transits 123, photograph
“We become who we are by virtue of the choices we make … about which parts belong to the story, and which parts can be left out.”
– Ted Orland, The View from the Studio Door
Orland describes a bit about how consciousness happens – five times a second or so, we take a snapshot of the most plausible reality we can from what our senses offer us. We have to gather these discrete snippets from the blizzard of perception coming at us at all times or we’d be overwhelmed.
Each time one of these electronic impulses causes us to sample reality, we “paint the foreground, mute the background”, we “separate the specific from the general”. We fit together the pieces we can and set aside the rest. We decide which parts belong to the story and which do not.
This process is duplicated when we take a photograph. We create the story by using various techniques to bring certain things to the forefront while simultaneously de-emphasizing others. We do this through composition and design, through selective focus, through dodging and burning, and myriad other strategies.
Making art is our way of recreating a personal world in much the same manner that we all create our everyday worlds. Here our choices are more conscious and controlled. It’s a way to dip into the ever rushing stream of reality and slow it down enough to enjoy and reflect upon it.