LIGHT SERIES

"Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees." -Robert Irwin

experiments in attention, traveling in stillness, relaxing into uncertainty, bearing witness to the power of observation, microdosing visual joy, and meditative resistance against the attention economy

 

I began the light series while recovering from major surgery in May of 2019. As I remember it, I was carefully reclining in the backyard of my childhood home under a sycamore tree I've known and loved most of my life. The branches were swaying. Through the leaves, the sun seemed to be winking at me. I sat and I watched for a long time, swelling with appreciation, connection, wonder, and calm. I thought to take a video of it.

 
 

During this time of transformation, my body, mind, and spirit were undergoing shifts I didn’t have words for yet. My usual creative practices and capacity for articulation were in hibernation. I wasn’t ready to be vulnerable or seen. And yet, from the disconnected distance of convalescence, social media offered me the chance to continue connecting with loved ones, friends, and the world outside of my aching body.

 
 

During this same time, I read How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. Through Odell's wise guidance and articulation, I recognized consciously what I’d understood only subconsciously. Among its many positive effects, participation in social media unravels our relationships to context (known as “context collapse”), dissolves the line between privacy and performance, and rattles our relationships to attention: one of our most precious resources.

 
 

The light series came from a blend of these experiences and insights. It was intended as a quiet, meditative form of resistance against the attention economy I still felt compelled to participate in. It was meant to help me perceive what some call “creative blocks” as an opportunity to turn towards observation and listening with my whole body.

 
 

Amidst the influx of information on social media, I intend for these portraits of light and shadow--paradoxically shared through instagram--to remind folx that, if we put down the very devices through which these signals are sent and received, if we offer our attention to the 3-dimensional world around us, we might be rewarded with the simple joy of noticing the play of light, shadow, refraction, and reflection.

 
 

FOR MORE LIGHT,

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