Monday, June 08, 2009

I structure the I-95 project in very particular ways that allow me to simultaneously produce photos, edit on many levels and work on other projects using the work specific to I-95.

There are two ways that loosely describe the way I think of this project is structured. The first can best be described as "lifetime musical career." I-95 is specifically based on the career of Bruce Springsteen.

The structure is
1. song
2. album
3. lifetime body of work
4. performance... with the once a year installation being the set list for the live show. The idea of a performance that takes everything into account, and results in a collection of individual photos that work for that moment. And not just a live show, a revival looking to bring transcendence, looking to really feel things.. Loving and grotesque in the banal. Mysterious and thrilling.

The second structure is the use of poetic forms.

I often use the Tanka, a 31-syllable poem, as a reference. In Japanese, the tanka is often written in one straight line but in English and other languages it's usually divided into five syllabic units: 5-7-5-7-7, a 2 long line longer haiku. I like both the one line and the divided text.

I'm down with the Sestina, but the strict form is too confining for me to use it as a model for editing and placing my photos.

The Epic and Ballad, which are how the installation plays out in it's year end completion, are too expansive in terms of using them for the smaller and more specific structures that I need for each aisle.

Now here's the killer, the Villanelle. The go to structure: the one that helps me the most. The subtle rhyming structure and the repetition are how the installation should play out.

Perhaps the most famous of villanelles is Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night," which I love, but it isn't the best example of a villanelle that exemplifies how I want my work to flow. Here's a villanelle that's a better example of the complexity and simplicity that I work for...

by Jared Carter

The walk that led out through the apple trees—
the narrow, crumbling path of brick embossed
among the clumps of grass, the scattered leaves—

has vanished now. Each spring the peonies
come back, to drape their heavy bolls across
the walk that led out through the apple trees,

as if to show the way—until the breeze
dismantles them, and petals drift and toss
among the clumps of grass. The scattered leaves

half fill a plaited basket left to freeze
and thaw, and gradually darken into moss.
The walk that led out through the apple trees

has disappeared—unless, down on your knees,
searching beneath the vines that twist and cross
among the clumps of grass, the scattered leaves—

you scrape, and find—simplest of mysteries,
forgotten all this time, but not quite lost—
the walk that led out through the apple trees
among the clumps of grass, the scattered leaves.


"...Cause, baby, I am the opening act,
the headliner, and the after party..."

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