11 Issues
From #97 To #116
Thus, missing a few.

Brett's Books - A Fast Fifteen

The concept here is simple enough. I found eleven issues (from the mid 1980s) of the photographic journal Aperture. And I decided I would flip through them.

Originally, the idea was to create some sort of loosely linked story based upon the images. But that is not what happened. Instead, I expounded upon a few memories and ideas, as prompted by the imagery before me (I read blessed few of the words) and the happenstance of the moment.

It's hardly a critique of the journal. And it is very much more a partial recording of the meanderings of my mind while engaged with the medium of the moment.

Also, it being thirty years after the publication date (and considering I hardly read a word) the impetus is taken completely out of context.

You'll see.

Oh, right. I probably should mention, my images have about as much to do with my text as my text has to do with the images that originally appeared in Aperture.

The two images go together, the first includes me, circa 2010 sitting on a log, sunglasses, hat, sitting on a log The second image is the same as before sans me, highlighing a lava cave in a Kiavi (I think it was Kiavi) forest, whatever the tree, the needles were very thick and long, little darts that stuck deep in my flip flops, it was a nice moment in time, the shadows were important, shade from the sun, but also, the way the shadows looked, reminiscent of the images I had been seeing in galleries, this is the last image I added, and I wonder if I should not have kept the theme limited to Hawaii era pictures, but I did not, the pictures selected are the first pictures that seemed like they might go, however tangentially, with the associated text

Let's work a project.

Let's see where this takes us.

The first issue {that I opened} smells moldy. And someone wanted big money for the stack. There are sticky notes with double digit figures on the first page of every issue. In total, they were asking (or paid) well over $100.

This project might go fast. So far, the most interesting image is of a Police Officer (or paramilitary garrison soldier of some sort), who is not wearing a bullet proof vest. In this day and age {where every Law Enforcement Type wears a flak jacket}, the absence of any protection is noticeable.

One of the original ideas for this project was to take a sort of Virtual Vacation {I may have already mentioned this}, sort of like the Iceland Project. But when a Military Occupation in Post War Japan is the best destination, I think I'll pass on the Virtual Vacation.

A silhouette of a person standing on pier looking out over ocean, swimmers in the water, buildings in the distance, very much black on muted colors, the shot being taken into the sun

I remember being in Hawaii {so this has very little to do with the magazine, much like the majority of comments, if I remember, someone was jumping into the ocean, using a presumably ancient rune as a launching pad} and watching the kids jump off the piers and into the ocean. Back in my childhood, we hiked through flooded creeks. It's not the same... not even similar. But it is what was available to us. In truth, I don't recall any swimming holes, just creeks. Of course, there were so many swimming pools, there was hardly the need. Still, at this remove, the absence seems noteworthy. Why did we never swim in the wild?

When travelling {I engaged in a fair bit of low budget travel in my late teens and early twenties, during which time}, I almost always slept alone. It's amazing where a person can sleep... and where others seldom look.

In reference to the pictures, so far I am not impressed. We are going back in time to the Mid 80s. Having a camera and being somewhere different appear to be the critical factors for getting published. As to Art, I'm not seeing it. It's documentary in nature at best.

I am working this project at the library. These were in the Free Stack. I'm glad I didn't lug them anywhere.

What do I want out of this man? He is selling flat bread {that tasty Indian unleavened bread}. Sorry, I forget the name. {I still can't quite put my finger on it and I'm not going to bother and look it up, as the absence of an absolute moniker seems more mysterious; and therefore, fun}. But he is not smiling... or his smile is hidden by his beard. A smile would make him seem alive... more evil or kinder. It's odd how it could be either. I guess I read the icy (call it unemotional) stare as indifference... even hostility; rather than, a desperation to sell.

{In short, I am used to my Sales Clerks at least sort of pretending that it is their job to be friendly.}

And yes {as I have mentioned, so projects like this are nothing if not repetitive}. Originally, the intent was to trip off into some kind of story {fantasy, virtual vacation, or cohesive fiction}. But it would seem I am tripping off down Memory Lane and into the world of Free Association, instead.

I question my commitment to the material world. I am not here very often. My entire life is one of escapism into abstraction, ideological thought, and dreams. Though clearly, less of the later, as of late. {You know, on account of not being able to extract story from these journals and/or most other materials, as of late.}

I have no community. {None. Well, there is the one. But that's more a love of my life than a community, which all things considered is a pretty good deal.}. But sometimes, I long for community {friendship, whatever you want to call it}. But then, it is a very real choice. {There is a price to be paid.} For, I either work projects like this... or have Social Interactions like that.

{Others writers have mentioned the solitary aspects of their craft. And I think it is a common enough complaint. I began daydreaming in school. Thank you boring teachers. And continued on throughout my life. When lonely (enough), I create my own Social Interactions (call them friendships, as I seldom create enemies) out of whole cloth. A mule (Mescal) has been my best bud, as of late. Joining him over Halloween was a Pumpkin Fairy. And before the two, I spent many a long walk talking to Bo, an action adventure movie star, who has become disenchanted with the genre.}

{So, really. At this point, those Aperture Journals (or whatever they are) have served as a spark, to start the flow of words. But to imply they have much to do with the words themselves is erroneous. There is no possible way one could recreate the image from the words. Though, I like the idea of Artificial Intelligences (or Humans, sufficiently augmented) paging through old issues of Aperture, trying to place my comments with the correct image, photo shoot, or even just the issue, which inspired the comment... or at which I was merely looking when said comment was made.}

It's odd looking at the eyes, looking out. And if I place myself in a story, it does not take much to cast myself in the role of Komidant, The Dark Enforcer, or someone (or something) of the ilk. 'Their curiosity is aroused, but they dare not stare, lest they draw attention to themselves. After all, no one craves the gaze of Death.'

{And if this thought (which is to say this image) had come sooner, this project may have taken a different path and you would even now be seeing the imagery through the eyes of One Who Is Evil.}

On a blue sky, with just a touch of fog, we have the overhead guide wires and electric cables that power of a municipal bus

I like taking pictures of Electric Poles, Power Lines, and Pipes. Don't ask me why? Perhaps, because I understand them not at all.

I've got a photograph of a garbage filled doorway somewhere. Such things can be compelling.

More in line with the photograph at hand, as a youth I collected Beer Cans. And old mosquito infested dumps were prime hunting grounds.

Power Substations and Dr Who are inextricably linked in my mind. Oh, hey! I listened to music at ⅛th Speed last night. It was trippy... very drippy-trippy.

We have a wood background with a pipe going up the center and keys to the right, it is a close up of an electric pole and keys, presumably found, were wedged into the wood for the owner to find

When it comes to photographs, I value people over things.

I say that. But then, I did not find these people to be overly interesting, either.

Children can be very difficult. I think parents are harder.

close up of crate boxes full of corn for corn at the cob as some summer festival

Those are some very hungry people. I have been told most starvation is a direct result of war: destroying crops and cutting off the food supply being very effective ways of killing people.

It's a picture of riot police in formation, with all one seeing being the shields. It could just as easily be a Roman Phalanx. It is truly odd how much stays the same, how the solution to the problem remains so consistent over time.

It is a nice clear sky, looking up we see power lines, covered in a thick layer of ice, maybe an inch on the wires, it is very nice looking, very pleasing to the ice, and something not seen all that terribly often

{It's time to go. I want to head out before it gets dark and before the walk gets icy. I will not be leaving a magazine with squids on the cover behind. As such, I will be resuming this project on the 'morrow in a more private locale.}

In the picture at hand, the boredom is palpable... not that I know what palpable means. As far as being bored is concerned, the first thing that comes to mind is school. I wonder if I would have ever learned to Daydream if it were not for school. In truth, I must assume the teachers were as bored as I. I wonder what they thought about?

a gecko or some sort of green lizard eats the citrus flavour inside of a cocoa bean, the husk to the right

She has iguanas on her head. I will assume they are real. I wonder if Medusa started off as some sort of Snake Goddess High Priestess? And if so, what were her other qualities? What else was noteworthy? Or logically follows from the supposition that she was a Snake Goddess? Personally, I want to know what the snakes ate... you know, were they vegetarians?

I am drawn to a comment about how books are democratic. I would disagree. Forums can be democratic. Books are take it or leave it. They are not a discussion (any more than this site is a discussion). It's a point of view. Maybe, that is what was meant. But I doubt it.

I do not honour veterans or the war dead. I don't feel that there is any honour in war. Even if a government is evil, the people seldom are (or no more evil than you or I). Sadly, the governments do not seem to be obliterated as completely, as the people so often are. Eh, but what do I know. I hardly ever see a scuffle in the streets, much less a murder or a full-on fire-fight. So, what do I know about anything?

I wonder if this is an ongoing publication. The Internet must have hit it hard.

I wonder how one defines the high point of one's life. Often in a story, I have a scene I'm writing towards. So if that were a life, would that be the high point?

I am not reading the articles... nary a word... or seldom a word. I can see how the accompanying essays could add great value... or be tedious filler. I am not inclined to find out which.

Surf Boards on the Beach at Waikiki, these are where the boards are stored, I think a person rents a spot, they are like bike racks, with the surfboards standing on edge, one after the next, looking down a row

Now, that's capitalism. It might as well be a vacant lot in the inner city with lawn chairs set up... hourly rates posted.

Considering the last issue felt more like a History book than anything else, I would have liked more complete captions... or at times, any captions. Oh, well. Art so seldom comes with meaningful captions.
{Or web pages, meaningful explanations.}
Sprinklers! Thinking of childhood, I remember sprinklers... running through them. Oddly, while dissecting the memory, I can best recall concerns regarding injury, as a small stick can be quite painful if stepped on while running barefoot through the mud.

Since I question whether I will ever use this idea, let me share it here. Rather than going on a safari, Aunt Adventure (or whatever her name is) takes her camera to the museum (Art or Natural History) and takes pictures there.

I always thought it was Hot Dogs I did not care for, but it is Beef Hot Dogs which I find disgusting. The other type (chicken, pork, whatever) are quite delightful.

we are just looking at the wall of a brick basement, century old construction, closed in brick archways, wires, splotches patched up

I am highly critical of other's Art. Here (or more accurately, there in the magazine) is a picture (of an electrical control box, I presume) that I could just as easily have taken. But rather than elevate theirs, I am more likely to devalue mine.

And then, I recall that Slaughter Quest™ Project I have been meaning to start for years.
{Hey! I just started that Slaughter Quest™ Project a few days ago. It's not taking on the shape I had imagined. But then, any shape is better than no shape at all. And in that little aside, you have the complete reason why I am no longer as self-conscious about my work as I once was. It is what it is. It is what I can do.}
Here's the gist. Media has expanded a thousand fold in the last thirty years. Meaning, for the most, the old stuff is worth pennies on the dollar... it's impact that much (a thousand times) less.

In days of old (when I used to go to the Flea Market), I would have bought box lots of similar media (comics, magazines, whatever) and spent the next few weeks sorting through them, tearing out pages, saving the good issues, repeating, and eventually winding up with nothing, having thrown it all away.

I have no thought of recycling any of this stuff {these issues of Aperture}. Throw in the Paper Bin? Yes. Take back to the Library Free Stack? No.

What sort of old person do I want to be? What sort of infirmaries would I find most tolerable? Is there anything that needs doing? You know, with the limited time that I have left?

And if I could be young again, do it all over, what sort of young person would I want to be? And would I want to do more than live in the moment?

This project has quickly become a post anything and everything project, which is fine, I have quite the backlog of unused photographs, which need a home, this is of the Upper Road to Hawi, I believe, on the Big Island of Hawaii on a foggy day, keeping in mind a foggy day here, may well have been quite sunny elsewheres, there is grass and rolling hills, a nice country road, very pleasant, a nice moment in time... I fear I was mistaken as to the locale, now that I examine the image, we have a desert landscape, so this was the Upper Road to Hilo, yes and that is what the original image name relates, Saddle Road to Hilo

Here's another question. If I could photograph anything, what would it be? At one time the answer would have been girls or porn, but nothing close to that brought the question to mind. There are countless High Art Photographic possibilities. Likely, the best subjects are those that are transitory in nature... with photography being the only practical way to capture the moment. Boiling water comes to mind as the uninspired example of what I'm talking about: Dye in Water, Melting Snow. And then, my mind switches to recording ambiance (background) sounds. As if the trickle of a brook could be more captivating than the hum of the fan that is even now swirling in the background.

I'm not going to say War is Immoral. But neither is it Moral. It is. And if I can keep such nastiness at a distance, I will.

I don't think I play with numbers very much. Numerology is not something I care about. That said, while writing, I tend to prefer enumerated lists of three.

So, how long is this list?

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It's likely that the very best Art is not appreciated by anyone else but the creator. I'm not claiming that this is that sort of Art. And even if I did, I could not tell you whether such a belief would be based on arrogance or delusion... nor very much, do I care.

The Robots have read. That is enough.

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler