College work-Part dos-1984....

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College Work-1984.....

My son Raphael and his brother Gabriel went back to their yankee grandmother's home in Virginia and found old college work of mine somewhere in the basement......Raphael shoveled snow from a christmas winter storm and gave my ex-brother in law the cash to ship a box full of 25 year old work back to me, which I just received. Back in 84,' I was, as I am still, extremely fond of any kind of natural history displays and one of the first thing I do whenever I fly into a new city is seek out their natural history museum... I remember calling the a biologist or zoologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City who cordially invited to come down and peruse their collection both back stage and in the Museum's galleries without as much as checking my credentials (whatever a 19 year old might have had at the time).

At the time I thought that photographing dioramas as well as storage units in the museum's research facilities was a swell and brilliant idea, not realizing that Hiroshi Sugimoto had beaten me to the punch..... Intelligence I gathered, a few months later while visiting a camera store (whose name escapes me at the moment) in mid-town Manhattan, by gazing disappointedly at a beautifully printed large print of an ostrich and it's chicks, hanging over the counter.... A diorama I had also photographed a few months back at the Museum.....

These Polaroids were used as reference shots to guide me in my selection of future large format black and whites.... To be continued...I have to pick someone

Electronic Fine Art Displays (EFADs).

Running concurrently as guest blogger on "A Photo Editor". Begin:

I have been staring at hi-res scans of my 8x10 work on my Apple 30" inch LCD display for a number of years now and wondering why the same displays have not yet been made to accommodate large display sizes. Thin museum quality LCDs, LEDs or better yet, OLED displays to display our work in larger sizes, 40 x50, 60x50 and bigger....

Anyone who has had the pleasure of watching a well mastered Blu-ray disc on a good quality 1080P HD screen will come off the experience a better man or woman and wonder why this technology is not being put to good use in the world of photography. I am convinced that there is a large market for high end electronic displays where photographers and other artists can show their work in a way that completely bypasses the "Print". Personally, I have been very frustrated by the process, one fraught with difficulties, work flow hick ups, expensive and many other such issues which crop up when faced with the task of producing large prints for gallery or museum display.

Often the end product is nice enough, or close enough to my creative intentions, but the greatest frustration is that the last step in the making of images is left to a printer (not to me), and to one who may or may not care about my real intentions. The limitations of their technology, skills, experience, and increasingly scare geographical locations often prevent or limit my creative choices, not to mention the cost of a C-41 printer .

I work very hard to produce an image which pleases me, but I often find myself frustrated by that last step...a final step many photographers struggle with: The exact and brilliant reproduction and display of one's work. Even-though, the print has served us well for well over a 150 years, I believe it is time to explore and demand that a niche market of high end large flat screen displays be developed for the photography market.

My original idea was to use 16:9 ration LCD TVs but the aspect ratio does not fit the average aspect ratio of many cameras(8x10, 4x5. 6x7 etc...). This led me to believe that there would be a market for high end LCD or OLED flat panel displays for fine art photographers, as well as other artists who might wish to display their work in a format other than regular TV panoramic formats. The ability to buy a high end barebones display, that is one without broadcast tuner or other electronic components needed to display moving images, would open a new medium for display and appreciation of photography as a whole.

From a personal comment on "A Photo Editor": "Here is an example: this is a “screen shot, command, shift, 3 of a file of mine at 66.7% on my 30? display. The original image was shot with an 8×10 field camera on Kodak 160VC, scanned on a high end flat bed scanner. The original full size image is 12706X15821 at 300 dpi…..40×50 image…I used it to print a 40×50 print and I can tell you the print looses life, on my display it’s just astounding… ….go to this URL and click on the image to enlarge it, at least Safari does this, and look at it on you screen, if it is well calibrated and reseanably large, you might get the a general idea of what I would like to go…This all works on my set up and hopefully it will on yours "



Many photographers, unlike myself, did not grow up with film and digital cameras and have become very adept at manipulating and producing digital photographs and other works of art. These growing communities do not seek out the traditional print and to date, contents themselves to viewing their work on PC screens and on the internet. A new product catering to their needs, and to mine would be extremely successful and well received by a new, as well as older generation of photographers and visual artists...

The ability to frame this display with conventional frames, as well as sophisticated and functional color, contrast and multiple viewing interface (contrast, luminosity, back lighting, etc..) would render this product a versatile and more easily accepted new format. For example, the photographer might wish to approximate the look and feel of a C-print which could be achieved, as well as many other results.

A photoshop compatible display, one easily calibrated with common and sophisticated ICC profiles would go a long way to express the photographer's vision, as well as provide him or her with a versatile, cheaper, more user friendly and better adapted product than the traditional C41 print. This display would be a sharper, more detailed version of their digital original.

I am convinced that this generation of photographers, as well as subsequent ones will demand a product better attuned to their digital abilities and aptitudes, not a product which is becoming increasingly scarce, expensive and monolithic. A product found only in major metropolitan areas, but who's market share is shrinking and becoming more difficult to purchase and review. Most photographers who print for a gallery, home or institutional display do so long distance or through Fed-ex, a process which is rife with expensive reviews, slow and archaic.

There are many types of displays but personally I think the OLEDs are starting to look increasingly like the display to be. Their contrast aspect ratios are extraordinary, as well as their incredible thinness. Samsung's latest 40" OLED TV is an astounding piece of technology and produces a brilliantly sharp and amazingly detailed image, one much closer to what I am used to when I stare at my 8x10 commercial drum scans. Another interesting technology which to some degree is still in its infancy are E-readers(electronic paper). These albeit small displays have a very interesting way to mimic the book page and a visually tactile texture which I personally would like to see incorporated into larger color or black and white electronic display technology....

To conclude, here are other potential uses for Electronic Fine Art display (EFADs, just made that up):

1-Ability to wirelessly control the content of the display. For, an artist or photographer might upload and change a show over a period of time by adding or removing work over a network. 2-The same principle could apply to a collector who might wish to "subscribe" to an artist's work and receive a photography subscription. New images would be uploaded based on a specific delivery contract with galleries, musems and collectors. 3-Work would be sold and downloaded in any number of electronic formats and uploaded into the display. Some high end TVs allow the user to transfer their family photos to their screen for viewing but a more high end and flexible system would be easily devised to allow the artist or photographer to fine tune the image on a screen or allow for laptop and PC connectivity. 4-Imagine a show of 40x50s or 50x60s and larger EFADs in a darkened room, gallery or museum setting. Personally I cannot imagine a more impactful way to display my personal work. 5-Re-usable.Price wise these displays might cost more up front than a typical print but large, archival quality frames are extremely costly; making a EFAD competitive and attractive. 6-Matt and glossy screens...and even touch screen technology. 7-.....I am purposely leaving this list short and open sourced as I think it would be best if my fellow photographers and artists could add their own ideas and suggestions. An open source submission will make for far more ideas and suggestions, as well as other concepts than I could possibly come up with. Some of you might well be far more technologically inclined than I am and that knowledge might lead this idea to further developments, as well as serve as a way to push this concept on manufacturers and make this dream a possibility somewhere down the line. Have at it...the discourse will create its own weather and further refine this burgeoning concept.


wtf.jpg While doing a search on myself, which I do once in a while, to see what kind of nefarious plots are being hatched against me I came across a Google book chapter I wrote back in 1992 for Chinese Landscapes: The Village as Place-By Ronald G. Knapp-Published by University of Hawaii Press, 1992.

We simply can't be afforded some well deserved obscurity anymore! Regardless, it is a peculiar reminder to see one's 16 years old words available to the rest of the world....albeit in a truncated version; and especially when the original print run could not have been more than two thousand copies meant for scholarly and academic consumption(we all know what that mean).

Back in 1989, I endeavored to document the whole(!) of Chinese rural architecture and dutifully spent the next fours years traveling across every Chinese province in search of these elusive gems, which I can assure you, were not easy to find nor to get to, but that was the fun part.

To achieve my monumentally obscure event in architectural history I would travel to hub cities in each Chinese province and seek out architecture professors in local universities in the hope of picking their brains.

In so doing, I was often met with suspicion and/or disbelief and/or both (especially after Tiananmen) but invariably someone would direct me to a retired professor in a far off lane in Nanjing, Nanning or Luoyang... where I was once again met with disbelief but never suspicion, as they often shared my love of the Chinese countryside and of its vernacular architecture.

We would have tea or eat a meal together and these men (all men) would vaguely point me to a nebulous spot on a greasy map and casually mention that there used to be a beautiful Ming village somewhere around this or that county town but that he could not remember the name or would need to consult his mildewed notes back at the archives, unless of course they had been burned during the CR... but that's another story...

As far as official China was concerned, those old "Minjus"(peasant homes) should all and would all be torn down to make room for brand new piles of concrete and tiles; three storied peasant rice bunkers.....unreinforced emblems of wealth and new found modernity and prosperity. But to add insult to injury they seem to always be conveniently located in "closed" areas or near Red Army barracks; strategically positioned to no doubt protect said ramshackled villages from wandering village idiots(leading to my many and frequent arrests, usually followed by lavish banquets...sounds odd I know, but just trust me on this one).

Accompanied by such invaluable information, I would then take off on a local or long distance bus(or several dozen) to said county towns and armed with my own greasy map would try to figure out where the hell I was relative to my point of departure and where to tell the bus driver to drop me off; usually a crap shoot of largely comedic proportions. This was once more met with more complete stupefaction by my traveling companions, given the fact that my very presence on any given bus was already marvelously bizarre, in a way a stark naked hermaphrodite might have been out of place in the back seat of a mid century Kansas bound Greyhound. Some lone "Guai Lo"(foreign devil) wants to get off in the middle of nowhere, to look for "Minju", which by then was once again met with either uproarious laughter or stern patriotic reprimands...not unlike casually mentioning the specter of new taxes to newly minted Republican conventioneers.

The door would remain opened for a minute or two as our bus driver, in the hope of silently luring me back inside, would smile pitifully uncomfortably; given the fact that I might have already been standing smack dab in a proverbial pile of pig shit.

Regardless, I have to admit, I get a big kick out of seeing that bus drive off while thinking to myself: "What the FUCK am I doing here?".

So, twenty years on, one thing's for sure, nothing much has changed...... and as they say back in the motherland: "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose", and " Wherever you go, there you are"....

Cut to bus driving off...

No T, just Ass ... my Juliana Mieas....Part four.

Now then; now that we have laid the ground work for Miaes (pun), it stands to reason that I might deservedly, so to speak, perform a public function and post a little human anatomy.For those of you who come to me, "Dear Leader", by any other means than the photographic, please ignore my creatives, and rather, study the anatomy of a certain aphorism, a general truth and function of our common and quite unique bipedal reality.

The posteriora, the first and last part a lover sees and the first of the lares and penates one yearns to kick as it propulses one forward and onward, quite nicely.

And, if you shall be so bold as to click, you shall be rewarded with a larger posteriori.

PS: Part V: The Lower extremity. Fig 430: The middle and deep gluteal muscles and the Sciatic nerve. Anatomy. A Regional Atlas of the Human Body. Carmine D. Clemente. 3rd Edition. Urban & Schwarzenberg.


Looks good enough to eat....

The Blond Giovannis.....Furthered.


Northern France, Tuesday: In 1940, my father was four, and a refugee, fleeing the Germans and their armies.

In the back of the cart, my uncles and father looked up at the sky and listened to each brother call; softly they spoke of the dunes, the marsh and of the perils of the road.

It had been three days since they had looked up and seen Stukas. They had looked like they had, flying, arms stretched out and above the See grass; each dropping a single bomb on the farm, between the pasture and the pond, showering the lillies with lead, thermite and rust .

Just then, they might have felt their fate, between their fingers and their thumbs; but only when they slept could they see their hands grasp the blows and the bombs and hurl them back forward, and further from the house. Slowly, inching their way forward, they could see better, and further; over the tiles, over the cows, over the farms; but a hand on their arms pulled hard, snatching them back and inside the safety of the stones and the barn.

And then it was slow, dark and cold, but not until a distant thud cloaked the silent farm again that it came; and with it, that puff of summer air whistled soft under the shuttered doors, and with it, all of a spider’s dust, and the vapors, the ambers and the coals.

Mother had run to the kitchen to grab a couple pots: three tomatoes, yeast, water and some yellow Gouda. She wanted to leave before the house burned and to the ground, torched by their hands and those Germans. And the black soot fouling the wheat, the barley and the beets.

They cut the dogs loose and lashed them one last time, filled the bedroom chests, blankets and tablecoths, with sweaters, boots, woolens, socks; attached the breastcollars and the reins and whipped the ox towards the reeds and the swamps. And, upon the marsh's edge, the beast and its breath soon were left, the meat shared, and in, deeper they went...

Into these morasses my father fled, stopping only to stuff a few frog's eggs and his farm boy frowns, into the half torn pockets, of his apron and his pants. To be continued.......

April 16 or, " A mutton dagger's dream ".

It's been 12 months since I started this blog. Now what? Much is brewing, but none will be revealed. I had thought that I would let the readers of this blog in on it but it shan't come to pass, or at least not yet and not on this watch. You are going to have to figure out which new and recent blogs have seen the light of day and divine which one or two of these, are mine to claim, and yours to find..... Happy hunting...! But in the meantime, here's "Dear Leader" looking at you. Thanks y'all for reading. Hope it has been entertaining, amusing and mildly revealing!

"Ad captandum vulgus...."


Only when I sleep....

"I had to fold my bicycle and stow it in the shed, between the road and the garden, but when I came downstairs and didn't want to play, I came to think that may be her pedal car was still there, in between the fields, just beneath the corn and the plow. But instead, some spider's web made my skin crawl, the good crawl, and just as I looked inside as you would a mole's hole, I saw one or two spindly legs fold; but since I could not move or know, it seemed neither alive nor dead". Excerpts from a dream I had last night and which I wrote down this morning. Since my dreams often include childhood cartoons, I searched Youtube to see if they were here nor there. Lo and behold.........

and here's another. So, If you have small children, between the road and the shed, show' em these toons and tell them "Dear Leader" sent' em.