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Arabian Sea, 2013

 Here’s one of the new drawings I’ve been working on.  These are maps of the coastline of the Arabian Sea and the experiences on either side of that line.



Sulphur Island, 1779. James Cook.

And, just for kicks, a wonderful map and elevation of Sulphur Island (Iwo Jima) from 1779. (Warning, this is a big file.)


Roger Fenton, Valley of The Shadow of Death. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

I read Lawrence Weschler’s interview with Errol Morris on the subway this morning.  It’s always great to listen in on two interesting and esoteric minds conversing.  I appreciated a lot of the insights they dug out of each other.
One thing that struck me though is how much public conversations about photography have changed – even in the last 5 years. Now that digital photography is ubiquitous, even non-specialists have to talk about photography with a digital twist – a shift that Morris and Weschler seem to have skipped.  At this point, any conversation that’s mostly a reaction to Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes seems a little quaint to me.  Not that I blame them – it used to be a lot more fun to think about photography as a special medium.  Sadly, this just isn’t the same technology Sontag and Barthes were writing about.  But it would be wonderful to hear these two super-smart guys talk about digital technology representing the input from light-sensing arrays and the potential of software hacks for recording different realities than the photographic ones  Nicéphore Niépce and Roger Fenton recorded.
One moment in the interview that I really loved was when Weschler said, “For all the variety of your subject matter, I think you are essentially a hedgehog—and in fact a turbo-hedgehog, a pneumatic drill of a hedgehog. You just dig and dig and dig. You are like an archeologist of photography.”

Here’s a nice confluence of my professional/artistic interests and the fun times I have with artistic friends. For the last 3 months or so, Zoe Beloff has been doing a really wonderful project in downtown Manhattan entitled “Days of the Commune“.  Deborah and I have been participating as actors, both because it agrees with our politics, and because I’ve been more and more interested in theater these days (see the 2012 Congress of Curious People for more on that).

Well it turns out that Zoe was not the first producer to bring the Paris Commune to the streets of New York.  In fact, Coney Island’s own Paine’s Fireworks did a monumental rendition of the story of the Commune in 1904 in Coney Island.  Of course.

And I’m sure no expense was spared!