Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Desert

First off, Diane, you were right. I should not get so worked up over parking tickets, and traffic, and high taxes, and building codes, and lazy contemporary strip mall architecture. I say this without a hint of sarcasm because I am sitting at the Lido Palms hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California. I am in the open desert. I feel nothing but open space and peace. Neil Harrison and myself are on our first of several road trips to photograph the American southwest.

As you well know I will be putting out my first coffee table book in the near future on Write Bloody Publishing. This is a huge endeavor mostly because I have a 15 year catalog of photographs to pour through, edit, print, and scan. While that is what it is, the exciting part of all this, is that these road trips will make up the final chapter of my book. My images of America at this time in history, with my photographic vision where it is now. I could not be more excited and more wrapped up in these moments. Exchange the word "Heroin" for "Sweet Ass Photo Road Trips To Document America in 2009" in the song Heroin by Velvet Underground, and you've got how I feel about it.

Really the whole book will be trips spanning 15 years of criss-crossing America and then jaunting down to Costa Rica, Mexico, Eastern Europe and Malawi Africa. It is all filtered through the American southwest though, this is my home and my heart. My Grandfather was a horse man in the Prescott, Arizona area, he was raised on a ranch and broke wild horses. I grew up photographing and surfing in California, but I still feel it in me, these cowboy roots, I come alive in these open spaces, as do my photographs. The first of these trips started last spring with Myself and Amber Tamblyn flying to Nashville to pick up Derrick Brown and bring him back to California. I photographed the shit out of this trip. Next is where I am now, having left the Salton Sea and on my way to Yucca Valley via Desert Hot Springs. A place I spent much time, but now it's only about photographs and breaking my own photographic cliches. There will be no giant fans and no Joshua Trees photographed anytime in my life.

I am equipped with my Mamiya 645 which is my medium format of choice now. I used to always shoot 6x7 but now with the advent of digital, the smaller medium format negative gives me a hint more grain on big enlargements. Some nice grain says something about a man, or a woman (to keep it equal, after all most of my early photographic inspirations were women, Mary Ellen Mark, Margarete Bourke White, and Diane Arbus were my earliest discoveries at my public library.) I have opted to bring no digital cameras, mainly those are used for commercial purposes. I also, of course, have my Lomo, generously granted to me by Jeff from, and my Horizon panoramic which has really been the flavor of the month. With these tools the California deserts have no hope. This country in it's sad economic state will be photographed, and captured, and loved, and processed and turned into the new artistic economy, we shall overcome your parking tickets and your high taxes and your corporate greed, and your governing swine that crawl like flees through your pretty coat. The deserts and the southwest are full of freedom and hope, the hope of people who build giant chickens from steel and plastic and turn trash into sculpture gardens, and have no fascists telling them no. I am the new outlaw with a camera on each hip. Oh how sad and delusional I am. In the old west I'd be in a straight jacket or just shot dead.
And we are off, there are more photographs to take!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

2 Parking Tickets In One Day

I've always had a problem with getting ticketed for parking in front of your own house, especially when we are already taxed so much. I got 2 parking tickets in one day, and just enclosed this letter
with the payment:

You people are the filth that make America a bad place to live. You are the ones working for the man to rape the American public while they steal our money and buy bigger houses and tax the hell out of us. What do you care, you work for them and you are their lap dogs. The problem is not the politicians, I expect them to try and steal from us, the problem is that you work for them and give them their power. You are the worst kind of filth.

thanks for raping long beach.