Sunday, February 2, 2014

On the Next One

While I do love the Jay-Z + Swiss Beatz song of this title (and am not in love with their spelling…) this is actually me wondering about what is the next step for me in photography. I generally become obsessively interested in things, so that is not so unusual. What is unusual is the sustained interest and the drive I feel to externalize this interest (i.e. not just make things for myself). Given that, and my lack of interest in so many things that used to sustain me, I'm trying to figure out two things:

1. What is the next step for me and my images?

2. How do I keep the cat from standing on the 'f' key on my keyboard and then being secretly concerned that she's trying to communicate something to me as she stares at me and fills the screen with 'fffffffffffffff'?

The first question is probably more inherently addressable since I'm not sure my cat has any hope for reformation.

One thing I have noticed on Flickr is that some people are putting their photos in more than 1,000 groups and they are ending up with high number of favorites. So, I thought maybe I should do that, but then the question arose in my head: so what? What does it mean if you have 132 favorites on Flickr? This isn't exactly the 400 million views that What Does the Fox Say got on Youtube, there is no record contract that is going to be offered. Is it just a way of stroking my own ego? I can handle that. I think after a fair amount of rejection, seeing an image I created pass 50 favorites is good for me. I'm just not sure if there is some larger goal because if there is, I want to know what it is so that I am working towards it in an intelligent way. Maybe it's just continuous networking? 

Which brings me to this blog. I think of it more as a diary for myself in photography than anything else…and that is backed up by the fact that about 16 people click through to the posts (almost as many as used to read my diary…). That's fine because I think record keeping is important and writing is a way that I think, so it helps me process. However, I would like to be communicating with more people. I think I need to come up with a plan for why anyone would want to read this blog. After all, my struggles to understand social media are not exactly the stuff of movies. One blog that I really enjoy is CrochetConcupescience and it seems to have a fair amount of traffic despite being about something that so many people would never even think about. So, it hits a niche and it does it extremely well. Photography has a lot more competition in terms of people who are writing about it, so do I have a niche I would like to fill? Writing is one of my strong suits (the other one is kvetching…oh, and spades). 

Road to Medusa
In general, it sounds like I need to sit down and do some planning for a more focussed effort with goals and guidelines for decision making. This is when it would be great if I could just switch to a montage where I would develop all of the skills that I need (and lose weight and get in shape too, after all, if it's a montage, I might as well do it up.)

Yesterday I went to the Center for Visual Arts and dropped off two pieces for entry into their show Obscure. The juror is going to review everything on Monday and we will probably get notified on Tuesday and Wednesday. If they are accepted, the opening is Friday. Pepe built the frame for Road to Medusa, so I'm picturing them writing me asking me if I wouldn't mind removing the picture so they could hang the frame…

My moment in the limelight this week is Wednesday when I have my artist's talk at the Multicultural Resource Center about the photo exhibit I hung "This Is Not Wasteland." Barring snow, I at least know that my parents will be there (and Pepe). My fear is there will be 4 other people there. That kind of crowd makes a talk really awkward. It either needs to be more than that or nobody. It will be interesting to see if anyone from my department come to see it. I'll have to start doing some reminding/stalking among potential attendees.