Archive for the ‘Introspect’ Category

Just A Taste

May 18, 2008

I have an addictive personality. I am well aware of it, ever since high school. I first realized it with caffeine. We had a three-day weekend for whatever reason, and it was the height of ski season. I would wake up at five in the morning; hop in the car and stop get a chai on the two-hour trip to the mountain. Day two was the same routine, but I was tired on the drive back, so I would stop for another chai. Day three was two more. I woke up for school on Tuesday with a horrible headache, one that led to me having to leave school. I deduced it to being caffeine and I cut it out of my life. And now I control when I have a soda or something. Either when I need to stay away in class for a bit (and just understand I will have a really hard time sleeping that night) or when I have a headache (weird how that works, huh?).

Something about the idea of being addicted, the need of something, just freaks me out. I do not want to have to have something. I want to want it, merely for entertainment purposes, not because I need it to function normally.

But I get severely addicted to people. Mostly when I am interested in dating someone, I want him to want to spend every free moment with me. I want him to call me, much like I like to text him when he crosses my mind. But then I have to worry if I come across as too needy. I do not want to be annoying, I just want him to know that I am thinking about him… keep me in his mind, I guess. But I always feel like I come across as crazy and force myself to stray away from it. Make him come to me…

But I do not think that works every time…

They Only Want You When You’re Seventeen

April 30, 2008

Birthday shenanigans were pretty intense. Fuzzy days and nights with lots of work that need be done. But even with all the stress from school I still managed to keep up with it all. And now the year is coming to a close…

Last week I hung my work for an afternoon to be juried for the “big fucking deal” scholarship. I did not win, but it was still nice to just have my work up and looked at. The following day I had to bring my work back to the same place and hang it for the Junior Photography Show. I find that the work I hung is kind of boring, but it is smart, so I will not beat myself up over it. Saturday is the opening and we have arranged to share an open bar with the Crafts show which is happening on the floor below our show. (Well, our show is more or less on the balcony of their show.) I am hoping that I can sell some work, I could use some extra money, but I do not know just how marketable my photos in the show are.

This is the last week of actual classes, followed by exam week, and then critique week. And I have a couple of projects that are in progress, and one that needs to be completed start-to-finish. But I know I will get it all done.

This summer is bound to be interesting. New people in my life, new opportunities. Actually, let me elaborate on the latter. So I wrote some e-mails to a number of photographers regarding internship options over the summer. I waited two, maybe three weeks and still had no responses. My summer plans changed to moving to Rochester, NY for the summer to spend it with my brother. Then I got one response. From an artist here in Philly. He was my first choice and he said he has all these things that he could use help on. Changed my summer yet again. The following day I recieved another response from an artist in New York City. He said he did not need much help and that he tends to work alone and slowly, but I was more than welcome to come lend a hand whenever. I e-mailed him back saying that I was taking the internship here in Philly, but to let me know whenever he needs any help and I would gladly go up and help him out.

I figure this may be totally overwhelming, but I could use a busy summer with a lot of learning from actual photographers. They both are really conceptually driven, so I am bound to learn a ridiculous amount of who-knows-what. The one here in Philly is actually a gay artist as well, so working with him should be another way to learn more and more about myself along with the community.

All in all, I am psyched. And Ladytron was way wrong… twenty-one is more fun.

A faggot, now comfortable in his own skin

April 2, 2008

Life is innately sexual. My life just seems to defy all boundaries in this respect. Last night in one of my classes where we discuss contemporary issues in photography, we were talking about the concept of the surveyor and the surveyed. Specifically we were talking about Sophie Calle (amazing woman, amazing story) and how her work differs from something along the lines of Jennicam (one of the first real webcam shows that ever existed). But then the conversation led itself into the direction of voyeurism.

People were arguing that Jennicam was trying to gain attention. She began her webcam website at the age of nineteen. She broadcasted from her dorm room and streamed a new picture every three minutes (which was really fast when she started). She danced for the camera, performed little strip teases, etc. Then over time it became about her life on camera. If she was in the room, the camera would update with whatever she was doing. If she was out of the room, the camera would update on the state of the room while she was away. Eventually she moved into her own place and got more cameras and updated her site with more photos at a faster rate. She began documenting/sharing her life with millions of people per day. Visitors got to witness her at home, working from home, sleeping, eating, being intimate, etc. But it is the intent of the project that confuses people.

Was she doing it for some kind of release for herself? Was she in-fact, an exhibitionist? Purpose is difficult to figure out, but everyone will come up with his or her own hunches. I tried to argue that, to me, it all seems like a sort of rite of passage. I feel like everyone goes through a phase where they are interested in showing off their body. Everyone is a bit of a voyeur. I compared to her site to being like my journals thorough the years. I began writing in high school, as a sort of release. But I was only interested in it when I would get responses from people. It was a way of reaching out, from the security of my own home. I could decide what I wanted to disclose. I was in complete control. But an online journal is a bit like voyeurism… people are reading what I write–much like people are viewing Jennicam at all times of day.

But it all has a sexual overtone. Even my writing. Regardless of it all, sex continues to run my life. Not in the sense of “I gotta get laid.” But more like everything has a sexual charge of some sort. I write. I take photographs. I have an underwear fetish. However, I prefer nudity. I enjoy the body. I am coy. I struggle to express myself with spoken words. I constantly reorganize and edit. But I separate my lives very distinctly…

For school I am very well composed. I am quiet, but will be honest with you. Some take me for an asshole, and I embrace that (they just do not know me at all). With my friends, I am no longer quiet, but still keep myself on a fairly tight leash. But then there is my life alone. I return to my apartment, with all my belongings, and there is so much more to be said about me. But only the very, very select few get to experience that. And even fewer get to experience the overtly sexual being that I am. I often feel bad for people when they first begin to date me… especially when we start to get intimate. I know how I am; I can be overwhelming. But that is part of who I am.

I have been beginning to accept myself in all respects of life. It is hard to do at times though. But recently I can say that I have been very proud of myself with how I have been dealing with some things. Like I mentioned previously, I am quite shy. Usually in mixed company I just keep my mouth shut, doing the “hello” thing and falling back to the background. But recently I have been joining in conversation, with strangers even! Small talk used to make me real uncomfortable, but I think I am growing into something new, something with more confidence in himself. I have an out of control ego as it is, but I shy away from interacting with people… but this leaf has been blown over and I am to take on this world all over again. A voice to go along with my presence.

They talk of a return to nature, I wonder where they went

March 26, 2008

I really enjoy the springtime. I used to be a winter child, but since living in the city I cannot say that winter is something I look forward to. Especially this year, there was no snow whatsoever. I grew up in Maine, snow is something you learn to love. But here, with global warming and a generally messed up ecosystem, we feel short of any snow this season. But spring is here. And with it, the rut that I have been in concerning my photography has really lifted.

Something about the last few months really kept me away from getting excited about my work. I guess it probably has a lot to do with being in a relationship that was not necessarily what I needed to be in. But with that freedom, and the shift in the weather, and shooting for a project and actually enjoying the shooting and being excited about printing… it is as if my whole outlook on Photography has gone back to where it used to be. It was the motivation I needed.

In my “Critical Issues in Photography” class last night, we were talking about landscape photography and how different people use it. The instructor asked who shoots landscapes and one hand went up. Then a couple people called me out on shooting landscapes (I just do not like to pigeon-hole myself since I do not really have a niche yet). We got into a discussion about how landscapes are more of a personal experience than something to talk about. The professor asked for an example. I said, “Well let me put it this way. I have seen this whole country. I may not have been there, but I know what it looks like and I know what’s there.”

I have been taking myself back to nature when it comes to my work. But I have other projects to work on as well. But it really impresses me when I can look at the theme of my portraits and fit them into the various themes in my landscapes or other work. Maybe I have a niche; I just have to figure out what it is.

It’s nothing to cry about, cause we’ll hold each other soon

March 20, 2008

It has been years since I have been afflicted with insomnia. I thought I was over it. But alas, it returns. This week I have managed to tally up a total of about six hours of sleep. I will be tired, exhausted even, but once I lay down I just cannot seem to put myself to sleep. There is nothing as frustrating as lying for six hours and not getting a wink of sleep. Especially when you know you have to be up early the next day for a full day of things that need be done.

Last night I did not sleep for a minute. I put on some relaxing music, crawled into bed, shivered until the sheets were warm, cuddled with my body pillow and other pillows and nothing. That was it. I heard the whole CD to completion and just continued to lie, wide awake, staring into the darkness. I rolled over to check the clock, and it was about twenty minutes before I had to get up for class. So I said, “fuck it,” and got out of bed. I went to class all day where we did not really do much of anything, but I talked with my professor about the current project that I cannot settle on an idea for. She talked me through it, told me that the idea I liked was not very good but the first one I came up with was excellent. She did not know, but when she told me my idea blew, I got upset (sleep deprivation really messes you up emotionally). I left class for a bit and had one of those “Pull yourself together!” speeches with myself. Her advise for me was to work things through and not beat myself up so much on getting things perfect the first time. Something I needed to hear… Something I will need to hear again and again.

I have to work an eleven-hour shift tomorrow. But I can already feel like I will not be getting much sleep tonight…