I live in Brooklyn, New York and Washington, DC. Born in Washington, DC I left for college and Brooklyn, New York became my chosen home after graduate school. I stayed for almost two decades. All the while I lived in Brooklyn I also primarily worked in Brooklyn. I walked or biked (bus/train in inclement weather) to work for 90% of the time I lived in New York City. My motto and that of many of my friends with a similar work/life constellation was ‘live in Brooklyn, play in Manhattan.’ A natural night owl, there are many walks from my place in Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge and up Broadway into Union Square in my history. One of my favorite mediation places ever.
Now I live 90% of the year in Washington, DC, in a conscious retreat from New York that has birthed an unexpected and lasting creative freedom. The move has also led to a 90% driving life and less interactions with “the public at large” on a regular basis. Home–>Car–>Work–>Errands–>Home. Public art, culture or just flowing in the rhythm of the pace of the city and her people is now intentional, which means that my destination or event is planned or staged, not spontaneous, not often surprising.
On a recent week long visit to the city I still call home I was able to indulge in what I call ‘urban meditation’- sitting in a largely populated area, not listening to music of any kind, alone just watching. I do this alone. I do this with friends. I love doing this at Union Square. Green Market days in the summer are delicious.
On this day I was thinking about new approaches to my high school photography and film class. Now in my second year- or upcoming 3rd and 4th semesters- I feel a comfort with the basic skills I need to teach all students. I feel comfortable translating the concepts and excavating their prior knowledge for our semester long exploration of moving and still images. I’m looking for something more though- for them and for me. When anyone asks me what is my long term goal with my own photography I answer without hesitation tableaux vivant. Living pictures. Not film. In my mind I have the concept I have not yet executed. This work here is part of that multiverse. I shot it this way. It was a premeditated planned activity. I have not edited out nor cropped any photographs in the sequence. Several people- now characters in a landscape- appear many times. Look for the park cleaner in green, a woman in a yellow shirt, a skateboarder. In the middle I was engaged in conversation by a stranger in a black t-shirt and I kept shooting. Other than this I did not speak to anyone, no one spoke to me.
Now that I’ve assembled this and watched it I love the idea that several months down the road when I’m itching for a New York City infusion one afternoon in the quiet of my classroom I can play this on the projector, turn out the lights and for a few moments-
Shot with a Canon G11.
The soundtrack for this comes from arnybo on soundcloud.