Slow, Happy Accidents

[I had every intention of finishing by midnight last night, but I needed a short nap, and that then turned into a long night of sleep. I guess my body knew what my mind needed.]

I return now to the lecture at the Hirshhorn. I mentioned the woman who gave the talk spoke of finding her own "Orozco-like" images, and taking "Would Be Orozco's" photographs just as she happened upon them. Since encountering Orozco's work I have been seeing more circles in my day. Here is one I saw on the ground floor of the Hirshhorn, just outside the Ring Auditorium where the lecture took place:

Pool Collecting Leak in Roof, 2004
Kathryn Cornelius
T610 mobile phone digital photograph

As I discussed the hegemonic speed of linear movement, it seems that adopting a position of SLOWNESS is a necessary counterpoint to achieve balance in the "question of the path," (Virillio 24). If our daily chorography of movements will be increasingly dictated by machinic movements of networked systems, an increased AWARENESS of our TRAJECTIVITY is perhaps the start of this move to SLOWNESS.

With the use of mobile camera phones on the rise, more and more individuals can "frame in a shoebox" moments from their day to day movements, recording their interactions with the material environment and making their own strange loops of experience. The distribution of photo-making equipment and its apparently seamlessness in [Western] daily life confirms Susan Sontag's observation, "photographed images do not seem to be statements about the world so much as pieces of it, miniatures of reality that anyone can make or acquire," (Sontag 4). Whereas in previous decades, access to image-making equipment by the masses was limited - only those with power in the Communications Ideological State Apparatus (Althusser) could PRODUCE images. Today, the activities of producing and consuming images with mass-technologies (like camera phones) has further blurred the boundary between the "art" space and the "rest of reality."

Imagination versus Institution is contested here, and is the subject of a recent exhibition of mobile phone photography called SENT. Both an online and gallery-located exhibition, it features the photography of both "established" artists and "amateur" photographers.

[Despite the philosophical attempt with this exhibition, you can clearly observe the Imagination vs. Institution struggle in the language that is used to frame the show - "professional artists" vs. "amateurs."]

::A Different World Picture::

"It is possible to conceive of the world of postmodern knowledge as goverened by a game of perfect information, in the sense that the data is in principle accessible to any expert: there is no scientific secret. Given equal competence (no longer in the acquisition of knowledge, but in its production), what extra performativity depends on in the final analysis is 'imagination,' which allows one either to make a new move or change the rules of the game," (Lyotard 52).

Perhaps the MOBILE aspect of Mobile Phone Photography will be what completes the destruction of the LINES that create and maintain such categorical, grid-like Cartesian borders. Or, as writer Guy Brett suggests when speaking about Orozco's work, that the way to get out of such nagging contradictions is to make the consumer also a producer. "This would be another aspect of thinking in relationships and reciprocates rather than either/or categories, and admitting that every person is multifaceted," (Brett 104).

Circle Next to Line, 2004
Kathryn Cornelius
T610 mobile phone digital photograph

To photograph, you have to slow down, take out the camera or the phone, and pause for a moment in your left-right-left-right forward motion; "this is the reality we live, the multifaceted simultaneity of our social being in which we continue to insist on our unique individuality," (Brett 106).

My Neck, 2004
Kathryn Cornelius
T610 mobile phone digital photograph

"I want to relish the rhythm of his steps: the farther he goes, the slower they are. In that slowness, I seem to recognize a sign of happiness," (Kundera 155). Let the sign be the openness of a circle that never loses sight of its symbiotic relationship to the line.