Compositions  (2007 - 2009)

For me, overhead electric wires hum not just with electricity, but with a certain kind of music. The wires dance in an endless variety of rhythms, movements, and moods, sometimes simple and austere while at other times lyrical, forceful, or whimsical. These photographs, which are featured in my second book A Singing Wire, are divided into five groups or movements: Gymnopédie, Gnosis, Generation, Angles and Jutes, and Dharma at Big Sur.

About the series

 

For me, overhead electric wires hum not just with electricity, but with a certain kind of music. The wires dance in an endless variety of rhythms, movements, and moods, sometimes simple and austere while at other times lyrical, forceful, or whimsical. These photographs, which are featured in my second book A Singing Wireare divided into five groups or movements: Gymnopédie, Gnosis, Generation, Angles and Jutes, and Dharma at Big Sur.

 

I am particularly drawn to the musical connotations of wires because of my musical background, playing the flute in orchestras for a number of years and being a passionate devotee of classical music. Some  photographs in this series bring specific pieces to mind, such as the Erik Satie’s solo piano pieces, the “Gymnopédies”, and John Adam’s concerto for electric violin, “Dharma at Big Sur”.

 

In addition to musical themes, the photographs in my Compositions series also explore themes of line and intersection, order and chaos, and the tension between spontaneity and composition. The simple white backgrounds let lines and rhythms take the forefront, like a solo piano alone on the stage. The scale and spatial orientation intentionally kept ambiguous, and the space is mostly two-dimensional. For me, the photographs have a feel of ‘sacred minimalism’.

 

Meanwhile, with the photographs’ graphic quality, I intentionally blur the distinction between photograph and drawing, playing with notions of internal reality (imagined and then drawn by hand) versus external reality (captured with a camera). All photographs are archival pigment prints, on the highly-textured Hahnemuehle William Turner paper, and are available at 12” x 12”, 20” x 20”, 40” x 40”, and 58” x 58”.

 

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