"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)
Monday, December 31, 2007
The Eyes have it.
After watching the Rob Thomas video of "Little Wonders' (see previous post) many, many times in the past few months (even tho' it actually struck me pretty early on, but I'm nothing, if not quiet about these things sometimes!) I found that I was not only impressed with the song (sounds) and the lyrics, but the performance, as well (forgetting about the Disney part, tho' cute it is . . . ). Thomas, the great E-NUNC-I-A-TOR, really has those "Depressor supercilli" working the words to that song. I'm reminded of the great bassist, Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) and his virtuosic performances of the "bass eyebrow" - see clip here - incidentally this performance also took place on a rooftop, like the Thomas video.
A side note here: the Airplane's 1968 performance of the doomsday "House at Pooneil Corners" on a New York rooftop preceded the famed Beatles rooftop concert (seen in the "Let it Be" movie) by a year, and was captured on film by Director Jean-Luc Godard (the film was never released). Especially watch for those eyebrows between the 3-4 minute and the dervish-like delivery at the 5-6 minute mark of the clip!
(Don't think Marty said "S-uckers" - maybe something that sounds like that . . . )
"In these small hours These little wonders, These twists & turns of fate Time falls away, But these small hours, These small hours still remain." ("Little Wonders" - Lyrics by Rob Thomas)
Don't know if it's the "season," an end-of-year SAD episode, too many "Best of 2007" lists, or just a character flaw, but this song, this idea that we hold onto small bits of time (like our lives depended on it, in midst of "all this"!) and how this phenomenon relates to what we do with NPy, have struck me of late.
And, the song "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas illustrates that thought or feeling perfectly, I think - could it be a sort of Night Photography anthem?
It really goes back to a post in this space last June(!) re: "Long Moments" - rather poetic, I'd say, now that I'm just returning to that initial thought. Perhaps, like a camera, accumulating light over a long exposure, only now have I got together enough small bits of time for a "long moment?"
Later, in August and September, Joe Reifer, on his Blog - here, here, here, and here - posed some similar ideas re: time management, balancing a life complete with teaching, work, other commitments - and how it all shapes up, as well as how we describe just what it is WE DO with this NPy thing.
Still more - in October, Gabriel Biderman of ruinism.com delved into the topic further on his blog, really hitting the nail on the head regarding this NPy thing we do with this segment: "Tom Persinger says: 'The artifacts of motion revealed by extended exposures show the world as fundamentally impermanent and constantly changing.' He refers to this as a continuity of moments." and, this: "Instead of capturing the moment, you are seizing time itself!" Well now, that puts some perspective on things - small hours, long moments, the 'long now,' the actual numbers designating the 'dead of night' - 1am, 2am - all small hours - what we're dinging around with, is time itself.
During the 1980s and a 'fatal attraction' of mine with video production, I was keenly aware of devices called "timebase correctors" (used to corect or 'sync-up' errors or drift in video tape playback and recording - ) now, I think we can describe this type of photoograpy (and it goes beyond rust-belt ruins and full moon work with star trails - think of some of the more ambiguous time frames seen in the work of Michael Kenna) as time-based photography. Now I know ALL photography is based on time (some fraction (or an accumulation) of it, but I propose that, by labeling what we do thusly, we "put it all up front" - no apologies.
"All of my regret Will wash away some how But I can not forget The way I feel right now."
Tim Baskerville, B.F.A., received his degree in photography and liberal arts from the University of San Francisco. He has been photographing at night for more than 25 years, and has taught night photography at U.C. Berkeley Extension in San Francisco and Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz, RayKo Photo Center, and the College of Marin, in Northern California. He founded The Nocturnes Web site - www.thenocturnes.com - in 1996.