Friday, August 1, 2008

Melinda Fries

Avenue A
New York, NY
July 2008

If you are like me (and you are probably just a little like me if you are reading this), than you might have a number of relationships with people which exist as much as or even more than they do on the internet as in "real life," whatever that is. I, for one, have developed what feels like a deep and soulful friendship with a photographer and English teacher who lives in Virginia, Mark Burnette, based on reading one another's blogs and on our email correspondence. I have never actually met Mark and I don't even know what he looks like.

Pictured above is an old friend from Chicago, Melinda Fries, with whom I've had an active internet relationship for several years, though fortunately, we also do get to spend some time together once in a while. Melinda contributed to the cyber art world both as an artist and as the curator of ausgang, a collective website that evolves each season as artists and writers respond to old and new topics. In a class I have taught twice at the ICP called "Photographing the Everyday," I have asked students to consider ausgang topics in order to generate ideas for small projects and to potentially have the opportunity to participate in a creative community on the Web. Some ausgang topics include: Found Photos, Things in the Road, True Crime, Desire, Obsessions and $$$$$.

Last night was one of those times I got to see a flesh and blood Melinda, who is visiting the city with her new husband, Larry. I took the photo of Melinda outside a karaoke bar in the East Village, where we - or I should say, they - sang some tunes, as I am more of a behind the scenes type. As soft-spoken as he is, Larry sings a mean "Desparado," and we were all glad Melinda married someone so sweet.

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