14 Aug 2016

untouchability

I've rekindled my love of books about cities reading Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo. Set in New York City it bridges my last post well...
He felt the street around him, unremitting, people moving past each other in coded movements of gesture and dance. They tried to walk without breaking stride because breaking stride is well-meaning and weak but they were forced sometimes to sidestep and even pause and they almost always averted their eyes. Eye contact was a delicate matter. A quarter second of shared glance was a violation of agreements that made the city operational. . . No one wanted to be touched. There was a pact of untouchability here.
Using my phone has changed my technique out of necessity rather than deliberate choice. My from the hip style reflects a covert/non-confrontational/sneaky/zen-like (delete as you wish) attitude. Working with my phone necessitates a precise touch on the screen to take a picture: simply speaking I need to bring it to my eye level...and subsequently to that of the photographed too. 
link to new London street photographs
And my problem is? Well, as DeLillo says, eye contact is a delicate matter, a pact of untouchability. To break that is to tear the veil we share between us. A touch melodramatic? Perhaps but I have found this "new" way of walking as exciting as any period of my work. 
Bear with me while I find my feet again!


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