Monday, December 26, 2011

Interesting Tiffen DFX Filter Trick

I've been a fan of the Tiffen DFX Filters ever since version 1 and version 3 is definitely the best yet.

When using them to process some broken glass shots of Detroit (what else!), I ran across this interesting effect if you apply the x-ray filter twice


Detroit- 2010 Broken Glass 542.jpg

One application of the x-ray filter

Detroit- 2010 Broken Glass 542 Single xray.jpg

Double application of the x-ray filter

Detroit- 2010 Broken Glass 542 double xray.jpg

The double filter almost looks like something you could actually see under natural lighting conditions.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Portfolio App available for iOS

on iTunes for iPod touch, iPhone, iPad

It's free, so go check it out


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Initial Views of Hong Kong

Here's some quick shots of Hong Kong

A construction site:


This is some of the most amazing natural lighting I've ever seen -- this shot is "as is"


Monday, November 14, 2011

Hisun Wong's "Pressed Flowers"

I recently came across Hisun Wong's work and found it pretty striking -- I don't normally like flower photos, but these are special (image takes you to his website).

Picture 008.jpg

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene in Allston

Some shots of damage after the storm.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Little More on Ryan Trecartin

There is no there there, and that’s the way it should be.

Ben Davis published an interesting review of Ryan Trecartin’s work on Artinfo which includes the memorable line:

in many ways, his characters behave as if they seized upon YouTube's motto, "Broadcast Yourself," as a mantra, only to find that there was no real self to broadcast.

However Davis meant it, I don’t think of it as a criticism. Rather, it hits on a key aspect of Trecartin’s work. Trecartin presents us with a semi unconscious viewpoint conditioned by twitch (1) driven, novelty seeking web surfing. It doesn’t feel the need to provide the scaffolding of a coherent ego or impose a single narrative viewpoint upon the event stream.

What is interesting about this approach is that it is very much in tune with the way in which we, as beings embodied in the world, actually encounter things. No, not at a conscious level, much of our experience gets filtered out, and categorized as unimportant prior to being presented to our consciousness for consideration (2). Whether it is at the sensory level, where we are (blissfully?) unaware of background noises and smells while our vision automatically adjusts for changes in lighting, color while filtering out persistent distortions, our consciousness is this rarefied abstraction sitting atop a massive machinery hacked out over tens of thousands of years of evolutionary development (bringing to mind the image of a cruise ship, with the galleys, engines and gyroscopes humming under the decks while we sit next to the pool in the sun with an umbrella drink).

What I find appealing in Trecartin’s work is its attempt to present us with the speed and quasi randomness of free-associative surfing while being very restricted in it’s palette: no basso profundo or 1950‘s nuclear families for Ryan.

It’s like the output of a highly tuned, disciplined preconscious subsystem: a giant grandmother cell (3) tuned for screechy, garish situations of screechy, garish people with adjustment issues, in slow feedback loop with itself, until it finally collapses, exhausted, waiting for the next go. If you have part of your brain tuned that way, you can enjoy it: high speed, twitch driven surfing without the distractions or the risk of repetitive stress injury.

I don’t mean this as a slight, this ability to capture an experience, intensify it and focus it is what makes Trecartin’s work engaging and since I, like most people, have more parts of my brain than that particular aforementioned “grandmother” cell, any actual high speed surfing done that way in real life would soon find me veering off topic pretty quickly.

This points to an interesting tension: although it’s preconscious and at the speed of a slow twitch, it’s much more focused and restrained in what it surveys. It is as if it was a brain completely in service of and controlled by a single grandmother cell. Put another way: “a slowed down, focused consideration of high speed, twitch based surfing.”

1: See wikipedia on twitch gameplay

2: There are many references for this, one that I’m fond of is “Vertical versus horizontal modularity” Fig 10.1 of S.L. Hurley’s Consciousness in Action (Harvard University Press 1998)

3: I’m using the term somewhat loosely see wikipedia's grandmother cell entry, ond/or see A framework for consciousness by Crick and Koch for more detail

Monday, August 29, 2011

Updated My Website

Finally updated my website (it had been a while).


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fountain in DC

(under repair?) from a trip last winter.







Monday, August 1, 2011

The Art of Cruelty

I wanted to strongly recommend The Art of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson

Its not so much about cruelty, as about art, using the desired impact of cruelty as a probe to interrogate ways of making and experiencing art.

Among her most salient points:

  • Works that open themselves up to the possibility of cruelty, e.g., performances by Yoko Ono or Marina Abramovic are more able to shake ourselves of our preconceptions than those that are ostensibly cruel -- something truer now in our age of torture-porn than when the works were originally performed.

  • How Pope L's links between precariousness and "have-not-ness" fits into this framework.

  • How Bacon regretted the decriminalization of homosexuality, since he derived so much pleasure from the risk, taboo and threat of punishment.

She brought the whole argument to bear on Ryan Trecartin's I-Be AREA with enough force that I watched the entire piece, which certainly was a memorable experience. I liken it to an image vomitorium, in the "common misconception" sense -- but I mean it in a good way.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last Arizona Cacti Set

For 2011 at least


Arizona_2011_046 - Version 2.jpg


Monday, June 27, 2011

Streets of Berlin

Lots of construction



Sunday, June 12, 2011

RYOJI IKEDA the transfinite

This show (now closed) at the Park Avenue Armory was awe inspiring. The Armory's new programming is definitely to be commended.

I put together some clips to give you a quick (~ 40 sec) impression.

Ryoji Ikeda at the Armory from richard ferrante on Vimeo.

Monday, May 30, 2011

More cacti

In general I'm pretty happy with the shots from this trip.

Arizona_2011_131 - Version 2.jpg

Arizona_2011_219 - Version 2.jpg


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Revisiting Arizona: 1

A few weeks ago, I went back to the Saguaro National Park and took some more cactus shots.

Here's a few, pretty much as shot.




Monday, March 28, 2011

Seoul Slideshow

Finally finished this up

011_Seoul_2010__162 - Version 2.jpg

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Seoul Construction

I believe this is the steel framing for the new design center

Seoul_2010__121 - frame Version 2.jpg



Monday, February 14, 2011

Seoul Fountain

Cool fountain in Seoul, most of the shots were processed with the toy camera adjustment in Aperture and the modified a bit from there (I like toy camera more than apertureland, but I rarely shoot faces)

Seoul_2010__157 - Version 2.jpg

Seoul_2010__151 - Version 2.jpg

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Walking About Seoul last fall

Some things that caught my eye.

Seoul_2010__013 - Version 2.jpg

Seoul_2010__014 - Version 2.jpg

Seoul_2010__261 - Version 4.jpg

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seoul Skyscrapers

Seoul definitely has a number of distinctive skyscrapers -- very useful for navigating your way around the city.

Here's photos of my three favorites


Seoul_2010__078 Jongno Tower.jpg



This one is currently under construction: