Saturday, March 21, 2009


Anna und Gero
copyright Andreas Weinand

I had the opportunity to look at the images and read the essays in my copy of Lay Flat which arrived in the mail this week and I especially liked some of the exceptional writing about photography.

I was stuck by the beginnings of essays by Tim Davis and my friend, Cara Phillips, who writes regularly and thoughtfully on her blog, Ground Glass. In her essay in Lay Flat, she writes about the role of blogging itself in expanding the dialogue of the photo community and the potential of the medium.

As someone who also takes pictures, writes, and swims; I loved how Cara opens her piece:

When I am swimming laps, I exist in a different state of being. In the cool water I have no form. My limbs are heavy as I push myself across the pool, but in between strokes I float weightlessly on the surface. And while I methodically swim back and forth across the length of the pool, I feel totally alone and work at my own pace, even though I must negotiate my small space with several other people.

Metaphorically speaking, photography is like swimming; each person has their own pace, their own stroke, and their own rhythm, but they are in the pool together ...
(from "The Secessionists Revisited: Artist Collectives in the Age of the Blog," Lay Flat, Cara Phillips, page 13)

And Tim Davis begins his essay:

There is one thing that separates us from animals. I know we have opposable thumbs and stock markets and hybrid SUVs. But the most essential thing line of demarcation between human beings and say, squirrels, is the stories we can tell. Animals don't have narrative. They can't turn the arc of their experience into a reoccurring tale. They know the scent of danger, but can't describe it. The narrative is the ideal housing for significance and it is significance that makes meaning and meaning that makes us matter.

I once worked at a publishing company reading the slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts and it was tragic and awe-inspiring how many people felt they had important stories to tell. But that is because we are pathological narrative makers ...
(from "One Credo After Another," Lay Flat, Tim Davis, page 5)

More information about the content and sale of the inaugural issue co-curated by Shane Lavalette and Karly Wildenhaus at: LAY FLAT, 01: REMAIN IN LIGHT

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