This is so cool!

Jay Mark Johnson is a photographer who plays with time, space and image, called spacetime artwork. He uses timeline/timelapse photography in unusual, exciting ways to come up with these photographs that are not only pleasing to look at, but also evoke moody, textured landscapes and poetic lyricism. I love how some look like paintings, some like tracers or the little floaters and explosions you see when you close your eyes tightly. You see those too, right?

Here are more, with explanations of his process that I didn’t understand a word of. The pictures are even better bigger, so check them out here:

and here are still more from his website:

It seems like lots of photographers are playing with the difference between what we see with our eyes and what the camera shows us, or how we perceive the image that is before our eyes.

Both of the photographers awarded MacArthur “Genius” Grants this year explore the relationships between perception, meaning and the image. Uta Barth’s stuff is ethereal and abstract, and deals a lot with after-images, or what one retains from a picture after one turns away, like the idea of a photo or a moment, more than its content.

Here is an interview with her:

and here is a video:

An-My Le is the other photographer who was awarded the grant this year. Her subject is war, and her pictures also blur lines of reality and perception, but in different ways. For one thing, her modern pictures are taken with a 19th century camera. Interesting, non? Her photographs of the Vietnam war – I guess I should say the Vietnam Conflict, since it was never really declared a war- were taken at a military reenactment in California in 2004.

 Pretty darned evocative, right?! They look “real” to me!

Here is An-My Le talking about her work:

Another woman who manipulates war images is Jo Teeuwisse. She is an historical consultant from Amsterdam who superimposes scenes from World War II over present day photographs of the locales in which the original photograph was shot. I really can’t think of a way to make that last sentence less clear, so I ‘ll just show you what I mean.

Also, she looks like this:  Every day. Really.

Ms. Teeuwisse is not the only artist to make these then-and-now collages. Check these out :

These photographs fascinate me. You know how obsessed I am with time and memory and forgetting. The blending of past and present, combined with how I will remember these images in the future, makes them liminal, or existent in a place that Victor W. Turner called   the “betwixt and between.” I love the idea of being able to see the ghosts that we, both collectively and individually, carry around with us. This summer I visited the beaches of the Norman invasion of World War II, and was struck by the differences between then and now, and also how much those beaches had seen; such a sleepy, gray coast launching infinite waves of history! The Normans who set out to invade England in 1066 gathered on those beaches, sending forth their bravest and most fierce to conquer at all costs. The Americans, Canadians and English who were released from armored sardine tins, more scared than I can ever imagine being, who either saw those beaches in the final flickering of life, or stormed up them, pounding forward like a single mind, a sole idea, a unified fate. In all those years in between, tourists stroll hand in hand on the sand, leaning and nuzzling each other, taunting the water with playful toes, or knowing, undeniably, that they will soon part ways; men walk slowly, head down, thinking and listening to the ocean; women ran, to something, from something, just for the joy of feeling their feet splashing in the surf. The young lay in the sun and dream in the clouds; the depressed stand and stare at the sea, feeling in their pockets smooth, heavy stones of sorrow, weights of worry that obliterate any chance of buoyancy; and children picnic and chase each other, with balls and laughter, oblivious to history or destiny, just happy for a day at the beach.

Claire Felicie takes documentary-style triptychs of men in Afghanistan before, during and after they serve. These pictures are also really amazing. Check out their eyes.

So now we’ve gone from images manipulated by form and content to those manipulated by time and experience. The last two featured photographers manipulate their pieces by intent and ignorance.

Rodney Smith does highly stylized black and white and color images that often play with the surreal or fantasy. He reminds me of Magritte. I love his precision and sharpness, and his use of light. So beautiful! Google him and go here:

I leave you with two photos born out of incompetence. I am the photographer, and I still don’t know how to work my camera, but I like these pictures in spite of myself.

 Say cheese!

Very special thanks to Chi-Toh for sharing the things that encompass the interests we share.

Bon Voyage to JC and Co., Em, and Denichiwa. You deserve a break! Enjoy!