Friday, October 06, 2006

Mark Amerika, Nature Photographer (5)

"Deconstruction is inventive or it is nothing at all; it does not settle for methodical procedures, it opens up a passageway, it marches ahead and marks a trail." Jacques Derrida

"The human mind [..] operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature." - Vannevar Bush

"In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones." - Guy Debord

How do digital artists deal with the nature of digitality, especially in relation to identifying their bodies as a digital image navigating the virtual terrain (what Derrida calls the chora) where invention takes place?

I have suggested that after photography comes the photographer who then becomes a kind of digital thoughtographer. But how to get there? There has to be more to it than just picking up your fancy digital gadget, pointing it in the direction of an enframed compositional space, and applying pressure to the button you click. Could nature photography, filtered through the lens of digital thoughtography, turn into a form of environmental hactivism? Green lifestyle practice? Even a return to voluntary simplicity and networked transcendentalism?

Of course, there are and have been anarchic punks who practice and promote green (vegan) lifestyles, and some of the more radical agendas attempt to proactively intervene in mainstream political culture by trying to bring attention to the anti-environmental crusades of the multi-national corporations. But there seems to be two things lacking with a lot of these alternative cult groups and/or those who are/were influenced by them (the straight-edge scene is but one example): 1) they are anti-technology and/or 2) they are not very sensual and have difficulty attaching pleasure with sexuality (some practice abstinence as the way to proceed while others make their agenda clear by the way they dress or cut their hair; it's as if their body language is saying: hands off, or you may get hurt! [literally, like a spike in your eye]). Which brings up the question: can an anarchic, punk-styled political agenda mix and match itself with the trendy lifestyle practices of the liberal fashionistas?

We at Mark Amerika Nature Photography believe it's possible to have it all:

punk edge + natural lifestyle + technological sophistication + sensuous fashion

In thinking through issues revolving around the emergence of the artist-medium in political culture, we cannot help but wonder if this is not the real nature of the (inventive) beast.

Take a sneak preview of our new Website for more!

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