31 May, 2020

[Doc Diaries] Echoes in Subtext

Speech is power.

When I was writing my post about the gleaming architecture in Singapore, I felt something that I couldn't quite put into words. As I sit here writing this now, with the sound of police helicopters overhead, and amidst the turmoil resulting from a murder that didn't need to happen, I think I've found some of the words.

I am a documentary photographer. My calling is to witness and document people. And when I document objects, places, works of art, or whatever else, my goal is always to relate those things to the people. To see them, but also to see their inevitable, undeniable connections to humanity. It was written and has often been repeated that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all\ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" ("Ode on a Grecian Urn", John Keats).

I disagree. Or, at least, I think that is incomplete. That sense of incompleteness is what bothered me as I wrote about Singapore before, and it's what I finally realized as I start to write about Melbourne (and Footscray, a suburb) now.

30 April, 2020

[Doc Diaries] Ebb and Flow

Last time, I discussed the juxtaposition of places, textures, and other facets of the built infrastructure that I encountered in Singapore. But as my time in Singapore waned, and eventually gave way to a flight down to Melbourne, Australia, it was a different juxtaposition that caught my eye.

Somehow, water is both everywhere, and nowhere. For some reason, you can see through miles of visually clear yet water-laden atmosphere, to see the stark undulations and crisp form of a distant place where the water is… just… opaque? Why is the delineation between "cloud" and "blue sky" so clear and abrupt in one spot, but so hazy and mysterious right next door?

31 March, 2020

[Doc Diaries] Place and Time

It's one thing to say it. That infrastructure is a product of its place and its time. But it's something else to travel somewhere new, and to see combinations that you haven't seen before. To see familiar pieces of infrastructure that are accomplished in completely unfamiliar ways, or just as interesting, to see modes of infrastructure that don't feel familiar at all.

A few months ago, I took a trip to Singapore, and so much of what I noticed were the things overhead and under foot. The ones that are built once, and then gradually fade into the unremarkable march of everyday life.

29 February, 2020

Leaving Love Behind

I have so many questions. And I know that the answers, if they come at all, will only come with time. Looking back doesn't feel like it'll help me move forward. I don't know how 22 years of "I am" can really prepare a person to say "I am not" for the first time. But I'll do my best.

I grew up playing soccer and tennis since before I can remember. But in 7th grade, a funeral kept me away from tennis tryouts, and opened the door to track and field. I tried the pole vault because it seemed cool. I stuck with it because I was right.