Folding

Folding is a spinoff from Crumple. I’d like to continue this work but to do a combination of angular, structured folds and other more random, organic folding. I do think this could go somewhere there. At the very least it feels good to explore.

I’ve organized a whack of 12″ square and smaller 2:3 ratio prints to experiment with. I’m also very keen to execute something I’ve been thinking about for the last two days. These two prints are 12″ x 12″ prints from the Wandering Vancouver show. 

I’ll venture out today and get some sky shots, which I hope to process next week. I then have a weird desire to take these sky images and make folded airplanes out of them. I was also thinking of taking a dark/black picture of the surface of some body of water and make a swan in origami out of it.

I’ve thought more about the folded Paper Planes. I’ve taken sky shots this morning. These are very. very, simple. There are no clouds, just an expansive blue with some aerial perspective happening. I’ll figure out how to make 7 different  Paper Planes by folding, and based on those plans print 7 different sky shots this week. When I get those back I’ll fold each “sky photograph” into it’s planed Paper Plane and photograph the resultant Plane again on either a white, black or combination of backgrounds. I’ll then print those photographs.

In the end I’ll end up with a photograph of a physically manipulated photograph.

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Colour

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Broadview

Today I found glory on Broadview through the windows of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I went to take pictures of the satellite dish that sits in their parking lot but ended up peering through the windows into the foyer of their church. A foyer that looks like it might not be used too much. I’m glad nobody was around because I guess I was technically trespassing on Mormon land. I don’t know any Mormons, maybe there not bad folks.

Just a reminder to see a bigger image than below just click on the image itself and it should open in a larger widow so you can see more detail.

Anyway the satellite dish ended up being not so interesting because it was behind a fence and I couldn’t get a clear shot. While I was looking though I realised that the entire parking lot was completely empty and by extension the building was probably vacant. I plucked up enough courage to look through the windows where the vertical blinds were not drawn and I saw this. Iw as smiling when  I shot it.

The most remarkable thing is that i’ve passed by here on my bicycle and on the bus at least 1000 times and I never thought to explore this block on foot. IF I had I might have discovered that at least during the week in the mornings there’s no one around the building and no one to get all bent out of shape when I take photographs. I think that’s one of the most amazing things. We all pass by so much stuff without ever giving it a second thought. If I could stop doing that I think I’d discover a lot more exciting stuff to shoot.

The image below was shot earlier this same morning on the the Danforth east of Donlands subway stop. Today instead of getting off at Broadview and busing the remainder of the trip to work, I went five or six stops further on the subway and then walked and took photographs as I made my way back to Broadview. I shot the image below of an empty retail window. I’m not sure if someone is storing the pianos in here, trying to sell them or they are left over from the last occupant. Regardless this piano and chair had a nice casual and natural composition that I like.

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The Danforth

The Danforth was good to me this morning. I’ve always loved this wall and it makes an interesting shot. I think I like almost everything about this picture. I’ll print it 36 x 36 and it will be in the next show. It’s the perfect confluence of weird colours, shapes, and arbitrary line. There’s a Starbucks just a little west of this. The wall is the western most point of a strip of retail just east of The Holy Name Parish church. I imagine the cords coming out of the wall are simply old school electrical, although they look like rope. I’ve seriously looked at this wall for years and found something neat about it. This morning when I try to think of why my mind turns to the sites I’ve been visiting recently to look at contemporary art. I can’t say I’m completely enamoured with them, but I do like the otherworldly randomness that they evoke.

The next two images are interesting but I’m not sure if they’re keepers. There’s a bridal shop on the south side of the Danforth around Chester. These are taken through the windows before it opens. I do like the funny self-portrait which –in the second of the two images below– makes it look like I’m wearing a wedding dress. These are both cropped in a 4:5 ratio in preparation for trying out the new view camera. I like the proportion better than the standard 35mm ratio of 2:3. I also like the dress image because I’ve broken one of my cardinal rules which is not to position myself so I’m looking up or down. Its weird I know but it’s become a habit that’s very hard to break.Finally this chair was nicely placed. It captured the sun at the exact minute I was walking by. Weird stuff happens.

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Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was on my way to work.  These are images of the offices at 42 Overlea. This is the second time I’ve dragged my bum off the bus to shoot the Coca-Cola building. Today I discovered that sometime in the past few years it was left derelict and is now slated to be demolished and replaced with a Costco. The network of buildings that will soon have cars parked for blocks to buy gas is directly across from the East York Town Centre.

There’s nothing spectacular about the 50′s era building, but in this quiet, inactive state I really like it. There are subtle references to carmel and the blackness that is Coca-Cola. It’s also slightly dated like the soft drink. The wall above is a detail that takes you into the front entrance below.

Again, it’s a simple and functional building. I don’t know why I like these places. They always have something of an institutional feel about them that’s sort of creepy.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the Coca-Cola building so I’ve been back a few times since this recent visit. The following image was taken around the back of the plant on a road that runs parallel to Overlea.

These further images I took today the 27th of November. There was a small amount of snow on the ground and an interesting sky. This small building is a security post for the shipping and receiving bays that are within a gated part of the complex. It reminds me of the ice huts that a few contemporary photographers have been so taken with.

and this is the interior of another security building.

On the other side of the street across from the rear portion of the Cola complex is a power corridor. All three of the following images were taken there today.

Finally I stopped at Target for a coffee at their Starbucks outlet that opens at 8:00 a.m. I couldn’t help thinking that one new predominantly red brand has replaced another older fading red brand.

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Framed

Another idea for the circular stuff. I got some new equipment, and thought about stuff as I fooled around. This is a grey circle stuck to the glass of a 24 x 24 frame with nothing in it, and shot on a black background in my humble little studio.

It’s underexposed on purpose to eliminate my reflection in the glass.

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Purple

Purple was someone’s favourite colour.

I’m not sure what this place was but apparently it was closed because the block at this particular place in the city has been sold to make way for condos. This is just north of the North East corner of Yonge and Davisville. The building is on the corner of Yonge and Millwood. Just south of this place is another huge empty retail place that was an LCBO. Weird that the LCBO up there has been so nomadic.

The light in here was brilliant. I’m going to return tomorrow and see if perhaps I can get crisper files. Right now these images are quite grainy because it’s all low, available light. I’d love to shoot them on large format film, but that’s not going to happen soon and I bet this place is torn down before then. That’s even more likely because it will be a while before I get my act together with the large format. I should get a new bellows for the thing in a week and that’s a good step in what I’m sure will be a long journey of discovery.

It’s definitely a lot of purple. It also has the feel of a financial institution on the exterior. It’s very TD-Canada Trust looking but I doubt I’ll ever know what it was. It’s also been empty for a very long time. The Google Streetview image doesn’t give anything away, but you can see it was a bank at one time.

The light is truly spectacular. There are a lot of windows on two sides of the building. It  also helps that there is nothing too tall in the area surrounding so the morning sun can make it’s way through the glass despite the crazy sunrise angle.

The shots I got today will be uploaded tonight, and they are much more subdued. There was no sun this morning but as I expected they are way more crisp, which i like for the possibility for printing large which has become sort of a habit. Although I love the sunlight, I like the images without it way more. See below.

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Crumpled

I crumpled up some prints and then took pictures of them.

While I was working on Circular in the studio I started thinking about crumpled paper. At first I was simply thinking about something I saw somewhere. A drawing of a crumpled piece of paper. I’m not sure if I’m imagining that or if I’ve actually seen one. For some reason as I write this the artist Escher comes to mind but I have no idea if he did such a drawing and I don’t see it after doing a simple Google search.  I then began to imagine how I could create a pseudo crumpled piece of paper using origami techniques and researched that a bit. Again I came up empty handed. I did find an article on the physics of paper crumpling, but it’s not really pertinent.

I started to clean up a bit. My studio is really just a table in the basement and it’s a bit cluttered with stuff we should probably simply throw out. Anyway, I was organizing and I found a bunch of 12″ x 12″ artist proofs I had intended to send out for publicity as some point but never did. I crumpled one up. The first one is shown below. I think it’s the most successful of these three, mainly because you can tell it’s a photograph and the subject is somewhat identifiable as you can see in the original reference image. The colours are also nice.

I think I can explore this act of crumpling in a lot of ways. The work above is a slightly destructive impulse I had towards older work. It’s not because I don’t like that work any more but because I wanted to see it differently. I’m very engaged in discovering new ways to look at photography or in ways to re-use it that depart from the typical practice of shooting a subject because its beautiful or immediately interesting.

The final shots from yesterday yielded another direction. I have a paper backdrop on a roll. I cut a piece of it off to cover the table I shoot on. I needed a new backdrop because the foamcore I’ve been using is a bit yellowish. I ended up with a section of paper that was some 12 feet across and about 5 feet deep that I had intended to throw out. It was dirty and ripped already. Instead of recycling it I crumpled it up. The result are shown here. I like the detail and the circular nature of the ball of paper. This crumple is about 12″ in diameter.

 

I’d like to work on creating crumples using some sort of process. But for now the random act of balling up a piece of paper has a lot of possibility for me.

I just remembered a possible alternate source of inspiration for this work. I love the work of Tom Friedman. He did some work with paper where he crumpled it and then meticulously recreated a copy of that same crumpling in another sheet of paper. While I was looking for that work I come across the work of Martin Creed. He crumpled a ball of paper and put it on display.

For me the bottom line is that the crumpled piece of paper reflect, holds, and cast an amazing light in the studio. It’s architecture is something to be sought after and not maligned. : )

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