Wanderlust

The next assignment in photography has not been well defined yet, but it starts with a walk and a reading from Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnt.

Here are some quotes from the book that particularly stood out in the short portion that was read aloud to us during class for inspiration.

  • “Where does it start? Muscles tense. One leg a pillar, holding the body upright between the earth and sky. The other a pendulum, swinging from behind. Heel touches down. The whole weight of the body rolls forward onto the ball of the foot. The big toe pushes off, and the delicately balanced weight of the body shifts again. The legs reverse position. It starts with a step and then another step and then another that add up like taps on a drum to a rhythm, the rhythm of walking. The most obvious and the most obscure thing in the world, this walking that wanders so readily into religion, philosophy, landscape, urban policy, anatomy, allegory, and heartbreak.
  • “Thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production-oriented culture, and doing nothing is hard to do. It’s best done by disguising it as doing something, and the something closest to doing nothing is walking. Walking itself is the intentional act closest to the unwilled rhythms of the body, to breathing and the beating of the heart. It strikes a delicate balance between working and idling, being and doing. Is is a bodily labor that produces nothing but thoughts, experiences, arrivals.”
  • “To make walking into an investigation, a ritual, a meditation, is a special subset of walking . . . Which is to say that the subject of walking is, in some sense, about how we invest universal acts with particular meanings. Like eating or breathing, it can be invested with wildly different cultural meanings, from the erotic to the spiritual, from the revolutionary to the artistic.”
  • “The rhythm of walking generates a kind of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.”

Interesting sites of note about mindful walking include:

I haven’t yet taken my walk – I don’t know if I’ll record anything personal about it. I’m debating between taking my camera and/or my phone and/or a voice recorder to record my thoughts while I walk.

Years ago I used to walk to clear my head. I think better when I’m in motion. I used to carry an old bulky tape recorder with me and transcribe the thoughts when I got back. I walked best late at night in the winter in a small rural town where I knew all the paths. I didn’t think about where I was going – just let my feet take me there and let my mind go where it wanted. I’m a little excited about getting back into this and being more aware of the things I see this time around.

One of the things I love about photography is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary and I think that may be a lot of what this assignment ends up being about.

Hold your breath and count to ten…

This blog will be used for two purposes for the next fifteen weeks: proposals, research, information, and my own personal work from my photography 2 class and the same sort of information for my CDES Design Media class. New layout since I found the Pentax layout (vintage camera) in the layouts section. It honestly looks much cleaner and visually appealing than the last one. As always, no idea how much use this blog will actually see over the course of the next semester.

Other places I post:

  • Photo-Sylladex @ Tumblr: For research for photography and images for my inspiration journal.
  • Kunstinspiration @ Tumblr: For things that inspire me to create, references, tutorials, things that strike me.
  • Fotografierentaken @ Tumblr: The place where I post my own photography.
  • 14112 @ tumblr (tagged: art): My non-photographic art. It doesn’t have it’s own blog, it’s just on my main blog with all my fandom and other things. I don’t use that blog very much lately, primarily because I just don’t have a lot of free time. I also don’t really work on a lot of non-photographic art right now, but that is likely to change in the next 15 weeks with my Design Media class.
  • If, for some reason, writing is your thing, I do fandom works at AO3 but I haven’t really been doing much writing.

If there’s anything else you’re looking to know about me, go click that tagged art tumblr link and there’s a sidebar there that links to almost anywhere you can find me online.

Let’s see how much this gets used this semester. woo.

Hello world!

This isn’t my first online presence. Neither is it my first online presence in the art world, whether it be traditional or digital art, photography, writing, poetry or lyric-writing.

It is my first online presence that has been mandatory for a class.

I could go about this two ways:

1) I could do the bare minimum and people could come by or stumble onto this blog and go “Oh, look, a student had to make a blog for class. Boring.”

2) I could actually enjoy this, keep it like I would any other blog for the topic, and enrich my understanding of this class and maybe make a kind of cool online presence as a sort of experiment for myself.

Will I keep using this blog after the class is over? Who knows. I have a pretty notorious habit of creating social networking sites (blogs, tumblr, twitter) and getting sidetracked by a new social networking site or just getting overwhelmed by life in general and abandoning them.

This is an introductory post, but it’s also a test post. I’ll be trying out some new themes, seeing how I like the look of things — the visual presentation of a blog is always half the fun for me. Often, I’ll spend hours customizing a blog, website or profile only to never use the thing I made. That’s not going to happen here – at least the bare minimum will be here.

So if you stumble across this, stick around and see what happens between now and December. And if you’re a classmate of mine, I’ll see you in class. It’s nice to (digitally) meet you.

So, a little about me, since we’re meeting for the first time. I’m Troy. I’m a fine arts major with a concentration in photography, formerly a computer science major. I’m taking a 3D design class this semester, as well as an art history class alongside the introduction to digital design class that I’m keeping this blog for. There may be a drawing class in my future. We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks if I’m keeping it or not. I’m a videogame junkie – they pretty much eat up all of my spare time. I think my favorite videogame experience has been the Assassin’s Creed series. I’m really looking forward to Revelations coming out in November. I’m a writer who doesn’t write much anymore and a photographer who doesn’t take enough pictures. Somehow I lose hours on tumblr pretty regularly.

On the more personal side, I struggle with depression and panic disorder. A lot of who I am as a person revolves around that, and a lot of who I am as an artist is defined by my experiences, struggles, triumphs and failures.

I’m learning to become an artist and a person and I hope it’s a process that continues for the rest of my life, growing and changing and becoming more comfortable in my own skin as I carve out my own place in the world.