Monday, November 20, 2006

Philip Morgan


I'm a photographer who pays life's expenses by working with technology. I'm trying to make photographs that express the resonant point where inner and outer landscapes meet and become indistinguishable.

FEATURED COMMENT: Kent Wiley wrote: "I'd like to hear more about this "point where the inner and outer landscapes meet."

Philip responds - To begin, a few precursors:

* "We do not see things as they are, but as we are." - Kant (?)
* "The way an observer interacts with the ensemble determines which aspect unfolds and which remains hidden." - Michael Talbot
* "No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film." - Robert Adams

As I said, I try to make photographs that express the resonant point where inner and outer landscapes meet and become indistinguishable. What exactly I mean by this is difficult to express, as the statement is more an ideal than a track record. But at its bottom, this has something to do with the knowledge that nothing is unconnected. None of my doing or being is free from connection to anything I would like to define as Other.

A resonant point happens, for me, when an object or event thins the boundary of self and that imagined boundary becomes permeable. Words that have unusual gravity or meaning; objects that are unexpectedly familiar or attractive; strangers who are less than strange; scenes that have unexplained visual or emotional power--all of these are examples of points where my inner landscape (psyche, spirit, call it what you will) are sufficiently synchronous with respect to the outer mileu that I am translated, even temporarily, from isolated particle to partner, co-creator of meaning, and member.

This tree lives in its visual surroundings in the way that reminds me of what I am trying to express here. I'll quit talking while I'm (maybe) ahead...


FEATURED COMMENT # 2: Jim Jirka wrote: "Kudos to you if you understand what you just said. A big reason why I do not want to deal with the art world."

publisher's response -Jim, I see in your photographs, and by extension I see in you, much of what Philip is writing about.

To my eye and sensibility, your photographs strike a resonant point in me. Specifically, you seem drawn to photograph "scenes that have unexplained visual or emotional power" that, for the moment, certainly "translate " me "from isolated particle to partner" with the natural world. For me (and I'm certain for others), your photographs prick the unthought known, creating/reinforcing the feeling that nothing is unconnected.

Are you aware of this power that is part and parcel of your photographs?

Jim's response - Consiously ? No. Sub-consiously ? Who knows.

pub. - Jim, what do you see and feel when you view your photographs?

Jim's response -That is the problem. Can't put into words what I see and feel. To me they look neat. I do remember the "conditions" that they were taken in, with reference to the senses. During exposure I don't see much and feel even less. It is only later that the image develops. So I guess I must be working the scene, sub-consiously.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Photopop 7.0 said...

seems almost useless to plant a tree on such a small footprint in such an artificial area. Maybe they were mandated to preserve a certain percentage of wildlife?

and I like the subtle/foggy hues in contrast to the tree and it's island.

11/20/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Kent Wiley said...

Philip, I'd like to hear more about this "point where the inner and outer landscapes meet." Or even better still, show and tell.

11/21/2006 02:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Philip said...

To begin, a few precursors:

* "We do not see things as they are, but as we are." - Kant (?)
* "The way an observer interacts with the ensemble determines which aspect unfolds and which remains hidden." - Michael Talbot
* "No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film." - Robert Adams

As I said, I try to make photographs that express the resonant point where inner and outer landscapes meet and become indistinguishable. What exactly I mean by this is difficult to express, as the statement is more an ideal than a track record. But at its bottom, this has something to do with the knowledge that nothing is unconnected. None of my doing or being is free from connection to anything I would like to define as Other.

A resonant point happens, for me, when an object or event thins the boundary of self and that imagined boundary becomes permeable. Words that have unusual gravity or meaning; objects that are unexpectedly familiar or attractive; strangers who are less than strange; scenes that have unexplained visual or emotional power--all of these are examples of points where my inner landscape (psyche, spirit, call it what you will) are sufficiently synchronous with respect to the outer mileu that I am translated, even temporarily, from isolated particle to partner, co-creator of meaning, and member.

This tree lives in its visual surroundings in the way that reminds me of what I am trying to express here. I'll quit talking while I'm (maybe) ahead...

--Philip.

11/21/2006 04:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

Philip,

Kudos to you if you understand what you just said.

A big reason why I do not want to deal with the art world.

11/21/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

I should have probably added that I too have had thoughts such as your's during some drug induced coma while growing up. The problem is that I never thought to write it down when I woke up.

11/21/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

Consiously ? No. Sub-consiously ? Who knows.

11/21/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

That is the problem. Can't put into words what I see and feel. To me they look neat. I do remember the "conditions" that they were taken in, with reference to the senses. During exposure I don't see much and feel even less. It is only later that the image develops. So I guess I must be working the scene, sub-consiously.

11/22/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Kent Wiley said...

Jim, this is a really important comment: "During exposure I don't see much and feel even less." When I see something that catches my eye to photograph, I go into some kind of auto pilot mode that is mostly about technique to find the method to capture on film what I saw, usually for only a fraction of a second. I know while composing on the ground glass I should be more in the moment with my subject, but technical considerations continue to be foremost in my mind. Maybe this shows my images to be shallow? I don't know, but I agree that "It is only later that the image develops."

11/23/2006 02:41:00 AM  

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