False Starts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

While I was quick to download and transcode the footage, I didn’t look at it until this morning right before our next scheduled excursion.  Already feeling a bit down after a long rainy weekend, watching this footage feels like complete chaos.  I basically abandoned the camera and left it rolling while hanging off of my wrist.  There’s so much motion it can really make you sick. It’s a “film everything in a chaotic way and see if you get lucky with any good results” method.  While certainly not a focused approach, I notice myself feel more free to interact with people and ask if I can take photos and they’re generally responsive.  In the moment, this gave me a sense of freedom (unlike the cyborg with the camera implanted in my solar plexus of the past two excursions) but the result doesn’t amount to much.  This resurfaces the questions that I have been grappling with for the past year or so…the existential crisis of sorts…what is my role in this world?  Am I a participant?  Or simply documenting it?

I’m reminding myself that this exploration is as much internal as it is external.  Inside/Out. What’s happening in our internal space is equally important as, and of course informed by, what is going on in the world around us.

It would have made so much more sense to watch this earlier – right after it happened or even over the weekend.  I’m feeling rather behind – but stressing about this won’t help a thing, the key is what am I going to do about it now.

A camera doesn’t work the way the human eye does – the eye is a much more complex device. I’m feeling quite frustrated at the moment with my work.  This feels like one of these “what the fuck” points.  It’s really good to talk through some of this stuff with Pilar! It’s also really good to write about it because there are fundamental questions I came here with.  Figuring out a new tool is part of the process… I would be having the same questions in an empty room with just myself and the camera…hmmmm, idea…perhaps an introduction of sorts. (Nice to meet you. – Atlantic City.)

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We haven’t made it very far yet but it’s a good day.  We stop to talk with some girls hawking photos at Praca Sete near the studio, and see a man with a huge billboard talking about how he became paraplegic from drinking Coco-cola.  From there we walk onto Amazonas and Pilar is enticed by a store that has many leopard clothes.  We both end up getting shirts (not leopard) and I buy a neon yellow belt.  From there we walk a little further and then stop into an elegant dress shop – where Pilar is getting a beautiful gown for MJ’s wedding.

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Pilar convinces them to hold the dress for a few hours, so we can continue on our excursion without carrying it around.

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After stopping at a few more shops…we’ve worked up an appetite, so we stop for lunch along the way.


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We finally make it back to Av do Contorno but Pilar isn’t feeling well so we just walk one block of the Contorno and head back home.

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