On a recent adventure out to Queens with Mandilla, we stopped by MoMA PS1 to check out the Greater New York, which is a compilation of work from artists living and working in New York. This year's compilation was the 5th edition. Some of the work was stronger and more cohesive than others, but the exhibit overall was worth making the trek from Brooklyn for. The mural in the photograph above is one of the first things you see when you enter the exhibit.
Completely separate from the exhibit, in a classroom on the third floor of MoMA PS1 was James Turrell's Meeting. This exhibit has been in place since 1980 and somehow this was my first time viewing it. I spent maybe twenty minutes in the room, trying to figure out if the ceiling was actually open to the sky or if it was an optical illusion.
This space is second in a series called "Skyspaces" that Turrell began in the 1970s. The room is completely empty aside from the wooden benches wrapping around the room. In the photograph below, you can see the richness of the wood and the reflection of the natural light bouncing on the grain. After walking through the previous exhibit, Meeting provided a brief moment of clarity; as a viewer you can sit, look up, and watch the sky.
Over two months later, I'm in a headspace where I feel I can really reflect on this trip. Prior to this visit and during, my full-time job had made it's way back into the forefront of my mind and started occupying more space in my mind that it had previously. That said, I'm on the other side of that and ready to keep the "creative juices flowing", as they say.
I went to Memphis with great intentions and expectations. I wanted to celebrate my aunt and her wedding and to get a deeper understanding of my family's beginnings and where the Jones' origin story began.
We spent one afternoon before the wedding driving through the neighborhood where my mom grew up and driving past the storefronts that my grandpa used to own and run. It was an experience that I will remember forever; my oldest brother and myself both hearing stories that neither of us had ever heard before from our cousin who grew up in the area. I spent majority of that trip listening to the stories being shared and the sharing moments with cousins and siblings, and aunts and new uncles.
The photos above are from the first full day we had in Memphis. We walked around downtown, up and down Beale Street and back to the riverfront. Despite the weather (there was an ice storm that shut the city down) and the time of week we visited (we learned that it is best to visit between after Thursday-Saturday if we want to see the city at it's full potential), I loved Memphis. Being able to see it with my own eyes after hearing stories about it for so long filled a space in my heart that I didn't know needed filling.
First post of the new year, and despite being very close to the end of January, I am still sitting with and shifting through my resolutions, while also trying to reflect on the previous year. Last year was full of vivid memories spent with family and friends, but was a blur all the same. 2021 without a doubt went by faster than the year before and things really picked up once it started to get warmer outside. This somewhat explains why I haven’t posted anything since last April.
Partially because of how slowly time seemed to pass in 2020 (and partially because I was feeling sentimental), I started a new annual tradition. I organized all the photos I had taken with my iPhone that I felt highlighted the year before by month and I made a photo memory book via Artifact Uprising.
The process of looking back made me curious enough to start looking through some of the older photos I had saved on my phone, especially the ones where I had used different apps and filters. These photos are automatically stored in separate folders, which made filtering less time consuming than going by year, month, and day in the Photo app.
I am currently in the process of finishing off a black and white roll of film that I shot on my Pentax (hopefully successfully this time, after uncovering a pesky light leak), and waiting to ship another black and white roll of film that I shot on my Canon to Photodom, so I figured it would be a good practice to go through some of the folders from these apps and try to create some sort of cohesive series. Starting with HUJI.
HUJI Film- For those who aren’t familiar, it is an application that simulates a disposable camera, giving off that retro-quality. Every time you take a photo in the app, the image automatically loads the image in a random, “get what you get”, kind of way. Below are a couple of my favorite images that I have taken that while using this app.
Next up, VSCO fka VSCO Cam.
VSCO - I started using this app back in 2013 and since then, it has grown to become so much more than an editing tool. The original application allowed users to edit their images, using preset filters and other editing tools (e.g exposure, contrast, sharpening, saturation, etc), but it is now a platform for the photography community. Many photographers use it as a living-breathing journal/portfolio, which makes it an awesome source of inspiration. It definitely has some lowkey Tumblr vibes, in a more streamline way. I initially started using the gallery function, but have fallen off and not posted 2016. You can view my mini-gallery here. Sharing a few of some of my more recent photos that were edited using the VSCO app below.
Next weekend, we are headed to Memphis, TN for my aunt Karen’s wedding and I am determined to come back with a black and white series to share. This will not only be my first time visiting Memphis, but it is also the first opportunity I’ve ever had to see where my mom was born and where my grandpa grew up and lived until he passed. One of my resolutions this year was to create more and after spending the past year getting back into shooting film again, this trip provides a perfect opportunity to photograph some monumental things from a historical perspective, nationally and personally.