Sunday, July 31, 2011

quatorze: The Twenty-Ninth Day

Fuji Provia
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Summer 2010

"We are handicapped by the difficulty of grasping the dynamics of exponential growth in a finite environment - namely, the earth. For me, thinking about this is aided by a riddle the French use to teach schoolchildren exponential growth. A lily pond has one leaf in it the first day, two leaves the second, four the third, and the number of leaves continues to double each day. If the pond fills on the thirtieth day, when is it half full? The twenty-ninth day." 

-Lester Brown, World on the Edge

Brown suggests wartime speed. But all I can see sometimes is wartime fear.

treize: What Will You Do When the Bees Are Gone?

Fuji Astia
Escalante, Utah
July 2011

"You blame China. You blame India. You blame America. You blame the CEOs, the oil companies, the vague and incoherent system, the international regulatory regimes, the hypocrisy of the left, the righteous of the right, the educators, the economy, your parents, your childhood, your job, your bank account, your mental health, your government, everyone and everything but yourself. Wake up! This is no joke. This is actually happening and your five planet lifestyle is the primary cause of it."

Read this in Adbusters the other morning while at coffee. Why is it starting to feel like everyone is thinking this way but nothing is changing? I'm not sure what we're waiting for. Organization? The next Martin Luther King, Jr? More beauty to disappear as we stand by watching it all happen?

This photo is another from our camping trip to Escalante. We made our home underneath the alcove you see here. At night, it eclipsed half of the sky while the other half twinkled brightly at it's border. It was quite a striking image. Oh, this magical world we live in. Let's try harder to save it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

douze: Alien World

Handmade Matchbox Pinhole
Kodak Gold
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
June 2010

     As always, I am wishing I was there.

onze: Crane to Heaven

Diana F+
Fuji Superia
Salt Lake City, Utah
January 2009

The built environment that sustains urban life consists of an array of complex structures - manifested in both infrastructure and more importantly, ideaology - that have been created by human perception of what the world is, what we want it to be, and of course, what we have the ability to turn it into. Of these manmade systems, religion plays a foundational and greatly influential role in shaping human interaction with nature, probably because humans often turn to religion in search for truth, in search for an answer to what this life is all about. However, it seems like the answer we find in doing so, at least as far as the literal interpretation of the Bible is concerned, is that our species exercises a God-given dominion over the earth - a "responsibility" that many in our Christian nation seem to have little trouble accepting and one that has had undeniable impact on the environment.

But what if we turned instead to the landscape for answers, if we considered the inherent life principles of the very thing we've determined ourselves to be supreme to and separate from? Each and every ecological system would produce similar results, but hydrology perhaps represents the counterpart to dominance more blatantly than the rest. It represents unity and interconnectedness in their truest forms - values that human beings as a species could learn much from, values that if practiced could change the way this world works.

(This is an excerpt from a project from the Urban Ecology class I took last semester. The assignment was to choose one urban system, one ecological system and then explore how the two interact with and impact one another. I chose (kind of) religion and hydrology. And this is what ensued.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

dix: Sway'd

Fuji Provia
Salt Lake City, Utah
Independence Day 2011

Spencer, Casie, Drew, Pearl, Joey, Willie, Ian and Chelsea. Just ants playing in blades of grass. This interactive art installation, "Sway'd", was created by U of U Architecture student, Daniel Lyman. Despite the fact that the poles look much like rebar, they actually bend and flex, and I think the most interesting part of the installation is the myriad of ways in which people can interact with it. We certainly had a good time doing so. Although I do think I took a pole to the face a couple of times.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

neuf: The Body

Fuji Provia
Antelope Island State Park, Utah
July 2009

If you've read Bukowski, you may not think he has a heart. If you've read his poetry, you may think otherwise. 

I have been
hanging here
for so long
that the body has forgotten
or where or when it

and the toes
walk along in shoes
that do not care

and although
the fingers
slice things and
hold things and
move things and
such as
I am no longer
reasonably sure
what these things

they are mostly
lamplight and

then often the hands will
go to the
lost head
and hold the head
like the hands of a
around a ball
a block
air and wood –
no teeth
no thinking part

and when a window
blows open
to a
or something singing

the fingers of the hand
are senseless to vibration
because they have no
senseless to color because
they have no
senseless to smell
without a nose

the country goes by as
the continents

the daylights and evenings
on my dirty

and in some mirror
my face
a block to vanish
scuffed part of a child’s

while everywhere
worms and aircraft
fires on the land
tall violets in sanctity
my hands let go let go
let go

huit: Contrast

Diana F+
Fuji Neopan
Left image: Butterfly Lake in the Uinta Mountains
Right image: Downtown Salt Lake via the roof of the Walker Center
June 2009

Although Salt Lake isn't the biggest city ever, it possesses such a unique contrast between nature and the man made world. Not sure if enough people realize it, but I think you could easily say that it's surroundings make it one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

While I wish I could take full credit for the overlap of these two shots, I have to be perfectly honest and admit it was a complete accident. Probably just about the best accident I've ever had, though. 

Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in jail yesterday. Apparently he deserves to lose that much of his life for trying to stand up for a piece of the most incredible landscape on Earth. I guess sometimes, justice just doesn't make sense.

My first semester at the U, a teacher that opened my eyes and changed my life forever quoted John Cage. It's a thought that has been in my head ever since, and certainly will be today. "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sept: William Andrew Welsh - If Found, Call Duane Vigil

Fuji Provia
Salt Lake City, Utah
Independence Day 2011

Can't help but smile at this. Probably the cutest BFF's in Salt Lake. And I could not be happier that I captured this moment of them.

visit me here too.

six: Natural Symmetry

Fuji Sensia
Zion National Park, Utah
August 2009

I believe this photo is from the last roll shot with my Supersampler before it killed over. Nearly two years old. Just have to say though... I am somewhat in awe of how well this roll ended up turning out. And as always, I feel like a good amount of the credit belongs to the landscape.

Monday, July 25, 2011

cing: Unless the Sun Inside of You is Burning Your Gut

Fuji Provia
Salt Lake City, Utah
Independence Day 2011

One of my favorite photos from one of my favorite days of one of my favorite people. Mr. Ian Wade. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

quatre: Spencer, Pearl and Drew

Fuji Astia
Escalante, Utah
July 2011

These guys don't know it, but they are one of the best things to happen to me in a very long time. Patsy was right afterall.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

trois: Every Day is Not A Fight, You Don't Have to See Yourself in Black and White

Kodak Tri-X
Zion National Park, Utah
May 2011

Taken on the Watchman Trail just inside of Zion's gates. I just remembered how hard of a time we had walking into the park. Cars were flowing in like nobody's business, but apparently NPS is still uncertain as to what to do with pedestrian access. Kind of ironic. Anywho, I still have a hard time believing this place is just a 45 minute drive from where I grew up. A beautiful reason to go home.

Friday, July 22, 2011

deux: Wonderland

Fuji Neopan
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
July 2010

It almost breaks my heart to look at this photo. In fact, I think I left part of myself in this park a year ago... Wow. A year ago. Crazy how much life can change in that time. Or even in just a month, as I recently found out. Another thing I've recently found: Growing up is hard sometimes. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But while it's all too easy to get caught up in the past and future, if you do, you tend to miss out on the most important part. The present.

Every once in awhile, I am not too sure about this state and find myself wondering what I am still doing here. But the answer, most honestly, is in the landscape. Idiosyncrasies aside, I am convinced that Utah is one of the most beautiful places on this planet and I feel grateful to have this world as my playground. Yet, outside of the natural beauty that surrounds us, I can't help but feel like something big is bubbling up here in SLC. You can feel the tension - and it's about to break. My only hope is that it's sooner than later.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

un: Truth in Nature

Fuji Provia
Arches National Park, Utah
October 2010

If there is one thing I believe in anymore, it's that NATURE = TRUTH. I think it says a lot about the human species that we have determined ourselves to be not only separate from, but often even more important than the natural world. And it says even more that we are so perfectly content with bulldozing right through it.

A wise poet named Gary Snyder said it better than I will ever be able to when he wrote this: "Man is but a part of the fabric of life - dependent of course on the whole fabric for his very existence, and also responsible to it. As the most highly developed tool-using animal, we must recognize that the evolutionary destinies (unknown) of other life forms are to be respected, and act as gentle steward of the earth's community of being."

I guess I decided to give this blog thing a try. Wasn't sure what to start with. But I suppose this sentiment means a lot to me. So, why not start here?