Sunday, November 29, 2009

its going to be dark again already

so this daylight savings time is still messing with my head, i often have no idea what time it is or what day it is for that matter. and ok, i'll admit, staying out til 2 or 3 (or 4)AM probably does not help any, but a) hanging out with old and new friends is very important to being a healthy, happy human being and b) i can do this easily in NY - this is what being in the city is for. if i went to bed at 10 I might as well live in ......ahem.... Providence (sorry people).

absorbing the car into city life as well is a bit of a mind-bender......i HAVE been using it to facilitate the creation of art, but then i put it "away" and grab my bike to run around or hop in the subway. its like i have too may choices. i know i sound like i'm complaining, but really i'm not.

additionally, i've been spending most of my daylight hours in Williamsburg (and photo stores but mostly Williamsburg), because my recent project revolves around stalled building sites there. I haven't spent much time there since i worked building audio furniture on Berry street in 1995, and then in East Williamsburg on Scholes street in 1998-99ish, so you can imagine its changed dramatically since then, esp. the northside. Every now and then i'd go over to meet with friends, see a show, get a drink, but usually just riding my bike down bedford to my studio in Greenpoint sent chills down my spine due to the intensity of hipster-y people all hanging out even on a weekday. One day, last summer, Betsy and i had a girls afternoon out and she showed me some nice bars near grand that had craft beer and back gardens. i was sort of impressed, as anywhere in the LES with nice beer like that is full of wannabe yuppies. the Williamsburg places felt way more like Berlin. (or, i guess Berlin became Williamsburg, right?). I feel like more and more the East Village and LES is full of generic NYU/SVA students and people who moved here because they think it makes them cool (but they work for an investment fund company or something). Williamsburg is sort of the same but there are no dorms and the people who move there to be cool actually probably work at cooler jobs. (or don't need one - trust funds). anyway, as of right now, i feel like it seems like a nice place to retire. plenty of nightlife, good record stores, maybe a little full of itself but i so is Manhattan. Now, i can say this because i never have had to live in Brooklyn, while most people have. yes, i am on my high horse. sorry again peoples.

Another good (and bad) fact about Williamsburg is that the rabid trend of massive condo building has stopped. in its wake a series of abandoned empty lots have been left adjacent to the hulking shiny new structures. so, weirdly, while more destiny has been created in previously desolate spots, once populated blocks have now become dangerous and empty wastelands.

I started photographing some of the structures built to shield the public from construction sites this summer, though mostly structures in Manhattan. I began scouring Williamsburg in earnest about a month ago, and have noted several spots which i have been visiting weekly. To my amazement i've witnessed an incredible amount of transfiguration within a short time period. Typically we are meant to ignore the crude structures, and to the untrained eye not much may have changed. The areas they exist in seem like desolate wastelands, their facades invite interaction on a scale like no other in the city. There is a battle being forged, between nature and man as well as man and man. hostile external forces are constantly on the attack, driving the internal occupiers to perpetually shore up their fortifications. creating a visually rich and layered dialog back and forth. this trail of mark making on these sculptural piecemeal structures tells a universal yet anonymous time sensitive story.

blah blah blah...ok, putting this artist statement part of this on a word document and working on it separately......cos you all don't need to go though THAT. this was meant to be more informal but, well, i guess it just started me off.

4PM = 26 pieces of 4x5 film to pick up from manhattan color! yeah!!!!! i wish i would have waited until today to shoot, as yesterday the wind was terrible (but created some cool destroyed construction barricades which got knocked over. my camera was swaying at times though)

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