Rounding out the year in this newsletter seems ludicrous. I’ll save you the trouble of highlighting my year on my social media and whatnot, or trying to wax poetic on every single milestone I hit, or I missed. How could I possibly begin to showcase what twelve months of growth, like earth-shattering growth, and shifts in perspective looks like? My advice is to keep it to yourself and just reflect inward. Reward yourself for how far you’ve come. I don’t think you get enough credit for your growth. You’ve made it this far.
I’m thankful for my clients and collaborators for every single production, private commission and portrait session I’ve had this year. I think it’s important to note that because it it weren’t for you, I’d be a hobbyist, right? But your belief in me to continue to do a good job keeps the roof over my head and food in Frankie’s bowl. Thank you. Each opportunity taught me something and I know I’m only better from it.
With love from Detroit,
NEW PRODUCT WORK FOR AYOND
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO
Old Friends, New Friends by Nils Frahm / Spotify
Couldn’t write this from Detroit and not share someone like Rick Wade / Spotify
Thinking about what it will feel like to travel again / Playlist
Walked around Brooklyn with Magic Love by Bent / Spotify
If you know the sample on this track maybe we should get married? / Spotify
Put Space 1.8 by Nala Sinephro on and just relax, okay? / Spotify
I find Celeste to be a brilliant talent / Youtube
Meant for Focusing / Playlist
THE TREACHERY OF IMAGES
I think about this quote a lot. For one, Baudrillard is extremely heady-so bear with me here. A recent trigger for this particular page came from an acceptance speech screenwriter and producer Michaela Coel made when she won an Emmy for outstanding writing. In it she says;
“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn't comfortable. I dare you. In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success—do not be afraid to disappear. From it. From us. For a while. And see what comes to you in the silence.”
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t voice their disdain for what it means to be visible on Social platforms nowadays. I’m old enough that I do remember a world before the internet, but I was very young. My most formative years were not without AIM chatrooms and MySpace. Instagram got incredibly popular my first year of college and being at an art school I felt like I had a duty to snap and share my endless being. Now, there’s just more pressure to keep your “feed consistent for art buyers and clients” and “don’t get too personal professionally”. Aka Aestheticize the areas of your life that fuel your role in the greater system. But because the boundaries are blurred in this Metaverse/Post-Duchampian era the only way to navigate it is to be inside of it. Kind of like getting caught in fog.
A few days ago I spent the afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Arts alone. Antwaun Sargent curated a photography exhibition I wanted to see, then it started to snow so I stayed a few hours. By the end of it all I saw no difference between what artwork I was seeing and the iPhone image I made of it. Both were made to signal… something. THIS IS NOT A PIPE by Magritte, anybody? I really resisted the urge. I reallllly did guys. But call it a bad habit. Sounding like a nihilist over here: Why do I feel like I need to make a photograph of anything at all ever again, and then share it? Connection maybe. Finding a tribe of like-minded people? Virtue signaling? Ego? And why is it so challenging to exist outside of the fog?
I hope 2022 is a year where I can be more mindful about when I disconnect and fall back enough to check in with myself. I want to live with intention. I just want to make authentic work with authentic people. I can’t really do that if I’m lost in the fog. Maybe you feel a similar way? Drop me a line by replying to this email. Let’s talk it out and keep each other accountable.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Holiday and New Year!
From Liz + Frankie