Tweedy’s Got a Point

I recently stumbled across an older interview between Stopsmiling magazine and Wilco’s frontman Jeff Tweedy. I found some of the things that Tweedy was saying about creating music and the lack of control he has over the way it is received by the world at large to be interesting.

STOPSMILING:Now that Uncle Tupelo/No Depression mythology of your first band has really come to pass, do labels scare you? The way people typecast music? Does being typecast worry you a little bit – as a human being and a songwriter?
Jeff Tweedy: Not at all. I think one of the healthiest things I ever learned out of all of this is that you don’t have any control over what the world makes of what you do. It’s something that you can’t help but think about. I think you’re lying if you say you don’t think about it – what your hopes are about, how people perceive what you do. But the more energy you spend trying to control that, the more you’re diminishing your energy for the parts you can control. You can control how much you enjoy it, how much you’re present for the process, how much you grow, how much you enjoy what you’re doing. All those things you can control or have some elements of control over. But you have zero control over what other people think about it. It’s impossible. It works in really great ways. I believe in that connection in a beautiful way. A lot of times, the world makes something much more rich and beautiful out of it than you could have ever intended, especially in rock music. Think of what the world has made of Elvis Presley compared to what his intentions might have been. You can turn everything off to the point where you can put something really honest and beautiful and powerful on tape and give it to another person – one consciousness at a time. They find enough of themselves in it to pour themselves into it: that’s what the song “The Late Greats” is about on the new record(A Ghost is Born). Everybody talks about it as this literal interpretation of the radio – an element of that is definitely there, but it’s kind of about when you’re listening to a record, where a song is not just being sung. It’s a piece of plastic. It’s being sung inside the listener. It’s an internal process. It might even be more than 50 percent of the equation. To me, it’s probably more important than the side of it that the artist provides. That consciousness is going to try and find that somewhere – whether you made it anything or not. They need to find some way to feel more human. I don’t know how I got this far off on a tangent.

Well, there is a lot to mull over. I think I connect with this idea of “letting go” to some degree, because as I was graduating from SFAI I was so concerned about where meaning resided in my work that it became debilitating. I did not want to take any step without fully “understanding” it first. Currently, I acknowledge that meaning exists in my work, but I also feel that it is futile to try and control it like I once wanted too. I think now it is most important to make something that I really feel and after that the world will understand my work as each person is able to connect with it.

With that said I am going to once again give it back to Jeff Tweedy and Wilco and for anyone who is interested at having a listen to the track he mentioned in his interview, The Late Greats just click the link below.

The Late Greats(Live); Wilco

While Away



Unfortunately, while I was away in Ohio a show opened in San Francisco which includes some of my work. I have four pieces in “18 Months: A Survey of Bay Area Photography”, which was a juried show organized by Photo Alliance and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The exhibition highlights the work of 22 San Francisco Bay Area photographers, the artists in the show are Victor J. Blue, Andres Carnalla, Noah Beil, Alex Fradkin, Hiroyo Kaneko, Michael Maggid, Vanessa Marsh, Sean McFarland, Julia Nelson-Gal, Elizabeth Pedinotti, Mimi Plumb, Kaycie Roberts, Joshua Smith, Susan Lynn Smith, Naomi Rae Vanderkindren, Serena Wellen, David L. Wilson, Jason Winshell, Sabrina Wong, Bijan Yashar, and Jim Zook.

More information can be found on the exhibition page of the San Francisco Arts Commission website as well as fellow exhibitor, Noah Beil’s blog. In addition to a small post of my work, Noah has also put up some snaps of the opening night, which looked well attended.

The show will be up until the 19th of September, so if you are in town go and have a look.

The Middle of Nowhere



 I am excited to announce that I will be pretty much unreachable from the 13th until the 21st of July. I am heading off to Chesterhill, Ohio, to participate in the second week of the Harold Arts residency program. Harold Arts is primarily run by artists from the Chicago area but somehow they have a connection to the Jeffer’s Tree Farm in Chesterhill and as you can see by the map above the tree farm is in the middle of nowhere! In fact the staff at Harold suggests arriving before it turns dark as the roads to get to the camp are mostly unmarked. 

I am really looking forward to this week for many reasons. However one of the biggest attractions for me besides the opportunity to have a nice block of time to make new work will be the chance to hang out and talk with many new artists. The residency is intersting in that a variety of artists(Greg StimacMaggie HaasNatalia DuncanEunice Yi and many more) working in a variety of media have been invited as well as many musicians, so I am hoping for some impromptu concerts under the stars!

 Wish me luck as I have set for my goal during this week to focus on portraiture. If you know my work you will understand that this is a new step. It is something that I have been wanting to try for a while, but when it comes to making it happen in the real world I still am a bit reluctant. It is hard for me to walk up to someone and ask to make their portrait. I am hoping that my captive group of sitters at Harlod(ie. the other residents) will allow me some time to experiment.

Once A Week

I am sorry.

I apologize to anyone who makes any attempt to regularly read this blog. My posting has been pretty dismal at best. I have not provided you with much of a reason to come back… so, if by chance more people than my parents read this thank – you.

With that said, I want to give you some reason to visit. I am going to commit to posting at least one new entry every week and I am also going to change the opening image on my Home page every month. I have quite a few balls in the air right now and I want to show some of the things that are in the works and share some ideas as stuff develops.

So don’t abandon ship. Come back. Things are going to get more interesting.