I like to find art and write poems and read magazines and listen to my iPod and daydream and walk my neighbor's dog - that one's my favorite

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Hmm... Factor: a few photos from Micheal Neff's portfolio

Aurora Village, Shoreline, Washington. 2007

Barrow at Greenwich, New York, New York. 2006

West 11th Street, New York, New York. 2007

What I'm assuming Neff's done here is trace the shadow quickly at a certain time of day, then solidified it with a large piece of chalk and returned to the same spot the next day at exactly the same time. I think it's genius, really, in its simplicity. An art class in elementary school could doe this - but he thought it up, and it looks simply... magical. It's a neat play on the phrase "every cloud has a silver lining," because here they have blue, pink, orange and green linings. To me, it's as though there were some sort of light behind the solid form of the shadow, a light that peeks out from behind and winks at us (in the form of chalk). There's clearly a comment on adulthood and childhood - the child's toy (chalk) is marking the world of the adult (the city streets). Is the light that peeks out from behind the shadows the child in all of us, so to speak? There are no humans in any of the pictures except for those cloaked in cars, so the city landscape is slightly hostile and desolate. I think Neff was trying to make a modern Atlantis with this series, e.g. a magical world where humans can't really exist.

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The thing about blogging is that it has now become the new tool by which the world is changed. Politics, fashion, art, television – you name it, we got it. It's not just the Internet anymore: it's YOUR Internet, it's OUR Internet. You can put your whole life online, and people will actually look at it, read it, feel it as if they almost knew you. Maybe that article you uploaded just for fun and because you thought it was cool will be discovered by a magazine editor who happens to be a blog junkie, or maybe that geeky little film you made at film camp will be watched by Wes Anderson – and even if he doesn't call you up and “discover you,” it's still really cool that he saw your video. When thinking about the Internet, I think of the ocean (and this metaphor is purely because I live in the Midwest): It's always there, it affects the weather, it affects the moon, it affects our lives even in Nebraska. Same with the Internet. It's there, it just affects different things.And you can't just yank out a big plug and BOOM, there goes the Internet. So this is my contribution to the huge ocean of Internet, the gigantic voice that we can all use.