood, and the problems I faced. I tried to solve them by looking away from the established conventional wisdom of how one should live their life, how they should speak, how they should dream. I did not dream of a world where I was changed, but rather that some greatness I could display as an artist would make my negative aspects into features. In my mind there was a "they" out there, which I was determined to prove wrong, and once proven wrong, "they" would look at me and see greatness, not a fat, sad, different, or disheveled kid. They would see the same me in a new light, and I would finally see me in a new light. Along the way I lost conscious touch with many of these parts of my primal urge to make art over the years, distracted by attention to careerism and craft, but I feel fully reconnected to the source now, the source of who I am and why I'm a photographer.