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Posts Tagged ‘history’

So Twine’s a game building hypertext tool that freed people from mass quantities of coding. Games but also interactive stories and other species of e-narrative, which includes potential image narratives. And possibly dreaming the semantic web into place, since its based in part on RDF resource description framework tools.
Irresistible and accessible, although it would be great if WordPress would give us a plug-in option to host Twine builds instead of having to cross link to another site.
Anywho, I used Twine to contain some raw ideas for a project I’m building. Here’s the roughout: http://www.philome.la/DriftlessWorld/301-roadtrip
Thoughts and reactions invited, it’s one of those: “this is an interesting tool, now what?” moments.

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All Revved Up, Know Where to Go

All Revved Up, Know Where to Go

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Head’s exploding with stars after yesterdays trek to Madison for Paul Vanderbilt’s Wisconsin Academy Watrous Gallery exhibit Archive as a River, & WI Historic Society panel discussion of his work, which coincided with WI Book Festival, PhotoMidwest, Filter PhotoFestival, FlakPhoto, MMOCA’s Alec Soth exhibit, “From Here to There” and an arts reception at the Madison Public Library featuring FlakPhoto’s curated exhibit of new Midwest works & photo booklist based on MPL’s collection. And Filter PhotoFestival’s new artists’ photobooks display. Great smart visionary creative talk, people & works. This #mindmap of my notes tells some of the story this morning. Mindmap F8 Aftermath Here are related links that tell the rest of the story: WI Book Festival , Photo Midwest , FlakPhotoFilter PhotoFestival , MMOCA , Paul Vanderbilt Exhibit , Alec Soth , Madison Public Library Bubbler Additional random images from the day along State Street follow below. These are as shot, manual,  no post editing, Canon T2i DSLR w/ 18-135 EFS

Downtown State Street in Madison

Downtown State Street in Madison

2014 10 18_MadisonPhoto_0021

Passing By I

2014 10 18_MadisonPhoto_0025

Passing By II

2014 10 18_MadisonPhoto_0032

MMOCA Intersection

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Driving across Tennessee years ago, had to stop for a cold one and observe a history lesson. Image produced from a digital scan of a 35mm B&W TMax film negative recovered from materials that survived Hurricane Wilma’s flooding of Key West, FL in 2005.No post scan editing. Exact location in Tennessee has been lost. If anyone recognizes this place, I’d appreciate hearing more about it, thanks!

Tennessee Gateway, 1989

Tennessee Gateway, 1989

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One of the shots made in Muscoda yesterday,filtered through all that this day of remembering the ultimate cost of conflict represents in America.
My “photomod” post-processing actualizes the implicit tangle of emotion, layering visual moods directly over the image, rather than make any attempt at an objective presentation. The image becomes as freighted with interpretation as is our culture of ideals bruised by the realities of our actions and history. And our determination to get back up and move forward, unbroken.

Land of the Free

Land of the Free

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We drove over to Muscoda on Hgwy 133 Saturday to go to St Vincent’s Thrift Shop. I knew there were several sites / sights in this small river town that I wanted to frame and to think over. Memorial Day weekend always gets my attention anyway. Makes me mindful of what gets taken for granted in the backgrounds of our daily routines. There are the buildings, commerce, highway, past and present colliding. The road signs to tell us where we’re at. And then there’s the flag(s) speaking louder than anything else this weekend.
Here’s a couple of shots taken downtown at the intersection of Hgwy 133 & SR 80; I was testing smaller f-stops, using a remote release with the camera tripod-mounted and longer exposures, ISO 100. One’s “as shot”, the other’s post processed to adjust contrast and saturation. I need a better monitor for editing; this laptop’s color profile was balanced with a Spyder Pro, but I’m still not convinced that I’m seeing what I need to. Would appreciate knowing what they look like to you. Cheers.

Memorial Day weekend, downtown Muscoda, WI

Memorial Day weekend, downtown Muscoda, WI

Memorial Day weekend cruiser,  Hgwy 80 & 133

Memorial Day Weekend cruiser, Hgwy 80 & 133

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I’ve driven past hundreds of times, in all light and weather, trying to catch what this old roadhouse is mumbling. Yesterday I thought someone, maybe a country workcrew had sprayed the grass in front with fluorescent blue paint. When I stopped later that afternoon and walked up close, the blue revealed itself to be wild violets. Like a chunk of the sky blow down at the feet of this abandoned dream. (Photo is RAW, no post-processing except resize for web and copyright txt.)

Abandoned roadhouse, trailers out back, April 2014 SW Wisconsin

Abandoned roadhouse, trailers out back, April 2014 SW Wisconsin

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Went to see FSA-era documentary photographer Ida Wyman’s “Chords of Memory” exhibit at the Watrous Gallery in Madison yesterday. Also checked out the Real/Surreal exhibit at MMoCA (Madison Museum of Contemporary Art), on loan from the Whitney Museum in New York. Both shows delivered: Wyman, humanity’s persistence & resilience. R/S intense reflection. Both, consideration of how the late 30’s pre & post WWII period affected peoples’ apprehension of a once benevolent world.
Surrealism /magical realism considered as a reaction to the atrocities of Fascism- which many of the featured artists witnessed firsthand– takes on an entirely different weight than the usual plastic amusement generated by melting clocks. If yr near Madtown and can get to these shows before 4/24, go.

Seen in the vicinity:

At the Museum, culture /technology

At the Museum, culture /technology


Near Capitol Square, the intersection of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Madison WI

Near Capitol Square, the intersection of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Madison WI

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Caroline Street at Night, Key West FL 1989

Caroline Street at Night, Key West FL 1989

Back in the late 80’s after spending time in a graphic arts wet darkroom shooting artwork color separations for screenprinting, I became interested in black and white 35mm photography. A class with Lawson Little at Fla. Keys Community College and hundreds of shots later I had my own darkroom and binders full of negatives, contact prints and enlarged prints.

Green Parrot Bar

Green Parrot Bar in the old days, Corner Caroline and Whitehead Streets, Key West

Fast forward to the digital age, past Hurricane Wilma and Key West’s inundation that went little noticed in the wake of the more horrendous landfall Katrina made in New Orleans. I’d already left Cayo Hueso to make a landfall of my own in Chicago, but not my heavier possessions: record albums, books, notebooks and negatives.

 Fru Sale, Clermont, Florida

After a fire, the water tower, steps and a gourd vine’s all that’s left of this abandoned hilltop citrus emporium. And of course a realtor’s for sale sign.

Salt water does a lot of damage. But silver negatives in protective sleeves turn out to be much tougher than anyone who hasn’t salvaged them might guess. Wiped and dried out, the binders hibernated for years in my office while I considered what sense there might be in a digital age, to again invest in an redlight darkroom. Then at the local library where I work,  like being hit between the eyes by a fast flying Junebug, i realized the workhorse public scanner had a 35mm negative reader tucked into the lid. Presto Chango.

Can't Step Back Clermont Florida, 1989

Can’t Step Back Clermont Florida, 1989. From the 20s through the late 60s it was common to see hilltop, roadside citrus fruit stands dotting highways throughout Florida. Typically they were surrounded by acres of orange trees rolling toward the horizon. Fruit, cold drinks, maybe real estate or a viewing tower and a multitude of souvenir tchotkes greeting travelers who stopped. These steps are what’s left of an abandoned fruit depot that burned down; citrus cropping in Central Florida has all but ceased due to disease and unpredictable winter weather.

A bit of a learning curve ascent plus trial and error mostly overcame a long gone manual and for the first time in 25 years those old negative can step back into the light; of a different wavelength, but illumination nevertheless.  The differences between ink and silver stand out in the new prints, but mashing up the two mediums has released multitudes of opportunities. And a little dance of ecstasy.

Gourd Tower, Clermont Florida

Nature indifferently reclaims what human enterprise abandons. This fruitstand’s ashes and all the work and memories shared within its walls erased except as held within memory, words, images. The hills beyond are crowned with rolling rows of orange trees that, in years to come will be frozen out. And if the pattern running up and down Highway 27 in Central Florida has held true to the course it was following at the turn of the 21st century, these rolling croplands will be sold off to developers, scraped clean and covered by planned communities featuring chic construction themes like Southwestern Adobe complete with concrete cactuses. Artificial Paradise.

And what I remembered about taking these photos, especially the series taken upstate, in the Central and North Central Florida citrus belts, which had undergone vast change even then, is the sense of a requiem. The Old Florida shown in these photos was vanishing when they were taken. It’s slipped away now almost entirely.

Photography is a medium where everything shown is in the past tense, and so the yearning for places, people and for a “sense of place” long extinguished comes built-in. Sally Mann, Stephen Shore and Frank Gohlke, among others  have written about the inherent sense of loss, yearning or exclusion that comes with landscape photography; the places or homes we can never go back to, that resist our attempts to re/connect with their  history and meaning. With their witnesses.

Evinston Florida, Sunlight Styling Salon 1989

Evinston Florida, Sunlight Styling Salon 1989. Florida’s time warps are almost always unexpected and defy cultural expectations. many attempts have been made to sell the states enchantment and mystery, few ever succeed.

Time shifted contexts are by nature disconcerting: same physical location, but everything known about it and assumed to be permanent fractures and dislocates. Frequently deteriorates. Certainly becomes denaturalized. This is one of the first poignant  lessons of mature adulthood: change is the only constant.

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When I see these old island photos shared by the Key West (Monroe Co. Public Library) on Flickr, they tear the deep roots of memory wide open, for a world, a personal history, a way of life of which only vivid embers remain- to illuminate the choices I make to phoMod the original.Charcoal Hut Key West 1969 Dig It

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