Many people look without actually seeing.  It’s the difference between vision as an automatic process and true observation.  I’m trying to train my eye to pay more attention.  I’ve started by thinking about the category texture.  I look for various textures and then I photograph them, not as a professional photographer would, but just with my iPhone.  After all, I’m supposed to be seeing with my eyes, not via a mediating tool.  All textures in photography are only “implied” since photographs are smooth.  However they should evoke actual textures.

I’m keeping this “texture archive” as a way of reminding myself about things that I might not otherwise notice.  Plus the contrasts make for lovely correspondences between types of textures, and I can use the images for future art projects. 

The more I do this – almost every day – the more it becomes habitual.  Which means I’m becoming more aware of my surroundings.  Of course, slowing down and drawing something is another way of achieving similar results.

This would be a good art project for students keeping a visual journal.  Instead of the initial intimidation of a blank book, they could work within criteria and categories.  Not just texture, but also pattern, or contour.


Oil Catastrophe

The word appalling must have been invented for events like this.  I can’t even look at the images of birds coated with oil without it demolishing me.  I don’t understand why it has taken so long to figure out how to stop a giant gushing pipe.  We think we know about the deep sea, but obviously we don’t know much about solving a huge problem when it is occuring underwater.  Yet, surely this type of disaster was known to be a potential reality.  Executives are so pathetic with their excuses in light of ongoing failures.  Capturing some oil is as good as it seems to get. 

I recently saw images from the NASA site — the oil can be seen clearly from far above the earth: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/oilspill

Back on the ground, people stand on as yet unmarred beaches in places like Florida…waiting.  The sense of helplessness they must feel knowing the oil is coming…

Microbes eat crude oil.  It seems to me there should be some smart scientists out there developing millions of bio-engineered oil-munching microbes.  Create life to save life.  One type of hubris to solve another type of hubris.