Lifting a needle to the vinyl

Let me introduce my newest art release, Piston Effect.  Of course it doesn’t look even remotely related to it’s early 19th century photographic process, nor does it need too.  It’s tell a different story.

I often underplay how I make my art for a reason, it gets in the way.  I believe the art that excites us the most should resonate with us naturally and directly.  However, sometimes how things are made need special consideration too.

I was thinking about this yesterday, as an artist friend of mine was describing how he plays records while making art.  I remember those days of having to get up every 20 minutes to flip and clean the record.  You know it was a pain in the butt.  In 2020 the context for playing records is completely different.  My first thought bubble was why all the bother.  For me, it’s easy enough to let my Spotify account just play music all day with just a couple taps.  Perhaps a take-away from my friends enjoyment of playing records is about focusing awareness, making a deliberate choices, about choosing a state of mind for thoughtful work.

For a very similar reason I picked up the camera-less photogram process 28 years ago.  On the verge of the digital showdown, it was a line in the sand; an action that said I value a way of creating that is slow, deliberate and conscious.  There is no easy way to create compelling photograms that don’t require mastery of the fundamentals of light and chemical processing.  For my art, it begins with a pitch dark room, paint, a flashlight and large sheets of traditional emulsion-based photo paper.  There is complete freedom from technology taking over control of my most important creative decisions.

Perhaps you have a similar creative experience, like gently resting that needle on the rotating vinyl, a little scratch-bump and then… a state of mind for thoughtful work.