Sep 26, 2009

Falling in Love Again

My Father grew up near Olney and our family still lives here. Here, there’s no shame in needing someone to watch the baby while you work a shift at the liquor store or borrowing your neighbor’s lawn mower. People trade steak tomatoes for homemade wine and hose their kids down in bunches before they come in the house from playing outside all day.

Most of the people here in Olney, Illinois don't know why I would want to photograph them. They ask what I'll do with the pictures and don’t know about blogging or value documenting their lives. I wonder if that’s because they are busy living them instead of being self reflective about how. They are disconnected from the pulse and the urgency of the marketable image or the image for sale. Maybe they don’t understand authenticity because they are too busy surviving to fake anything. 

Christopher Anderson says, “There are at least two kinds of photographic bravery: the bravery of those who risk life and limb to show the world the ugly truths of war and conflict, and the bravery of those who push themselves in long-term, intimate projects — confronting themselves while documenting their subjects. There is no hierarchy of bravery.”

Be brave. Be very brave.

county road # 327 southern, illinois

13 bikes in the front yard, i counted.

i stop home to check on grandpa and have lunch. i take him to walmart for his prescriptions and we hit the drivethrough before my second half of the day.
i'll go north till supper.

These are all taken with Pan F 50 35 mm film.

Sep 25, 2009

Drink Till 12, Piss Till 2

My Grandpa holds a tiny carved wooden mailbox that sits outside John Daniel's Livery, one of many businesses named after his 13 grandchildren that make up a small miniature city inside his shop. Ruthie's Dance Studio, Yum Yum's Barber shop, Jeremy's Bait n' Tackle etc....My favorite piece in this city is the town carriage pulled by 8 cicada shells. Sometimes my grandpa is hard to understand because his dentures stumble around inside his mouth when he talks. This audio clip is a story he tells me and my Dad about one day in school where his teacher asks two kids to pick a word and make a sentence from a list written on the chalkboard. One kid is from a well-to-do family and one is from a poorer family. (1 min. 12 sec.)

Sep 16, 2009

Smile. Everyone is watching you.

The last time I went to visit my cousins in Olney, IL we went to the county fair. Sierra (3) is Jesse's girl. She wasn't tall enough to ride the "cobra," but the operator let me take her anyway. I put her on the inside of the bucket thinking this would be safer but the centripetal force of the ride was too strong and I was crushing her. I tried to pull my body away from her but my hands were slipping, I wasn't strong enough. Strangely we were both smiling....into the sky, at each other, at the onlookers waving from the ground taking pictures each time we swung around. When we climbed down off the ride her little body was shaking and she said, "that was fun."

Sep 11, 2009

The Air Guitar Project.....

At my day job, I work with this guy, Justin Howard, a video editor. He is also known as Nordic Thunder, the Chicago Air Guitar champion. I followed him last year as he competed in the U.S. Air Guitar circuit hoping to make it to the world championships in Finland. Air guitar, is a hilarious display of imagination. But in all of it's ridiculousness, toes got amputated, feet got skinned in stage slides, my equipment got half busted and by the end of each competition I was soaked in something. To celebrate finally figuring out how to post audio clips on the blog, here is an example of the first multimedia show I did in the spring documenting the quest for "Airness" in the U.S Air Guitar Championships. I opened the show at a small coffee shop and played a radio show put together with ambient audio and interviews. The audio is posted at the end of this gallery. The audio will stop if you navigate away from the page to view an image larger. These first two composites were a bit over 5 feet tall. Great to work with something big.

From the top Justin at his day job, and arriving @ the regional Championships @ The Metro. He got his first Air Guitar from his Mom for Christmas. Empty case full of dreams. You'll hear her in the radio show.

The Nationals @ the Grand Ballroom in San Fransisco. Top left "betty b. goode," poses with Quervo girls after having her middle toe torn off in stage dive at the Brooklyn regionals. She had it amputated that night and it heals just in time for her Nationals performance.

In hopes to hang with the hall-of-famers, "Pain Killer," casually takes himself seriously and leans on the USAG tour bus. Own it.

"Stevie Licks," hides her leather cat suit with hippie sheek and does a whiskey warm up before she gives Nordic a run for his money. In my opinion, his only competition.

The Houston ROCKit takes his intro cue with 24 regional champs as they're paraded before the crowd @ the Nationals in SF.

I think this guy performed as "himself in front of the bathroom mirror." Super unassuming and retarded good. The kind of performance that makes you wish he was the drunk cousin at your wedding instead of your drunk cousin who isn't that funny.

3 time Boston champ, McNallica. What a great show. And, she'd have my back in a bar fight.

"D.R.U.S.A.," the Houston Champ. Chotch and balls.

San Fransisco champ, "Awesome." Nothing more to say.

Way too cool for you tour of 2008, "William Ocean," hopes surfing the crowd will win him the crown. Not cool enough.

Nordic Thunder wins Chicago.




Nordic Stigmata.

To hear the radio show, press play.....

Sep 10, 2009

Ridin' Country

Chris the lounge lizard and Tisha, my tanning coach just sent me a post card with a picture of themselves inside a barrell going over the Niagra Falls. The card said: We're Married. Congratulations you crazy monkeys. Here they are sitting in the front seat of my fee onz say.
1971 Ford Torino 500, Will you marry me?
I love everything about you. Your door handles and locks....
Your eyes....kind of asian but still american at the same time.....
I luh your grill.
Made for ridin' country. 3rd favorite thing to do on the planet.
I love the way my tiny hands fit all the way around your steering wheel.
I even love the font on your dashboard and your old timey radio.

Most of all I love the way I feel when I'm with you.