I’ve been contemplating the idea of living in the present; over thinking it I’m sure, along with rationalizing the roles of things like choice and worry. So the future is only realized as it's experienced in the present moment. The past, becomes the past by not being the present, fading and only exists as the first word of a sentence that was just spoken.
The present is not a moment either. It seems to be more like a wave or a breath. I keep thinking of a fountain, the water moving upwards as the future, the water falling away, the past. And the place (I’m refraining from saying “moment”) between up and down is the present. And for more noodle cooking take a step back and suddenly the past, present and future come into the same field of view. Oops... wait a minute...???
So what about making these things called photographs? Many of them seem a bit slippery, a recorded moment that refers to a point in the past. Seems like it could be a dangerous obsession. And for me, for part of the time, it has been. But photographs really aren’t moments inasmuch as they are more of a blot, smear or smudge. They are a test of personality for the viewer and litmus for their state of now. A Curtis photograph of a Civil war battlefield strewn with corpses isn’t about then, it’s about now and if you can’t look at it in a state of now through who it is you are, then there’s no point. It becomes wallpaper.
So these images we make, these are smudges, inkblots with a bit of resolution in them. They can hold a great deal of meaning and purpose or they can be empty shells lacking intent and visual responsibility. As fine art photographers we need to take the time and consideration that the painter takes to develop a canvas. Thinking about what it is we are creating, why we need to record this particular smudge. Otherwise we're just drinking from a fountain without regard to thirst and desire.