Tag Archives: Resonance

Caleb Charland

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” –Albert Einstein

It’s hard to ignore an image like the one above, and it’s hard to ignore someone who is really enjoying the art and science of our craft. From the home page on his website, it’s obvious that Caleb Charland is a unique and exciting visual force. As Caleb puts it, “For me, wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty.” This wonder was developed growing up in rural Maine, where he spent much of his childhood helping his father remodel family homes. These experiences “installed an awareness of the potential for the creative use of materials”. Caleb went on to earn a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Trustees Fellow in 2010.

The way we understand the world relies so much on our ability to measure it. Given that many measurements are based on the proportions of the human body its clear we measure stuff to find our place amongst it all and to connect with it in some way. By exploring the world at hand, from the basement to the backyard, I have found a resonance in things. An energy vibrates in that space between our perceptions of the world and the potential the mind senses for our interventions within the world. This energy is the source of all true art and science, it breeds those beloved “Ah Ha!” moments and it allows us to sense the extraordinary in the common.

For me, wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty. It is the basis of my practice and results in images that are simultaneously familiar yet strange. Each piece begins as a question of visual possibilities and develops in tandem with the natural laws of the world. Serendipitously, this process often yields unexpected results measurable only through photographic processes. The human presence and artifacts of the process provide a clue to the creation of the photograph while adding to the mysterious nature of the image. My hope is that this work affirms that even within the well tested laws of science there are, and must always be, pathways to reinterpretation and discovery.

Michael Jang

We live in a culture of immediate gratification. That can be difficult for photographers who make work that would actually have more resonance in the future–vernacular images of a town in transition, photographs of gas prices, work about our changing culture. But sometimes it’s work that you make and forget about, as is with the case of Michael Jang. I featured Michael’s work about his family from the 1970’s on Lenscratch last year, and I was thrilled when Michael let me know about some work he had just discovered from the 1980’s.

As Michael puts it: In 1983, a local TV station held a contest for anyone who wanted a chance at reporting the weather. My job was to do a head shot of each contestant after their screen test. Five winners were chosen out of nearly one hundred applicants. The pictures were never used but I developed the negatives anyway without proofing them. They had been lost until recently and I am seeing them for the very first time.

Walker Pickering: Nearly West

Walker Pickering is about to open an exhibition of a project that he has been working on for close to three years. Nearly West will open at the B. Hollyman Gallery in Austin on May 3rd and run through June 1st. The opening reception is on May 7th.

I first featured Walker’s work on LENSCRATCH last year, where I wrote: Walker’s new series, Nearly West, reflects a visual resonance through color, design, and pacing. There is a stillness, yet a symphony in his work, where the sounds of water, crickets, wind, and nothingness wash away brilliant colors, leaving the traces of his visual memories.

This series is inspired by the open road and the temporary relation it provides. Walker captures rural roads, urban and natural landscapes, and traces of the people who live there in a way that transcends the banality of these everyday markers. The images are distinct in mood, each with a balancing peacefulness.

Walker received his MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design, and currently teaches photography at the Art Institute of Austin. He has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions, and has been a photographer for the Texas House of Representatives, as well as darkroom printer for photographer and screenwriter, Bill Wittliff.

Images from Nearly West