Stop The Music, Hold Everything…I Just Found My Native Tongue

So, over the past several weeks, I have been drilling down…trying to “distill-while-still-in-the-act-of-seeking” my unique voice and vision as a photographer…or visual artist…or story-teller…or messenger of Christ. 

For so long it’s been one of those formless things; gnawing at me from the inside–trying to find it’s way out, yet completely uncooperative and elusive. Many have likened it to giving birth. And yes, I consider the fulfillment of my purpose as a visual story-teller the closest thing to a child I will be entrusted with bringing into this world.

I find myself spending double-then-quadruple the amount of hours as my classmates sifting through the internet to find imagery that properly represents the look, feel, and mood I am going for when I am in the conceptualizing stages of creating a photograph. I mean, how hard is it to find an authentic scream, an image that properly represents a soul’s cry for relief? Near impossible…not even with google, pinterest, or youtube scouring the internets for you.

It occurred to me the other day to begin searching for the emotion I was looking for in movement. Dance…I’d spent enough time in my sister’s multi-disciplinary recitals to know an emotion could consume you wordlessly from a dancer’s stage. 

There are SOOO many poor home-made videos from the audiences of those same recitals…but then. 

Then I stumbled upon these gems and I am hooked. I want to spend the rest of my life as a cinematographer of dance…or at least incorporate it heavily into my mixed-media language of sensory emotion. They are all great. But I have to start with the best…most amazing use of organic movement and digital technology. I would eat this piece if I could:

I don’t know if this is a growing genre, or where it is flourishing…but I am on a mission to find and follow after it. More to come. I am sure of it.

Exploring The Sense{s} of Loss

“I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you“ ~Jesus

I entered this quarter–this program, in fact–with the strong desire to learn how to effectively re-tell my story in hopes of strengthening my ability to portray the stories of others. But it’s an overwhelming undertaking that seems too often to lead to dead-ends with less-than-impactful results.

After all, for most of us, our stories lie–not in the what that has happened in our lives–but rather in the way it felt. 

Both the intense melange of emotion and multi-sensory details that swirled and clashed about in the actual moment, as well as the indelible-yet-fading memory of the way it felt, tasted, and sounded. Not only does it color and distort the way we “saw” the actual event or fleeting moment; making it feel impossible to properly re-tell, or to fully relate others. It clings to us like a haze; a filter through which we approach what remains of our life-stories.

I am coming to realize that, though the what that has happened to us on our journeys remain ours…the way it felt is the universal thread that weaves us together in the human experience.

Last week my instructor, Alejandro Tomas, introduced me to a term I feel like I’ve been searching for all my life: Visual Poetry.

It seems both liberating and intimidating at the same time to peel back the constraints of context to reveal emotional truth and sensory experience

The Definition of a poem is:

A verbal composition designed to convey experiences, ideas, or emotions 

in a vivid and imaginative way, characterized by the use of language chosen

for its sound and suggestive power and by the use of literary techniques 

such as meter, metaphor, and rhyme.

Fittingly, I once heard someone describe poetry as,  “Painting pictures with words, and grammatical fragments.” I’ve decided I that as a photographer, videographer, visual artist….whatever one may call me; I want to make my home in the realm where emotional punch trumps contextual relevance. Though there is inspiration to be collected from everywhere, this path–like so many others I’ve taken—will require much trailblazing and forging of my own way. 

Above is the example of a visual poem that most resonates with me and lends itself to the direction I am going. It only reinforces that there are no new “feelings”, only different languages and modes of trying to translate them. 

I also wanted to include a few more examples to show the variety of ways words, sounds and images can come together to strike a chord in ones sou; which also warrant exploration: