“We live in a world defined by black-and-white dichotomies: modern versus traditional, West versus East, liberal versus Orthodox. Complexities and nuances are bleached out in our zeal to codify others and pinpoint our own beliefs. It’s a dangerous view of human diversity that at best constricts our ability to learn from other visions, and at worst stokes mutual ignorance and untamed animosity.” - Stephanie Wellen Levine in her ethnography, Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls
La diferencia principal entre el ojo y la cámara es que la cámara presenta la imagen de una manera artificial. Aunque ambos son instrumentos que capturan visualmente más o menos los mismos objetos, es importante que notemos que el ojo de la cámara es imperfecto, parcial, y filtrado en la presentación de las imágenes. A pesar de sus apariencias naturales, las imágenes de la cámara nos dan una ventana muy subjetiva y selectiva a la realidad. Mientras que el ojo tiene un ángulo de visión ancho e inclusivo, la cámara está limitada a un encuadre de espacio. La audiencia se enfoca exclusivamente en lo que la escena retrata. Este aspecto inevitable fuerza a la cámara a escoger los elementos más relevantes, lo cual convierte los elementos aparentemente ordinarios en significativos y nos dice a qué debemos dirigir la atención. En la realidad, no tenemos este lujo y necesitamos decidir con los propios ojos cuales detalles son importantes. Además, la cámara tiene que escoger si enfocarse o no en objetos próximos y distantes, mientras el ojo puede saltar de uno a otro sin dificultad. Otra vez, esta característica de la cámara obliga a la selección intencional de imágenes significativas, e impone la artificialidad en la manera de ver el mundo. Sin embargo, son estas mismas limitaciones del encuadre lo que da origen a la cinematografía y su atractivo en contar historias.
They are an ordinary pair of flip flops. Their worn straps, molded soles, and faded fabric expose his lanky toes, which curl and flex with the rhythm of his concentration. While the cuffs of his charcoal skinny jeans are cropped just a little too high above his ankles to be anything he has bought recently, nevertheless, they are fitting and fashionable. The red and black Ohio State class of ‘76 letterman jacket that hangs on the back of his chair holds an old school charm, painted with reminiscent stains and scuff marks that has probably been criticized by his wife who tells him over and over again to throw it out already. He wears a black sleeveless t-shirt layered over a white t-shirt underneath, keeping him warm and feeling hip. He drinks his coffee out of a long, blue straw and next to it, has a cup of ice to thoughtfully chew on. His hair is tousled, but not messy and not graying like the man sitting next to him. He carries no briefcase, but instead, stores his belongings in his pockets, fishing out his writing utensils one by one and setting them out on the table in front of him. There is one pencil, one lime green sharpie, one pen, and his cellphone, organized neatly on the table top beside his packet of papers. He underlines text in his packet of papers as his eyes knowingly scanning the page from behind his aviator-style glasses. He nods his head in comprehension, but occasionally raises his his hand in a beckoning motion, frustrated, wanting clarification, eyebrows furrowed. His neck is wrinkly and creates multiple chins that are pleasant folds, neatly stacked and only visible when he reaches the bottom of the page he is reading. He raises his cup up against the sunlight coming through the window, squinting to see the sloshing silhouette of his remaining drink. He finishes his coffee and stands up from his chair, his posture almost like that of a slouching teenager. The gentleman packs all his belongings back into his pockets, throws his cups away, and shuffles towards the exit, the sound of his flip flops trailing out the door.
The Rolling Stones in rehearsal at Stephen Stills house, 1969.
photo by Ethan Russell
makes me nostalgic. laying out on the plushy grey carpet under my mother’s grand piano while she played, feeling the vibrations resounding from its hollow, wooden abdomen, carefully observing my reflection on the shiny black exterior, tracing the golden letters YAMAHA with my fingers, bending over my mother’s strong, slender fingers to turn the pages of the annotated sheet music, worn and creased from hours of practice, resting my chin next to the pedals, tickling her calloused feet, arbitrarily pressing them down while she played, warranting a quick monotonous scolding from my mother while she concentrated more on rhythmically stroking the keys, peering into the depths of the warm, wholesome instrument, mesmerized by the hammers methodically hitting the taut strings, arpeggios effortlessly and rapidly trickling down the action frame like a chain reaction, running my fingers over the imprints the carpet left on the skin of my knees, from laying under the piano engulfed by the wooden hospitality of my mother’s grand piano.
would it amount to if we took the mileage of every pair of shoes we’ve worn in our lives?
Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live.
Charles Bukowski was born on August 16, 1920 (via jesuisperdu