As you may or may not have noticed (who reads this anyway?) drool was only
sporadically published this summer. I kind of felt I had run out of things to
say. I also felt myself caring less. Couple this with the browning out of foto
blogs in general and it seemed like the right time for a re-think.
I also started an Instagram account this summer. I have mixed feelings about
that, Instagram, in general. It seems pretty sketchy to me, in a few definitions
of that word: Sketchy.
I also Tweet, but not in the conversational way that seems to lead to Twitter
success. (Not that I ascribe to the, perhaps generally accepted, definition of
what “success” actually is.)
Finally, I’ve restarted the STRAYLIGHT blog, where I have been posting various
and sundry words and pictures about the fotobook biz, processes, procedures
as well as some hype about STRAYLIGHT publications.
Couple this with trying to make a living (shooting assignments), working on
personal projects and running STRAYLIGHT (did I mention we have 2 new books,
neither of them mine, in the works for release this fall?) and the fact I’m getting
old (turned 60 this year, motherfuckers!!!) and have always had an existentialist
bent, and I’m left wondering again (damn you, eternal recurrence): what’s the point.
Okay. There’s the preamble.
Now, where’s the meat? What about drool? Or the foto-blog-in-general?
I guess we all know that Facebook killed the foto-blog. After all, why spend
time crafting a whole bunch of words into a long-form thing when you can
hit and run on Facebook, smash and grab on Instagram or just plain post
fotos on Tumblr? Why spend time writing when this accelerated society we
find ourselves in just keeps accelerating . . . propelled, no doubt, by some
kind of weird, unknown human dark matter?
Back in the glory days of drool, I wrote to discover for myself what I was doing
and how I might think about that. Granted, I was in the midst of some projects
that were pushing me to the limits . . . USER and Live Through This. I needed
to write to approach an understanding of what I was doing. And that (I think)
makes for something vital. drool was like a serialized, high drama soap opera:
tune in and watch Tony struggle.
Lori and Jeff. From USER
And then that was over, I needed time to recuperate from what I had done.
There was a year or so of essentially laying fallow. Not exactly great source
material if you blog, like I do (did?), about inner workings. I found myself
struggling to come up with something (anything) to say. And what I did
say felt rote, a sham. But tradition (publishing every Sunday) is difficult to
overcome, get around, so I kept on keeping on.
(Of course, if you are interested in writing about, say, the history of fotografy,
or reviewing fotobooks and/or shows, there is a different struggle . . . the
impetus comes from (generally) external sources, you react to what others
have done. Yes, you apply your philosophy, et cetera, but the source material
comes to you, not from you. That’s a whole different (if you ask me) can of
Okay . . . enough for now. Once again I’m sitting here pounding out words,
essentially making it up as I go along (my modus operandi in life), and have
come to no conclusion. Typical and (for me) invigorating.
Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion. If there is one.
Embassy of The United States of America, Sussex Drive. From Official Ottawa.