Broken Channel


 

“What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: She is going to die: I shudder… over a catastrophe which has already occurred. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.”

--Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

The  human experience of landscape has been radically transformed over the last two centuries by mechanized transit.  The human eye is the hunter's eye--it evolved over epochs  to apprehend detail in stillness, to identify subtle shifts within the familiar for it is in those shifts that prey awaits--or danger--and yet we all travel now mostly by means that vastly exceed  the body's natural velocity.  The idea of landscape for many of us these days is far too often little more than vistas glimpsed through windows as we travel between cities--or it is the supersaturated approximations of real nature on finger-smudged instagram screens as if somehow these makeup for what we are no longer free enough to witness..  Landscape has become what is between--neither home nor destination but enduring the dislocation of having left or not yet arrived. I am a hunter turned passenger as  I often find myself spending entire days speeding across hundreds of kilometers at a stretch.  Broken Channel is one in a series of  what I am calling Speedscapes--images that were my attempt to  discover the landscape streaming past without slowing down, without waiting for or relying upon proper light and shot through the car or train window no matter how scratched or tinted or smeared with salt or fog or snow.  I found I preferred those images  that emerged when my camera was pushed past reasonable limits, the images becoming more like drawings-- gestural transcriptions of the seen world as they are morphing into memory.  

 

Pennsylvania, I 80   December    4:20 PM - 4:39 PM