Paul Storm

on developing my eye

Photographic Fishermen

I’ve read that many (professional) photographers like to consider themselves ‘engaged observers’ but this to me, is absolute rubbish.

Why and for what purpose we are taking photos? To be an engaged observer? In practice it’s more like a fisherman hoping to catch anything worth eating. And even if you have the right bait (concept/idea/etc) you are still hoping for that big fish, the one shot that will make it all worthwhile, and hope is not a strategy.

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The Mother And Child

At a playground today was a mother taking a photo with her iPhone of her playing child.

Why did she choose that moment to take a snap? What was she looking at/for? And why did she decide on that instant in particular?

To record a moment that shall never return, to share this moment with her family, to remember lest she herself may forget, to see the reflection of herself or perhaps her lover. Or the need to escape back to something when life’s realities hit.

Love needs forever and the only solution is to document itself by holding it’s own reflection, metaphorically and physically.

Dark Days

Today self doubt at its highest. Retreating back to Counter Strike playing against the bots.

Thoughts On Killing

I have resumed the war project and am struggling with its representation. I feel I’m being too morally obvious and am trying to figure out how to interpret reality here. Still experimenting!

Though merely playing with toy soldiers, it brings the haunting feeling that these toys simply represent the killing of people. And how ludicrous we are to socialise children at such young ages with things meant to kill human beings.

Meaning versus meaning

when you look for meaning and cannot find it, don’t blame the art, because it’s your fault for,

1 – trying to define it, and
2 – for thinking you could

Static

I am putting the finishing touches on a series called “static”. A collection of large format one-off images of static. In the chaos there are patterns and visa versa.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Just watched “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, a film by Banksy, UK street artist, who probably will be knighted one-day. It’s a cult classic and I’m totally blown away.

A sort of rags to riches tale of an otherwise passionate, yet fairly unoriginal artist, however I should mention the protagonist did make a decent living selling second hand tees before he ‘made it’.

But the joke -and all credit must go to Banksy here- really is on the art world itself. Where clever marketing essentially can turn anybody into a star overnight. An ingenious synthesis and much food for thought.

Addendum to Seeing = Learning

It just occurred to me, that for learning to occur, you need a period of reflection. The yang yang thing where learning and meditation are perfectly synchronised.

It’s in the reflective state that new insights occur, allowing us to reinterpret the world, how it was, and how it can be.

Seeing = Learning

To see something is to first be aware of its existence. This is the challenge of a new born child and continues throughout life. To be aware of something we first must learn to recognise it.

By implication then, vision = understanding = knowledge = learning. A widened image of the world is expanded by deeper consciousness and thus learning any subject automatically heightens the possibilities expanding visual horizons.

Beyond William Eggleston’s Democracy

I am starting to develop this sense of ‘subjective and objective democracy’. At this point this is not the ‘avoid the obvious’ democracy that William Eggleston refers to, as he avoids the obvious photographic clichés. But of a democracy that is removing ideas/things/colours/subjects/etc.

After many years I am starting to get an inkling of a visual signature. This is the result of personal dialogs with myself regarding the question of “what does photography mean to me?”. A cliché question for sure, but we all have to somehow resolve this, and it’s fucking hard to answer honestly.

Before I could even bring myself to answer this I had to learn the language of being honest with myself. There’s the real problem. The path to do that was to go back to my earliest memories, or more specifically the first questions I posed upon the world.

The first issue that meant anything to me was existential. Around my mid single digits having asked my mother if everyone had to die and her affirmative blew me away. It made no sense – to be conscious and then to perish. In fact, it terrified me. And after she confirmed that I would also disappear one day I found that quite the unacceptable proposition. I still think about this every day.

To conclude, life and all matter essentially will perish. Ideas, humanity, stones, mountains, love, planets and stars all have expiry dates, nothing seems immune to time.

Thus now I have been developing this idea photographically, that essentially to photograph any object is a practice of self-indulgence. It seems I am not really interested in the ‘message’ of a photograph rather perhaps than the state of it.