Thursday June 7. 2001

done with intention

How 'bout them Sixers?

I am normally not interested in sports, but when a city rallies around its team like Philly always seems to, it's hard not to get caught up in it. How I wish I was at a bar, sipping a beer with a bunch of drunken frat boys and cheering on the home team instead of home alone squinting at my shitty 13 inch TV, trying to see the score.

No, really, I do. Oh well, maybe next year.

But yes, it was exciting and nerveracking to see our scrappy little Sixers put the Lakers' cocky little asses in their appropriate place. 4 game sweep, indeed. I kind of doubt they'll win the series, but at least they've stolen the Lakers' thunder, which I think is good enough for them and for the city.

/end sports commentary

I had my first crit in photography today, and it went really well. Photography is interesting for me, because it's using a part of my brain that I just don't access when I'm working in metal or clay. It's such a direct form of communication. No middle man, just an image and the viewer. Very immediate. And unlike painting, the photograph is always a version of reality, which is why I find it so intriguing. Not anything invented inside an artist's head, but reality, interpreted.

It's funny, I don't even take pictures with my digital camera the same way I take pictures with my SLR. The digital camera I think of more as a documentary tool and a thing to take snapshots with rather than something that would produce fine art, simply because of its limitations in quality and resolution. There's no intention when I use the digital camera. Kate told me once that Jon, my teacher at Governor's School, told her to make a piece for him with intention. I think I finally understand what she was talking about. It's funny, the last entry I was talking about serendipity and those chance moments, but making good art or taking good photographs doesn't happen by accident. You have to pursue it, you have to hunt it down, you have to make it your own.

I spent most of the afternoon today walking around Center City and South Street, taking pictures. The sunlight was in and out through the clouds, but it cleared later on in the day and the shadows got really nice and long.

I started out at Independence Mall, and circulated around the Liberty Bell, old City Hall and Independence Hall for a while, taking pictures of the architecture, the incredible sky and all the school and church groups swarming around the area. From there I walked south through Olde City. This area was eeriely quiet. After I picked my way around a traffic jam on Chestnut and Walnut, and the roar of Interstate 95 was merely a quiver in the air, all I could hear were birds and the occasional car rolling over the cobblestoned pavement. It's so odd, finding that kind of quiet in the midst of such a chaotic maze of highways and rivers and streets and people.

Once down on South Street (and after losing a weird homeless guy that I swore had followed me down from Independence Mall), I went to Dairy Queen (or Diary Queen, which John says is Dairy Queen for online journallers), where I ran into this one girl from the Metals studio. We had a good 20 minute conversation, sitting there eating our blizzards, but here's the horrible thing: I couldn't remember her name. I don't think I ever knew her name, though I've talked to her many times. She has a tattoo on her ear, so she is forever known to me as "the girl who has a lizard tattoo in her ear". Isn't that horrible? I do that all the time. To be fair, I can't say for sure if she knew my name, but still. I start up conversations with people, talk to them for sometimes days or weeks, and then if I can't discreetly find out their name from a mutual acquaintance, I have to come up to them and ask, "What's your name?" and feel like a complete idiot.

I ended up next at the South Street Starbucks, to reload film and take in some air conditioning. While there I wrote this in my journal:

It's funny, I'm watching this girl outside through the window write in her journal. I've already taken a couple pictures of her. The pages are flapping around in the wind. She's wearing sunglasses and just lit a cigarette.

I'm looking at her handwriting on the page. It's girly, round and small and stands straight up without slanting right or left.

The sky is blue and cloudless.

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One Year Ago:
I hate tangerines.