Wabi-Sabi metaphysics remind us all things are only ever and always emanating from, or in decline towards, 'nothingness'. We are only ever in an immeasurable spatial-temporal dynamic of the present. I am visualising Impermanence by thinking of it in terms of 'nothingness in the 'present time'. I am attempting to make photographs that transport the audience into a lost elemental world where wisdom can be drawn from nature-based spiritually. In this internal emotional state, we can philosophically reflect on the concepts in wabi-sabi found in nature. Learning to accept and embrace impermanence, imperfection, incompleteness promotes mental restoration and wellbeing by staying in the 'present'. Being in the 'present' resolves 'nothingness'. We can assess the reciprocity of our relationship with nature during precarious times. These are the core messages of my work. Below I have condensed all the concepts and theories which inform how, what, where, when and why I am making my photographs to visualise these messages. There are the human choices I have made to construct my work appropriately:
Spending Enough Time In Nature To Achieve An Objective / Straight Mindset: By spending enough time in nature, in solitude, one can move closer to seeing nature as it is, without cultural influence. After a time of being away from the cacophony, nature 'photographs itself', not as how one might pre-determine it should look.
'Objective' or 'Straight' Photography neutralizes Flusser's 'Program of the camera'. Evade the translation of representation into culture: Exclusion of context other than being of nature rather than about nature. Speak in an 'approximation' that talks around nature rather than specifically of it. Speak objectively, anonymously, whilst declaring and acknowledging subjectivity and lack of authority.
Visualising 'Present' Time Through (Objective) 'Eventless' Photographs: Eventless photos force us to be in the present because they are devoid of the chronology of a historic event - the date-line is removed. With no history or future, it can only live in the present. Photographing uneventful non-historic images, or what simply 'is' or what is simply 'being', is to photograph something in the 'present'. Devoid of context and event (defined by human cultural intellect) an image becomes objective. Eventless photographs undo time. Inadvertently, 'eventless' images challenge/react to the endless stream of uncontemplated, mass-consumed, unrespected and exhibitionistic digital images. Forces the audience to think about 'the photographed world' and 'the world photographed'. (Flusser's 'Programs').
Visualising 'Present' Time: Adding 'Duration' (Durée) to Objective and 'Eventless' Photographs: 'Present time' is not part of a chronology, it is part of a 'duration', (Durée as coined by Henri Bergson). Duration is concerned with the experience of time, not a chronological concept of time itself. Duration can only be experienced, not temporally (or spatially) measured. 'Eventless' photographs are duration, which only ever leaves us in the present. Duration is an experience in which reality and imagination co-exist. By contextualising time as duration, eventless photographs, make time tangible because they are living - they are consumed in the mind for the body. Duration is a perceptive experience of time - perception takes place in the present but is informed by memory, so, the past and the present merge into one subjective intuition. In the 'present' only the 'present' remains, there is nothing else.
Long 'Nocturnal' Exposures in Black and White:
• General rule is 'before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down'.
• Darkness is earth's true wilderness / Fear (accepting nothingness in solution to fear of inevitable consequence)
• Black and white is more true to photography than colour. The origin/source of photography is rooted in the light (white) and dark (black) of the 'optical theory'. Colour comes from chemical theory, the optical theory comes before the chemical process in the chain of events.
• Transference of light out of darkness has biblical connotations which links to the hermitage cells.
• Long shutter speeds further solidify 'visualising time'.
Visualising 'Impermenance' Through Wabi-Sabi in Nature:
• Murky, irregular, austere, decaying timeworn and weathered landscapes and patinas (rock, bone, earth, stone) carry traces of impermanence embedded in their surfaces.
• Eventless remote land and seascapes universally connect to the ultimate subject of impermanence - the earth.
Visualising 'Spiritual Connection To Nature' Through Hermitage Cells / Subtle Anonymous Human Presence:
• Represent 'Spiritual sanctuary from modern societies, weathered relics of human solitude embedded into the remote natural landscape'.
• The time-weathered surfaces of hermitages have become wabi-sabi - places where people once sought out spiritual sanctuary, away from society, have, over time, inadvertently become visual objects embodying the very thing they were built, or appropriated, to facilitate.
• Hermitage cells allude to a submissive human element.
'Fear Response' & 'Ancestral and Primal Universal Sources of Emotional Appeal':
• 4 established pictures patterns (William Mortensen) invoke 'ancestral sources of emotional appeal' to generate a primal universality through the 'impact' of 'the fear response'. The Fear Response is elicited visually by 4 pictures patterns: Dominant Mass, The Diagonal, The S-Curve, Triangles