Two early life events influence why, how and what I see photographically!
WHAT, HOW, and WHY?
1. When I was ten years old I accidentally touched a bare 220-volt electrical wire on our family farm. I felt a strong vibrational shaking sensation and I visualized jagged saturated color forms. Now, many decades later, when I see electrical equipment or even something that looks electrical, I still feel a charged pull to stare at it for brief moments. It’s no longer scary, just a brief staring curiosity.
2. Pre-existing my electrical encounter I suffered an annoying blinky-squinty-twitchy nervous eye condition. I was often moved my head back and forth, up and down and around, using my visual field's edges to "frame" with the lines, shapes, and designs of almost anything, including people.
When I began photographing fifteen years later, my tendency to stare, mixed with my habituated "no camera framing" changed from looking at just at electrical paraphernalia to the world’s infinite adjacent phenomena, like aspects of infrastructure, architecture, nature and technology: the human made landscape. The legacy of my high voltage trauma and my peculiar twitchy eye habits influences my photo-graphics in style and content: pictures with an abstracted quality, frames within frames, cropping forms at the "wrong" place, blended and layered backgrounds and foregrounds to depict flattened or compressed spaces, and especially connecting areas of pictures with harmonius and or discordant colors.
My electrified hyper-vigilance mixed with ocular compulsions directly influenced why, what, and how I see. My world view has transitioned from a nervous wariness of electrical and mechanical gadgetry near me to a delightfully encompassing exploration of what the world is made of, how it looks, and how it is put together. It is an exhilarating combinatory game, playing with the shapes, colors, and connections in the human made world: depicting the social landscape via my idiosyncratic vision.
At a very young age I experienced vast open spaces, driving trucks, tractors and large heavy machines on the roads and fields of my parents’ Iowa farm. And my academic studies include the sociological and psychological sciences. So, when I bought a camera on a whim, these formative experiences influenced my budding improvisational social commentary by photographing in open air streets.
I have completed several self-assigned and publicly funded art projects. Some examples: In Wisconsin I completed two public art grant projects: "A Photographic Survey of the Physical and Social Environment of Downtown Madison" and “Our Land-Our Lives” an extended photo-essay on the 1980's family farm crisis in the Midwest.
I have continued to exhibit my photo artworks extensively as noted in my CV on this site. In 2013 Lens Culture featured my “AMERICOLOR” portfolio as one of their favorites that year. My photographs are in several public collections and are shown prominently in an important photographic art history publication, "Bystander, A History of Street Photography".
I am currently in year four of photographing US 41 from Tampa to Miami, The Tamiami Trail. I will publish a book of this work in the near future.