I have chosen the title Tempora Mutantur for my thesis work; it is an abbreviation of a Latin adage, “Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” which translates to “Times change, and we change with them.” In my thesis work, I am overlapping time, as opposed to freezing an instant, in order to create poetic images with rhythm, enjambments (continuation on a new line of the same thought, without pause), caesura (natural poetic pauses, places for the eye to rest), and stanzas. I want to restore physical presence to a medium that exists as often in an abstract sense (in strings of 1s and 0s somewhere in digital ether) as it does in a material, physical way. I am not saying that digital is “bad” and all else is “good,” but rather that the medium loses some of its vibrancy and connectivity for me when it is less embodied. In traditional photography, for instance, we are very aware that the artist was present in the process, as film cameras, darkrooms, and traditional printing all require the hands of the artist to be active and present in every step. In digital, I feel a disconnect between my hands and the work I create, as if something happens in the technological interim to remove my breath from the work. This is the crux of the conversation I had with Dawoud Bey during our studio visit. He indicated that he thinks the “free-form” or “jazz” (his words) pieces give off the feeling I want in a way that the more composed, intentional images do not. I tend to agree, but after our last critique, I felt obligated to try some that were more aligned and arranged. You can see and decide for yourself, but, for me, the more careful images are a bit lackluster and the poetry is gone. Dawoud said that the less composed images were more surprising, which made him want to linger with them more.
Now on to the nitty gritty; my paper is on order from Hahnemuhle (for several weeks now) and the string of bad weather has continually pushed it back delivery-wise. Obviously, I am devastated not to be able to print on the “real deal” and I’m beginning to really resent that overnight shipping was not an option. Enough of my griping. I will have the paper and be printing this weekend, but it’s not going to happen for critique (and probably not for pre-thesis review). So I’ll be printing some smaller scale (like 7ft instead of 20+ft) maquette of the images for critique on a good but dissimilar paper. These images have been value adjusted, so they may need a bit of tweaking, but they are close to the finished product in value range. Today I am developing a few more rolls, so there may also be a couple unedited images if I can get them scanned and pieced together fairly quickly. That is my goal.