I AM ALIVE

Various updates:

WEBSITE: My previous wesbite was hosted by Virb, which was acquired by GoDaddy who shut it down unceremoniously. Mixed reports as to whether customers were notified in advance, but I never received any email, so one day my website was simply 404. I had no backup, so: here’s a new website! With nothing on it!

DECADE PROJECT: Still photographing. The project is now nearing the end of its 8th year. Most recently, I’ve been processing and scanning film from 2019 – approximately 350 rolls of 35mm and 120mm. These images are being scanned at low resolution (max length is 512 pixels) and dumped onto a small hard drive. Once everything is on the drive, I’ll be sending it to 2019 editor Mario Klingemann who’s writing a machine learning algorithm named The Noveltist to edit the year’s images. It was a dream from the project inception to have an AI editor, and I’m happy it’s actually happening. The Decade Project will get its own post soon.

WALT MINK: To anyone wondering about the Walt Mink documentary who may have found their way to this page: the film is not dead. It deserves its own post (or series of posts) here, and I will do that soon. I recently tried to break through the inertia by doing a series of live videos on Instagram during quarantine. It was a start, at least. The first of the videos are on my profile page in a Highlight. The rest remain to be uploaded. (P.S. my Instagram is a joke, and I routinely debate deleting the account. For now, it lives on, ignored.)

JOURNAL: I began writing a journal on August 5, 1992 with the idea I’d do something with it one day. Now, almost 30 years later, it’s occurred to me that One Day has arrived. The entries from 1992 through 1998 were handwritten in multiple notebooks, so I’ve begun transcribing them into Google Docs, organized by year.

The entries for 1999 through 2007 were written on my various laptops and include other digital ”writing“ from that era (IM logs, email, blog posts I copied and pasted into the chronology, and so on). I should note that from early 2003 through late 2005 my writing all but stopped as I focused my energy on the Walt Mink project.

Beginning in 2008, I started keeping notebooks again, but this time they were small daily planners, and the entries evolved (devolved?) from rambling, discursive screeds to concise, bulleted laundry lists recounting daily events. Arbitrarily, I began the transcription with the notebooks from those years, so 2008 through 2011 are already complete.

At this stage, I have no goal other than to complete the transcription and aggregate the material constituting the journal into one place so I can finally view it in its entirety. How many entries? How many words? I don’t have any sense of its scope. I want the numbers. I want the data.

Since I generated so much visual material, too, I’ve entertained the idea of a photo book based on the journals. If there are enough images to justify the effort and the writing can be selectively edited and rewritten, maybe it’s worth doing. For the moment, completing the transcription is the goal; reading and rewriting all that ancient history has also been a therapeutic (and occasionally entertaining) exercise during Covid lockdown.

MISCELLANEOUS DEBRIS: Then there’s everything else. Heaps of letters written in high school and college, as well as other correspondence. So many thousands of negatives. Videotapes. Audio tapes. Films. What to do with all of that material that occupies physical space in my life and crowds my head.

I’ve set a deadline for myself before which I must complete this audit of the mountains of material I have generated over the years. If the effort yields one or two photo books and a documentary, it will have been worth it.