Photographs know eye can see.

Last memories of Bill, he was a handsome man when he was young, about ten years ago.

And the gardener does one last trimming. When we moved there in fall 1993 the gardener lived next door in the original farmhouse. Some years later the property was sold to a developer who built two houses on the lot. In our neighborhood, I, perhaps in a minority of one, preferred the farm house and barns while mot thought it reduced property values.

Alameda Creek

Photographs extend your experience of time and space. The photograph shows you the past. —there was a Twilight Zone episode with a camera that took photos of the future— the photo is taken and time passes before people can see it; then it stays the same while the world around it changes. Staying the same as a form of entropy.

Thomas Demand reprivatises scenes from history out of cardboard, photographs them, and then destroys the scene. (He describes his process here). He makes photographs of card board scenes which he creates and then destroys the scene. HIs photographs are displayed in museums and sold as Art. For example, he might use a well known photograph., make a 3-D sculpture of the image or parts of the image out of card board, photograph it, make a print of the photograph and then destroy the cardboard scene—no one can ever recreate the original photograph without making a new cardboard scene.

He likely makes more doing this than millions of people around this earth who work long hours for barely enough to survive. As an art director when doing press checks at the printer, looking for things—many of which could be considered of minor importance when compared to life, and basic health— I used to have the same thoughts about what I was doing at the moment.

A photograph makes an image of a thing. , or when we see a photograph we visually organize the image until we make sense of it by identifying the thing. If there is a thing we cannot identify then we ask “What is it?”—All done very quickly, as fast as you think.

The concept of “thing” and the ability to use the word “thing” to enable the concept when communicating with others in a “common mentality” is wonderful, a tool for human survival. Its a wonderful “thing.” And here I have just used the thought that its a wonderful tool created by humans and defined it as“a thing” and you understand what I mean, even if you never thought it before, and more interesting . .

even when you disagree with the (my) definition of the “thing.”

The concept of a thing relates to “a commonly used word” which defines a discrete entity from human experience. Humans use their experiences in the universe to differentiate things, define them and give them a word to represent that experience— the things get a name. Sometimes we confuse being able to speak or write the name with understanding what it means, and sometimes we know what the name means but do not have a word.

Could we at some future time differentiate and define all of the things in the universe? Would we? Should we? In the western world the common assumption is the universe is made of things, however western science is always defining things—a discrete entity— and then later finding that thing is made of other things combined into the thing. A hand is a thing but its part of a body. For many years “air”was “nothing” and later science learned about small particles—we still use the word air, but we understand it is a thing made up of things.

Its easier to do this when things are “black and white”, clearly defined with no pesky little egg-shell stepping quantitative differentiations.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
Lewis Carroll

Translators have the interesting opportunity to see how different groups of people separated by language align on their differentiation of things in the universe —Is translating just a problem of matching words meaning the same thing from one language to the other? like putting the same puzzle together over and over? Just as a photograph is simply about having names for every thing in it.


How do people behave in groups. We know to stop at a traffic light. These people do not know their photograph is being taken and are not posing while the young men in the billboard knew their photograph was being taken and were not only posing but styled, posed and directed.

People love, for the most part, to have their photos taken, especially when they are having a good time in a group. circa 1968

Maybe they have a common cause that unites them . . .

A common ceremony like the country auction . . .

Or a common faith.

I will take what I can get, piecemeal, or however,

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate, Biodhisvaha , Seal script by Janney.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s