Fine Art Photography and Political Involvement

Posted 10/05/2008 by fotoloka in Labels: , , , ,

Last week I posted a comic style photograph "Be Afraid." It kept crossing my mind all week, how never before had I spent any creative time and film/pixels making images or combining them to create a political statement. I'm using the term "political" here in the narrow term, as in national and world politics, such as we are immersed in these days with the economy and presidential elections....I tend toward making images that have more to do with my personal life and interests; political involvement is not on my usual radar, in fact I usually avoid cluttering up my mind and emotions by not watching or listening to the news on a daily basis..I know I'll hear about anything going on that's important. For me, the a constant diet of "news" is like watching the weather what....look out the window...keep an umbrella in the car...most of the time they just make you worry about weather that doesn't even happen...(don't get me started on this...I can rant.)
Anyway, the other night I was testing how to best work with people in long exposure night scenes. The last 3 years I've mostly shot tableaus without people, so it's easy to just open the shutter to "bulb" setting and hope the wind doesn't pick up too much when trees are involved. A photo I did a few weeks ago showed me I need to learn more exposure tricks to keep people sharp. Using the self-timer and myself as the subject, I set up the shot you see above, and did a number of variations to work out other visual issues.
Late into the night, my newly spawned political junkie mind led me into the comic software once again, and I concocted a variation of what is shown above...basically it was the same, but the box with the words was much more about just the crappy condition of the world, and the blue bubble suggesting the meditator with the freaked out mind "go deeper" wasn't in what I thought was the piece before I fell into bed around 3am.
Something didn't feel right...I had the sense from the previous comic that what I put out into the world played right into the same fears that have put us here in the first place....fear begets fear. As an artist, I had my irony going on, but at bottom, (or as the new worn out phrase goes.."at the end of the day..." ) I was using my creative energy in a way that was, to me, not too karmically cool. So as I drifted fitfully off to sleep that night, I thought about how to keep the truth of "ommmm my gawd" that I/we are dealing with, but take it to a higher/deeper level, to
express a way to raise our consciousness out of the morass, bring light into the darkness rather than let it continue to drag us into the abyss. Maybe this photographic comic solution is too "airy-fairy," but so be it...I lived in LA for a long time. Om Shanti Om. Namaste.

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