I have an associative brain. Maybe we all do, but all I know is my own. I shot this with my Zero 2000 pinhole a couple of months ago during a trip out of town. It was not a fun trip. I was dealing with a serious situation with my youngest son. I was with him for moral support as he accepted responsibility for one of his actions and navigated a route toward resolution. I had to assume a new role as parent - that of bystander. I couldn't step in and "make it better."
During the nine days I was with him, I had plenty of time to roam around this new place. Even though the original plan was for me to be out of town for a couple of days, I had the foresight to pack some cameras and film, including my Zero 2000. I had driven by this public art installation created by some local students. I was attracted by these strings, and the camera's "infinite" depth of field worked to the advantage of this shot.
When I finally developed these negatives last weekend, not only did I relive the moment of attraction I had for this image, I was also returned to the emotional state I was in when I captured it. To borrow from Proust, it is a remembrance of things past. A chain reaction. A dormant association was resurrected.
The feeling is palpable, like the way certain songs instantly return me to a moment. I hear the phrase "soundtrack of my life," and I know that mixtape well. Just last week I was at the gym and a song from Loverboy's "Get Lucky" was blaring from the speakers overhead. What a strange experience to be pumping away on a stationary bicycle and remembering losing my virginity. I should be embarrassed, but I'm not. At least the song associated with this moment isn't Ravel's "Bolero," which, I am embarrassed to admit, was my song of choice for that experience. Shades of Bo Derek.
Photographs are like song for me; they trigger a similar process. Rather than a soundtrack, they are a sight-track. Someone else viewing this image will attach their own experience to it (I hope). I had an acquaintance recently say of one of my photographs, "I could stare at this for hours and just feel peaceful." What a compliment for a photographer.