From ATTACK AND CONFUSION:
STORY, april 8, 2007
I stopped by a garage in Westmoreland, California. Met Mando and his coworker. We talked about the weather, the war and stuff like that. I was totally struck by Mando’s face. I really wanted to take his picture. After a while I asked him if I could. He was quite reserved, almost shy, and told me, “No”.
Now, usually when someone says no to my request to shoot them I say, “Fine, no biggie”, or something along those lines. But this guy’s face was too interesting for me to give up so easily. So I said to him, “That’s okay. I can’t help it if you’re a pussy”. I figured I’d either get the shot or get a lug wrench upside the head.
He looked at me and said, “Okay, just let me go wash my face”.
I liked his face dirty but settled for what he offered. While he was in getting cleaned up his coworker said to me, “You know why he’s letting you take his picture? Because you called him a pussy”.
I said, “I know”.
And here's a page spread . . .
from ASLEEP AND WAKING UP:
PAPERWORK, december 5, 2010
Steph and I made our first foray out into the straight world; the first of what will be many trips to many rooms in institutions that have interviews and waiting lists and criteria. We went to get some papers signed.
Now, I’m a portrait photographer and what you will see here, as Stephanie and I help each other, will be set-up portraits that we’ll shoot as this project slowly wends its way towards the outside, straight world. Towards help.
And if it seems a little bit fucked up to be serializing this trip here on drool, if it seems odd to be setting up portraits as we, Steph and I, move through this maze, all I can say is: “I know what you mean”.
But you need to know that Stephanie and I have had the discussions, we believe what we are doing is right. In this case the camera is a catalyst. We have no idea what will happen, what shape this thing will assume. In a way we’re both in over our heads . . . I’ve never done anything like this before and Steph has never made steps towards help. But we’ll do our best and see what happens. The future is unwritten.
And here's a page spread . . .
HOME, by Timothy Archibald, began as a Tumblr called Stereoscopy.
A series of photos, mostly diptychs, mostly of his 2 kids, often with writing, shot with a smart phone, while his marriage was dissolving. I followed that Tumblr as it was unrolling and was struck by the whimsy, the slight mindfuck, the vague reference to photo history and a few other threads I couldn't pin down.
In a way it was kind of like when I was blogging LIVE THROUGH THIS: a series of dispatches being posted more or less as events unfolded. Minutia, side tracks, wrong turns. Raw material that also stands as a thing unto itself.
I asked Tim if he might be interested in publishing it. He agreed and we set about giving it another form, turning it into a book.
Thus began a 2 or 3 month trip taken by email and Skype, Tim in San Fran, me in Kapital City, Kanada, our minds and aesthetic proclivities meeting somewhere in the middle . . . call it, geographically, Nebraska.
One of the things I like about photography, probably as much as (maybe even more than) taking photos, is editing them. Editing in the old-fashioned sense of choosing and sequencing. Having the raw material that was Stereoscopy and shaping it into a book which would turn that work into something else, into a . . . book, was big fun. Especially with Timothy on the other end, questioning, exploring, anchoring.
I'll leave it to Mr Archibald, at a later date, to talk about the process from his end. After all, process is a big part of what it is we do as photographers, editors, makers of books. I'll close here, though, by saying the book is very different from the original Tumblr, it's kind of melted down to an essence. I'm pretty sure it's more mysterious than the un-edited version, which might strike you as strange. Surely an edit should clear up mystery, eliminate chaff, point the way. But life's not like that. And HOME is about life as much as it's about anything.
Just got the PDF's of the covers. Thanks Lissa at BirdDog Design.
One of these will be "upside down" on the book, because one "side" of the book will "upside down", too. I'm told that's called a "tumble" in the publishing/book biz.
That way the subject matter of the book(s) will be attached, so to speak, but separate as well. One side being general thoughts, opinions, etc., about photography; the other side being from the journals I kept while I was shooting Live Through This.
Don't worry though . . . if you turn the book over, the side you're looking at will be right-side up.
Here's the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP side of the upcoming STRAYLIGHT double-sided book: ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP.
The cover you see here is just a working cover, the real covers are, as we speak, being designed.
Some statistics . . .
- The book is designed to weigh 485 grams (just over a pound), because once something weighs more than 500 grams the Canada Post rates go through the roof.
- Once it's packed for shipping it weighs 499 grams.
- There are 52 entries on 82 pages on the ATTACK & CONFUSION side. and 21 entries on 46 pages on the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP SIDE.
- The book contains more than 120 photos and exactly 22,587 words.
We've been working hard here, dealing with scores of details and firming things up for three books due out within the next month or so.
We've got HOME, by Timothy Archibald; Sad City, by Scot Sothern and ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP, by yours truly (that'd be Tony Fouhse).
Here's a shot showing one of the prints that will be available with a Special Edition of HOME:
Here's a shot and story from Sad City:
When you live in a box you mostly pull yourself around with your forearms. When you pee you do it horizontally into a plastic gallon milk jug and the front of your pants are usually wet. You're always on the lookout for matches and Bics to momentarily illuminate the fuzzy yellow space and set fire to the rock in the pipe, the one thing you have managed to keep hold of. When the night is spent you crawl out of your box to meet the day with great apprehension; you stink and your clothes are ragged and your hair is matted; your breath is foul and your sores don't heal, you attract vermin and nobody wants to help you.
And finally, a page spread from the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP section of ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP: