In April of 2009 a family home in rural Vermont burned to the ground. Fifteen months later I walked through the charred foundation and found a family photo album and a box of snapshots that had melted into a dark mass. Locals told me that that after the fire, the family had moved away and what was left there had lain exposed to the snow, rain and heat of several seasons. The object I found was a palimpsest of otherworldly patterns and colors. Nearly all recognizable imagery (the very purpose of snapshots) had dissolved, leaving an intricate visual record of the elements, chaos and loss.
Slowly, I separated each snapshot from the mass and spread them out across the table like artifacts from some future archeological dig. The paradox of intimacy and abstraction embedded in each 4x6 sheet begged to be decoded. In photography, the “latent image” refers to an image that has been recorded, but is not yet visible, still holding the potential for meaning. But how do we talk about an image that, once visible, has receded into it’s own materiality; the rippling, cracked emulsion of a color photograph? The production of chromogenic photographs is now in rapid decline, but for decades we have depended on this material to record, rewrite and memorialize our lives. Through one destructive, albeit common, event these familiar images have been transformed into bizarre microcosmic landscapes shaped by their own chaotic material logic. This disruption interrogates our collective dependency on a very unstable medium and suggests it’s unlikely, transformative power.
The storybuilding adventures of Ben Feehan, aspiring author, intellectual ragman.
In case you’re interested, I now have a storybuilding blog. Is gonna get creative up in this joint.
This is my hubby. He is pretty cool. And also, he’s going to be famous.
Commission for hellisforcowards!
It’s finally here! My commission from Dana Guerrieri has arrived!
Mike Sullivan is a legend in the St. Louis Homicide Division. Or he was. Six months ago, his failure to solve a grisly multiple murder and a near fatal assault by unknown assailants took him out of the rotation. Now, counting the minutes until retirement and a pension, Mike stumbles across a lead that only he can remember. With a killer on the loose and only a single clue, it’s up to Mike to save his city, and maybe the world.
Kindle Ebook, coming this year. Fingers crossed.