I have begun an experiment with words and images. I have been toying with the idea that images and text could be presented together as equals and in a way that is mutually enhancing, neither in service of the other, for more than a year now. I have produced a couple of small booklets to test the idea, which have been met with enthusiasm from photography friends. In this image-word concept, text and photographs live together but each maintains its independence, having its own particular statement to make.
To test the idea further, I have started a new blog, Days, Weeks, Months, Years. The blog will be a visual and verbal journal that attempts to present the preconscious and conscious churning that is me as I walk, think, make images, write.
I have been drawn to a chronological presentation of my work from the beginning. Blog formats are well suited to that. But this will not be a prepare, post and move on kind of effort. Posts will be revisited, refined and sometimes removed as time goes on because it is a larger work in progress that is intended to amount to something more than the sum of its parts. Think of it as the picture-novel Marcel Proust might have created had he been interested in photography and lived with the current technology.
Part of my interest in preparing this work is to see how cycles -- winter, spring, summer and fall, for example -- build layers of contextualizing experience as they return upon themselves year after year. The blog posts will be sortable in ways that make it possible to explore this interest. To illustrate, this Winter category sorts all posts from any year created between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox together. I will start with this kind of seasonal organization but I expect that other ways to sort will become apparent as the work unfolds.
Until recently, I had no good examples of what I had in mind to reflect on, but that changed when I discovered Wright Morris on a photo blog a week or two ago. I learned he was an accomplished writer and photographer who created and published books that, according to his description of them, intermingled photographs and words in the way I am talking about. He called these books photo-texts and published three of them:
I will be purchasing all three of them when I get my next paycheck. I want to see how much they correspond to what I have in mind. I will report out when I have read them.
He claimed there wasn't much interest in this genre, but maybe that has changed. One of them is still in print and has an ebook edition. I am thinking the internet offers some expanded possibilities to this concept. I am excited to explore them.