(This post originally appeared February 10, 2019, in my photography blog THE KICK.)
I was incredibly fortunate to have two photographs selected for the 2018 issue of Kurt Vonnegut's annual literary journal So It Goes. Better yet, I was invited to present my work at VonnegutFest in Indianapolis. Kurt Vonnegut has long been a literary hero of mine, not only inspiring me as an author, but as a person who often toggles between cautious optimism and cynical happiness. (Or is that cautious happiness and cynical optimism?) So to have my work included in a publication that bears his name was incredibly humbling.
In his novel Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut introduced the notion of a karass--a precept of Bokonism that suggests groups of seemingly unconnected people can share both a cosmic bond and a common will. Presenting my work in the memorial library that bears Vonnegut's name, surrounded by fellow contributors and Vonnegut fans (or my karass, if you will), was likewise quite humbling.
In the words of KVML's website itself, 'So It Goes is a unique literary journal — designed to bring together work from veterans and civilians, established authors and virtual unknowns, high school students and nonagenarians. It’s a journal that has been, in a way, unstuck in time.' What a humane way to approach the arts, isn't it, this notion of creative equality?
Here's what I read that day at VonnegutFest: my artist's statement, entitled "Some of Its Parts," which I've included here in its entirety:
"I've been known to dabble in happy thoughts from time to time, with mixed results. I've also been known to indulge many a creative impulse, also with mixed results. By turns I've been a novelist, an illustrator, and a street photographer. The common thread in these endeavors has been the distillation of the everyday world, into words, or lines, or shadows and light--all of which eventually winds up as ink expressed upon paper.
"My street photography in particular is a celebration of the minutiae I encounter during my daily walks in New York City. The city streets are rich with juxtapositions, too. Pareidolia--the act of personifying inanimate objects--only broadens the scope of discovery.
"My photography is a celebration of quirky contradictions. I draw inspiration from serendipitous moments, mining happenstance for deeper meaning. This is more than urban exploration. It's my way of dabbling in happy thoughts, in hopefulness, one city block, one camera click at a time.
"These photographs hopefully counter the alienation one encounters in bigger cities. Less conventional connections are always in the offing, if we simply keep ourselves open to the smaller details. If we redefine what matters, everything then matters. Then, perhaps, we shall be lonesome no more."
You can learn more about KVML's literary journal SO IT GOES here.
Documenting the world in words and photos.