Friday, September 28

An Anniversary?

Yipes, Andreas just reminded me ... well actually noted, I had no idea... with a post on September 10th, that ImageFiction is a year old! And with few exceptions, you and I have "enjoyed" daily postings since then! Holy Moley!

<- Click here

On September 10th of 2006 I posted this image. It was about POWER. I looked at these guys and tried to figure out who had the edge. The foreground fella sits on a monstrous hog. He's burley, strong. The skinny guy in the background's got a paltry bicycle. And yet... With all the horsepower between the big guy's legs... When it comes to figuring out who's got the power remember this... That man in the back wears a gun.

I still love this image and it developed as a result of your input. Some of you were disturbed by a distraction in the upper left hand corner. Oh, don't look for it now... As a result of your emails (and most of our interaction is sill email, I haven't figured that one out...), I covered the sign.

Here on the first birthday of this blog, let me give away a secret. See that tree on the right that forms half of a graceful arch around the actors in this scene? Okay, now look at its twin on the left. See how it reflects in the windows behind it? Look carefully... very carefully.

They say the best work happens when no one notices. I think that happens here, and I'm quite proud of it. What I did was to take the tree on the right and move it also to the left. And I hope until now you didn't notice. Instead I hope you enjoyed the exquisite detail on that foreground bike and the super subtle smirk on the biker's face. I hope you enjoyed the motion blur around the policeman. Yep, I enjoyed working them all into just the right mixture to make my point.

After a year, "Power" still works, don't you think? Hope so... happy anniversary to us all.


Travel Time

We're off to Rome this weekend, then to Florence. I won't be back into this studio until October 15th. Oh there will be folks playing about here as they move into our home to dog-sit with Rocco and enjoy living for a couple of weeks in downtown Lancaster. I'm told that there're plenty of opportunities to grab some WiFi in those parts of Italy. And I'm reeeely excited that I'll get to meet Andreas Manessinger in Florence. Well, not really meet him, Andreas has become a good friend even though we've never seen one another face-to-face, but on October 6th we'll finally get to share some adult beverages together and talk about the state of humankind into the night in Florence (what better place to become enlightened?). If you'll be in that neighborhood - drop an email to one or the other of us. We could all party.

But, this also means that after a year of almost daily postings, this may be the last until the middle of October. I hope you won't forget to check in from time to time. And use the comments line here ... let everyone get to know you. Maybe, somewhere we'll all get to share those adult beverages together and settle the state of the human condition. Or at least laugh and smile... and see what each of us look like as we do it.

Off an adventure... Hold down the blog... K?


Thursday, September 27

Dance of the Bricks, Glass, and Sunset

"When new tools appear, new artistic possibilities arise." - Bayles & Orland, Art & fear, P. 58

<- Click here

Frankly I pictured this sunset window (aiming due west) this way, because I can. Well, also because I wanted to. Okay, I wanted to and I'm able to. So, I did. But why does this tiny place up there catch the eye in the first place?

No surprise... I've got one of my hairbrained theories... Imagine that you walked past any modern middle class suburban tract home. I don't care if you're in Manheim Township Pennysylvania, just outside of Dallas, in the burbs around Boston, Atlanta, or Seattle. The things constructed in the last fifty or so years provide few details like this. And those that do exist were overwhelmingly manufactured in big numbers by some factory making windows, or frames or walls. I think what captures attention here is the obvious fact that somebody wanted to see sunsets. And some builder found a unique way to do it. And both of them did it at at time when people proudly finished their work. They punctuated it with the stuff they learned from classical teachers.

So we get this half-moon window which from the inside will frame the sun going down on East Chestnut street every night. Which means that inside this home, nature is framed on a wall right next to other pieces of art. And the dance that the builder and owner did to make that happen can be seen by anyone who chooses to look up, particularly at sunset.

I like to watch great dancers, even when they are anonymous - like these are. All you need is some music, right?

GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, 08/14/07:4:57 pm: Lens 17-85mm, Focal Length: 73mm, Exp 1/80@f/5.6, ISO 200, Metering Mode: average, Expoure bias 0, Camera RAW

Wednesday, September 26

2007 Award Winner: Rocco's Adventurel

Note: Accepted as one of theworld's finest Nature Images of 2007 for Canon POTN Book to be published in the Fall of 2008.

<- Click here
My little buddy saw Fall down the pathway and scampered his furry body to meet it.

You ever think that we've lost the color, sound, and odor of the past? Start drilling down into history and pretty soon you're left only with the art collections of the rich. They're what pass along whatever lined the tunnels you dug. They were the windows that let you look through any level. The deeper you dig, the fewer windows remain. What did the average guy, walking home on the first evenings of Fall smell? Hear? What colors bathed the walkways and what colors did those rays mix together in the facades on either side?

If you walked down a decaying pathway behind a furry friend on a night like tonight in say 1007, in oh... Belfast, or Florence... Well, you have no way of knowing what was there. Will pictures like this survive so that in 3007 someone will have a window to peer into as he digs through my layer of his history? What will he make of our time as he watches Rocco prance into Fall?

Tuesday, September 25

This Wouldn't Happen Now

<- Click here
What's changed in America? Here's Lancaster's City Hall. Built at the turn of the Twentieth Century it was so blatant in its optimism and celebration of the future. Look at the resources that went into this public art.

It could not be built today. Abrasive critics would tear off every ornament. They'd resist materials and textures that reflected any ambition on the part of designer or town leaders. It's difficult to get the dollars to maintain structures like these. What's happened? Where has the willingness of citizens to contribute to civic pride gone? Now every public dollar seems drawn into some consumption demand. Now we need to create governments which don't so much celebrate our pride as they redistribute our wealth.

When this building went up, governments reflected a public joy, now they seem to speak only for the crankiest n public. What's changed in America?

Monday, September 24


<- Click here
As many of you know, Rita and I are off to Rome then Florence for two weeks on Sunday. Just spoke to the house sitters (who will live in and dog sit my buddy Rocco).

So since we're visiting the epicenter of the enlightenment, I decided to look at this evening's first sunrise of Fall as an attempt to try to outrageously mix the emotional content with the Greco-Roman aesthetics of proportoin, balance,poise, and simplicity. The enlightenment was characterized by formalists who bristled at non-conformity, experimental techniques, and unpredictability. to capture that within a block of my home?

Here's a neighbor's stoop on East Chestnut Street. So? Is there a mastery of form here? Is this sufficiently lyrical to at least qualify me for a visit to places still moist from the Age of Reason? Enough expressive texture? Tone?

Okay... not a masterpiece, but I'm trying to get in the mood for Europe. Mood... yeah... Gotta work on capturing mood this week.

Sunday, September 23

Masters' Control

<- Click here
You're raised on a farm, frolicking with your friends and family. Years pass filled with great food, quiet... pastoral bliss.

Until one morning... herded... crammed into a dank loud truck... all dark... terror. Jammed up ramps. Bleating, screaming... Panic... Along some sort of corridor, past this place, inside people.. Not farmers. Cold eyes. Not there with food and warmth. You're somewhere that's all turmoil and clatter. A chugging. Air blasts. Bells clanging. So loud. So ghastly... Where is this place? What is it? Home... want to go home...


It's still now. Crumbling. The remains of a great shed that covered the sorting area for new arrivals. Off to pens according to type, class, destination. Slaughter... somewhere. But not here. No, here was a station beside the railhead that loaded the trains off to the great city centers. Here was an in between place of what? Can you imagine what went through their minds?

Rocco and I walked through the stockyard ruins, and he sensed what I couldn't hear, smell, or see. My little friend was not happy. There's something inside this place... Silent echoes. You are on edge here.

Does it show?

Saturday, September 22

Last Path Of Summer

<- Click here

Summer ends sometime during the day tomorrow. Rocco and I watched the 2007 summer sun set for the last time this evening. It's probable that the Lancaster Stockyards will finally be demolished this Fall and Winter. So tonight's may be the last summer sun set ever on this back pathway of what was once the largest stockyard east of Chicago.

I'm guessing that a photographer aiming from this spot will soon see acres of asphalt surrounding another shopping mall,or maybe a gordo Wal-Mart. And this scene, once so busy and now caught up in soon-to-be-overcome litigation will fade into memory... like the last sunset of summer.

GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, 09/22/07:6:06 pm: Lens 10-22mm, Focal Length: 10mm, Exp 1/200@f/8, ISO 400, Metering Mode: pattern, Expoure bias -1, Camera RAW

Friday, September 21

Years From Now

<- click here
When you envision the future world of say 2067 - do you leave room for homes like this? In your dreams of times to come, is everything crystal, plasma, shimmering, and chrome? Will that place have razed everything that came before it?

Will it sit upon a mound of bulldozed under carcasses of oddly charming, but presently decaying relics that embody the dreams of a string of generations? Will the tractor beam of suburban MacMansions guarantee city developers a freedom to knock down everything urban to make way for city buildings that will compete for people with sufficient income that they can afford to pay the taxes that will restore those cities?

But should that happen... then what will happen to storybook homes like this? Does it have a spot, a place, a justification for living anywhere outside of a museum in your dreams of the future?

GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, 09/21/07:5:38 pm: Lens 17-85mm, Focal Length: 17mm, Exp 1/125@f/8, ISO 400, Metering Mode: pattern, Expoure bias -1, Camera RAW

Thursday, September 20


Ouch....Real world intrudes. Ted must review books for magazines. I gotta excuse myself tonight. Deadlines loom... sorry. Check in tomorrow... K?

Wednesday, September 19

Squinting Backward

<- Click here
How to carve today's cultural landscape into antique pieces?

Can I make an image that's identical to one seen by some guy 250 yeas ago?

Must we squint to see history?

Behind me here... directly behind me sits a booming mall. I'm standing in its driveway. Cars whizz past.

Over there sits the farmhouse for this place and from its parapet, across this pond, they could see tilled fields as far in my direction as they could look.

Now on an asphalt field in the city of Lancaster, I'm looking back...ward.

In today's late afternoon sun... Squinting.

Tuesday, September 18


<- Click here

Should we love or fear the future.

The folks who live here on the Wellfleet Marsh on Cape Cod can predict that twice each day this place will flood, then drain. The future will be nearly as like the past as possible. Yet no present moment will ever hold. The swings of changing tides, coupled with the beat of changing seasons, coupled with the predictable changes in summer versus winter people... all of these changes result in...

Well let me try my wonderings differently. If nothing changed, would there be a future? If we were eternal... immortal... would the past have still happened? How, if nothing changed, would we compare the future with now, and now with then and.. and.. But if nothing changed, there'd be no sunrises like this one. If nothing changed... would there be beauty? How would we know it... if nothing changed?

How would we know anything? And if knowing is good. Then the first question.. in my first sentence has an answer, right?

Monday, September 17

From The Grooveyard

<- Click here
I was up until about 2am last night working on an article for my magazines, then just before 5am the commercial haulers made a raucous pickup across the street from where we sleep with a device which explodes sit-up-in-bed-terror noises that careen about our bedroom. Simply put - very little sleep last night and my candle is flickering now. So... I have reached into a collection of my earliest digital work done with a three megapixel camera and a lens which could have doubled for a Coke bottle.

Actually I'm not making excuses, just explaining the busy technique i was developing to overcome the technical challenge of photographs that looked as if they all captured images of melting plastic. Here I visited an Amish barn out in the Village of Eden I believe. They'd raised a spectre on their sign which I guess some could take a an omen?

I'm going to bed.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday, September 16

Furious Chance

<- Click here
The most intriguing images are mysteries. Um, well, to some degree every photo-based image is a mystery, since exposition is particularly difficult in the display of a frozen instant. But some are better at telling a story than others.

I enjoy the tack sharp images which make the subject crystal clear, but leave the meaning as elusive as Al Gore’s sex appeal, or as eloquence is to George Bush. I like the image which gives us a surface we can dive through… one which seems to be the sheen atop an ocean of meaning.

Photographic images seem to say,"Hey dummy, this is what reality must be like if it looked this way." But like this massive furious orange cement gorilla atop a five story building, you know that the image maker isn’t telling you everything. You know there’s a secret to this photograph… if it is a photograph... and if there ever was a monster beast high atop that ugly parapet on a day as clear as summer makes them.

But even if that image didn’t happen, we know that it is happening in that rectangle. So why? What reality is this image describing?

I tell you, the images we can make contain some puzzle piece each time we produce them. And there’s a satisfaction in solving those mysteries. That is if there are unique solutions. No… no… there are unique solutions, and each of us can create one.

There’s something predatory about image creation. We hunt for game, shoot it, then we do our own taxidermy. Images become trophies that represent something we accomplished: some thought or feeling which overwhelmed us. And we display them to tell what we concluded to others. To tell them of the possible fury which can lurk up above us, ready at any moment to smash down a massive fist, even in the brilliant sunlight of a perfect summer’s day.

Could it be that chance is a monster gorilla in an orange shirt?

Saturday, September 15

Water Colorists

<- Click here
Last night, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society opened a juried show at the Lancaster Museum of Art. Simultaneoulsy they presented awards to the best in show. The magnificient exhibition will run for the next couple of weeks. Go out of your way to see it... the thing rocks.

And it left me wondering about my ability to capture the illusive misty quality of watercolor. Many of the pieces on exhibit are summer renderings, I guess because the artists have more time outdoors during those months. So I decided to try a minature combining a guy I captured last Sunday at Wheels, Wheels, Wheels with a street scene from Fort Lauderdale I took in 2005. Somehow they go together for me as an essence of summer.

Summer colors sear, so much so that they actually mute one another. I know that's a contradiction, but a mid-day summer palette is so brilliant that it seems to spill together, I guess because we squint to capture it in our memories. That's what I'm after here, a misty watercolor memory... Hmmm... there's a nice line, wonder if it'd fit into a song?

Friday, September 14

Wheels #5: The End

<- Click here
Of course, in a pinch, there's always one last way to deal with a sun-drenched image (See the texts from September, 10-14). Just move the puppy to a friendlier spot, like this. See, the sun dappling looks like street-light dappling and it solves the problem, right? Actually when I saw this old rumble seat open - I imagined it all set to fill up with a happy couple for a night ride through the downtown. I have vague memories as a kid of riding in somebody's ancient but restored jalopy with my Mom in one of those things. Wind-in-hair it was a giggly ride for little boy, like an amusement park attraction that ran right down my street and into the driveway. Wheeeee!

<- Click here
But when I got to digging into the image it provoked an addtional thought. Don't you think this was the kind of car that the owners took down to the Lancaster Municipal docks to work on their boat? Doesn't it look right out there next to one of the smaller craft? From shore to ship, the perfect way to end my Wheels week, don't you think?

GEEK STUFF Sunday 9/9/07 1:41pm: 1/80s@f/7.1 : Canon EOS 20D, Meter Mode Auto, Exposure Program: Normal, ISO 200, Lens: Canon EFS 17-85mm (f4-5.6), Focal Length 33 mm, Exposure Bias:-0.33, RAW: PP in PS-CS3

Thursday, September 13

Wheels #4

<-Click here
Question time. Here's my fourth visit to Wheels Theme Week. Once again I'm trying to suck out something interesting from beneath a yowling mid-day sun. But here there's more to the exercise. Which brings me to my question.

Regardless of their equipment, photographers always impose themselves upon their subjects. And many feel that if something is pictured, well it must be true. Photographs as opposed to news columns, or drawings come with a paunch of authority.

But are ANY photos true? Any of them? And even if you can think of situations in which there is NO ambiguity about the information that's pictured in a photo, is that an exception? Aren't our images just as much interpretations and feelings about "reality" as music, poetry, and drawing?

Look at this blue Pontiac (it might be a Chevy). I ask you, what percentage of this image is absolutely a true representation of that vehicle and how much a feeling? And is that feeling yours? Is it mine? Does it belong to the craftsperson who lovingly restored it? Does it belong to the designer and craftspeople who originally conceived of it?

And as you answer these questions, and I really hope you will wrestle with them either through posts or in your mind, here's a last question. See that title up there beside my picture? Why do you think I've given that name to this blogsight? Is there a photo blogsight anywhere which should not have the same name?

Huh? Huh? Huh?

Wednesday, September 12

Wheels #3

<- Click here
My theme week rolls on with this purple car that's packaged up feelings of what? Dusty country roads? Glamorous urban night clubs? An important arrival?

Whoever drove this somewhere must have felt like... like... Mr. BIG. When streets were filled with these things... well just imagine looking down from a skyscraper as the sooty twilight sun flashed off their backs and the city looked like an animated golden necklace glimmering in precious gems. So big, piloting them must have felt like driving your living room from the sofa. This guy sits now, just on the other side of the line dividing art from truth... No, not a line so much as a veil of nostalgia that lets us peer into a place where sharp lines no longer live.

But the technical question still hovers over this image. Taken when the sun blared worst... does this salvage a memorable idea or feeling from the din of searing light?

Tuesday, September 11

Wheels #2 - Tuesday

<- Click here
Wheels theme week continues.... Another image made where the air is blared by squint-tight sun. The challenge goes on: How to make lemonade from the lemon light of mid day in summer on the streets of Lancaster's epicenter? Yesterday I grabbed the searing red interior of a '57 Caddy. Tonight, just what you crave on a desert-like day... WATER! Here's the coolant cap from some wonderful piece of motorized sculptor built I imagine in the mid 1930s. No details, it's as if I present a picture of a trunk and it's up to you to imagine the entire elephant that's behind the thing. Here's a water cap... so go ahead, imagine the rest.

There are stories to these old cars and some of them I bet are pretty sexy. It was the first time when boys and girls of the masses could go off alone in portable rooms for a night of passionate fun.And the results? Seventy five year old kiddies walking these very Lancaster streets all a-squint against a sun that adds dazzle to memories of their parents' frolickings in seventy five year old trucks.

Monday, September 10

Themes Like Old Times

<- Met Al Morrison this Sunday at 'Wheels, Wheels, Wheels' along N. Queen Street where maybe a hundred street rods and classic cars were mixed with a couple dozen motorcycles in the blazing sunlight along the closed avenue. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of people on the superhot afternoon. Al's images are posted at his Flickr account and they inspired me to play with the things this week.

It's said that photographic images are not so much statements about the world as they are piece of it - minatures of reality. The more I think about that idea, the more it resonates with me. So this week I thought I'd try to pull pieces of a time-past together from under that searing sun (a photographer's nightmare) to see if we together could pimp out our recollections the way the keepers of these relics pimped their vehicles out. And where better to begin than the cockpit of an explosively red '57 Caddy? I wonder if our European and Asian visitors share North and South American memories (or myths) about cruising, top-down, AM radio blaring - Hot Town... Summer In The City? Huh?

Sunday, September 9

It's over - Phewwww!

My show last Friday went fine. Hundreds of people passed through. At times you couldn’t move along the main hallway or get up the stairs (it sprawled over two levels, four rooms, and two hallways). I’d like to show you pictures of the mobs, but, um… well my two friends who took pictures thought I exclusively wanted pictures of my pictures set up, and so they left for dinner during the actual times that most people came to see the exhibit. So the result of all of the setup and marketing and hoping… that is the genuine crowds of people who came… well those are stored not on hard drives or flash cards… but in my rapidly dimming memory. Heck.

It was a nice evening. A lot of friends came by along with scores of people I’d never met. People seemed to crash through in waves. There’d be a quieter period when only a dozen or so wandered around, then… WhOOOMP! the doors would open and scores seemed to pile in. There was a free wine/beer/soft-drink bar on the second floor, elegantly matched with a range of finger food including a big bowl of cold shrimp.

How to gauge success? People said nice things. Some prints were sold. Some gallery people stopped by, but most were pinned down in their own shops along gallery row catering to the large crowds. There was a rock band across the street from us with people who spilled out into the street (which was not closed – Lancaster is a working city). Sometime I shall do a photo essay on a First Friday in the city. It attracts people who live way outside along with visitors from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.

How to gauge success? We were tired afterward. My wife, her sister Cathy, my friends Steve (particularly Steve - the enthusastic support from he and my wife, Rita, made this happen), Maria, Chris, Beth, and my partner Steve – all helped lug, tug, and set up. Tim Smedick along with the staff and volunteers at the Historic Preservation Trust were astonishingly supportive. I’m thinking they all had a good time.

I put out about six hundred cards re. my website. There were about two hundred left when we took things down. The Historic Trust people said that they’d never had as many people pass through.

How to gauge success? It was satisfying. But, I shall never, I think, put in that kind of work again. If someone else wants to show my work, I’ll supply it. But actually printing, framing, moving, hanging, and then schlepping it all out the same night… Whoa….

How to gauge success?

I’m smiling. And really appreciative of my family and friends – more than ever. Which is, after all, the very definition of success, eh?

But as for something to show you… Some images to display… You’ll have to take my word for the turnout… As for pictures to show you of the visitors….well... there weren't many. However my photographic team of Steve Cornibert & Maria Caridad did get a feeling for how the thing looked. Here... let me post a collage and I'll explain starting clockwise from the left hand corner which shows the view from the front door down the first floor hallway.

<- Click here You can see the stairs people took to get to the second floor. There are two rooms off of this hallway, the first to the right is the next picture w/ my Fulton image in the center. Note the small white thing to the left of that print? It's a paragraph of description.

The next room down the entry hall is the pictured next with the Cylo-Baseball series to the right and another display swept around to the left.

Farther down the first floor hallway is a small breakfast nook with large doors leading out to a veranda, which is where my large image of the twin spires was shown. to the lef of this were a number of smaller prints.

At the top of the stairs is another hallway... immediately to the left is a room, and at the end, you can see me entering the next pictured room, where the food and drink were served. See on the back wall behind the food table? That's my very large print of A.S. Groff's Hopes.

And finally if you'd gone immediately left at the top of the stairs, you'd have entered this room (in the very center of the collate) where I'd displayed largely images of Lancaster County. However, as the evening went on, people casually moved images from room to room - mixing the all up. Odd, but interesting.

Something else you can see ... is that I am NOT a graphic designer and the collage is pretty primitive, but it gives you a feeling for the intent of the night. Thank goodness for the air conditioning. The night was moon-struck and humidity struck. It was a tropical evening in South Central Pennsylvania. There was no need for any of the fireplaces which are built into each of the Trust's rooms.

Thursday, September 6


<- Click here
Okay, said I was going to be off until late this weekend, BUT... As it turned out I felt I had to deal with the charge of, "Manipulation!" which many of us hear monotonously from the Organic Photographic movement. Like many of you, I've frequently heard people speak of my images.... "Hey! That's not photography!"

I know I've dealt with that here before, but I decided to head off the controversy at the show tomorrow night by making this poster I've posted tonight. Hope it stops some repetitive questions. It's just not.... not... PC... to charge "Manipulation!"

Right? Right?

Wednesday, September 5

48 Hours To Go... YIPES!

<- Click here

I guess the graphic speaks for me as well as itself. To find the rest of the show details click on the label 'Ted's News' below. And if you're in the neighborhood of 123 N. Prince Street in Lancaster... come by between 5:00 and 8:30 Friday evening and say hello. PLEEEESE!!!

The prints really do sparkle - especially the BIG thingeees.

Tuesday, September 4

Depreciation Lacks Constituency

<- Click here
Curious thing about democracy. Voters want new things. Voters want low taxes. Maintenance is the residual. People have no sense of upkeep when they buy a bridge. They figure the thing's massive and made out of stuff that's eternal. Look at this bridge in front of the Pequea Yacht Club way down in rural southern Lancaster County. It spans the Pequea Creek just before it meets the Susquehanna river off stage-right in this image. I guess there's a marking around somewhere which gives the date it was erected. Judging by the iron work, I'm guessing sometime in the early part of the 20th century, about a hundred years ago.

Regardless, the skin's fallen away and the skeleton's hanging out. Only a minute or so before I took this photo, a school bus clanked over the thing. How long do you think before it drops into the creek? Or before a school bus summersaults down? The point is that governments in the United States generally lack a sense of what businesses call depreciation. There are no funds established when public works are created which will maintain them into the future. Each new generation launches a number of pieces of apparatus into a time stream where they sail through the ages. Unfortunately future generations fail to respect the gift, or even find it to be a nuisance - something that can sop up tax dollars they want to spend on new apparatus, or on payoffs for votes... their legacies are new bridges and smiling citizens.

There's no legacy in repair. No real bragging rights. No new plaques get pasted onto the sides of bridges. No new names go onto the things honoring the politicians who fixed the cancerous rebar. Not to worry, when a school bus gets dunked, panic will set in. And the President him/herself will fly to Pequea to promise federal dollars will be taken from folks in Texas, California, and the Dakotas among other places to rebuild this bridge over this creek. Lets me sleep at night here in the richest nation in history. You?

Monday, September 3

Image Magic? Not!

<-- Click here
Last Saturday I played with something that an early twentieth century anthropologist named James Frazier called "Sympathetic Magic." Fun, but Frazier invented another sort of magic which is reallycool to think about. Called Image Magic, he said it was based upon the idea that, "like produces like. Or that an effect resembles its cause." Images of anything are explained by their makers.

Now since we play with images - I figured hey... let me see if I can prove Frazier - REEEEEEELY WRONG! Let me see if I can find some thing which seems nothing like its creator. So this morning I loaded up my bike, and rode down to N. Water Street where there are all sorts of things that are left over from the past couple of hundred years. And there, on the corner of Water and W. Marian St. VIOLA! I mean look at this thing. It's a classical beautiful facade neatly restored in elegant sedate splendor by - our Hole In The Wall Puppet Theater!

Now of course the HITWPT is tasteful and its presentations are elegant good fun. But would you have expected this creation to be caused by the HITWPT? Okay, many of you come here from around the world. "Ted," you chortle, "I have no idea what the Hole In The Wall Puppet Theater does. “

Right... right... Still, from their name, what do you think that they do? Eh? Roll bologna? Of course not. And they are in the business of creating magic with every presentation. But yet... yet.... Haven't I done it? Haven't I found a clear contradiction to Image Magic in this magical image of colors, shapes, textures and forms? Huh? Huh?

Sunday, September 2

Labor day Weekend

<- Click here
Speaks for itself?

Saturday, September 1

Putting Descartes Before The Horse

<- Click here
Recently I heard of an early twentieth-century anthropologist named James Frazer. Seems he had a theory about what he called Sympathetic Magic.

Now if I got it straight, he argued that “things that have once been in contact with each other continue to act upon each other at a distance, even after the contact has been severed.”

Hmmmm… see those boats in today's image? There is no body of water nearby to the City of Lancaster that would permit ships like them to operate. Now, see the bricks, and the window arch? See the repeating arch over the coal-bin window to this building’s basement? I’m told you’ll find exactly this design routinely throughout the British Isles.

Do these two things point just one way – toward the truth of Frazer’s Sympathetic Magic? Somehow bricklaying and ship building techniques are just as real here in one of Lancaster’s lovely alleyways as they were when they were bumped up against sometime long ago. These two images, one made from brick, the others from wood and canvas are both material objects yet they are signs from long long ago, and far far away. What’s most magical is that we accept the fusion here on this tiny street without a thought.

And yet because they are, therefore I think. How would one say that, Sum ergo cogito? Sympathetic Magic, eh?