Pixetera

Photography and art making as play.

Category: memorial

Monday, May 27, 2019: Memorial Day

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Memorial Day is traditionally the day when Americans head for the malls to take advantage of holiday store sales honor their war dead, but maybe it’s time to set aside another day of remembrance—one that honors the victims of lynchings, mass shootings, extrajudicial police killings, and lethal criminal violence. These are the people who weren’t able to enjoy the freedom and security that our soldiers fought for and died to protect. Their shamefully high numbers are a stain on our nation’s conscience.

(A note on the image):

The picture is a composite of photographs that depict: (1) the 1930 Marion, Indiana lynchings of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith (Lawrence Beitler, photographer); (2) the 1882 lynching of an unidentified Afro-American man; (3) a memorial to the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting (photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images); (4) an American flag.

From the first link:

“The iconic photograph of the incident inspired Abel Meeropol to write the poem and song “Strange Fruit,” which Billie Holliday recorded in 1939. 

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.”

 

Another version, sung by Nina Simone with disturbing images of other lynchings.

 

 

Sunday, August 5, 2018: Springfield Bike-About

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Monday, May 28, 2018: Memorial Day

(Click on images to enlarge.)

 

And let us also remember Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles, a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who traveled 1500 hundred miles to the United States in hopes of earning enough money to further her education. Soon after she and a group of migrants set foot on U.S. soil last week, she was shot to death by a border patrol agent. Does this represent the America that thousands of our citizens have fought and died for? I’d like to think not but without any moral leadership, our democracy is a sham.

 

Monday, January 1, 2018: JANUARY, 2018 UPDATE

On January 1, 2012, I posted my first pictures on Pixetera. It was the start of a yearlong photo/day challenge that immediately turned into a one-or-more photos/day project. Twelve months later I remember being ecstatic that I had accomplished my goal and could now relax, relieved of my self-imposed obligation to take and post images on a daily basis.

Much to my surprise, however, I continued to photograph quite regularly, such that my Pixetera posts have averaged out to one every 1.5 days over the past six years. It’s fun to look back and see where I started and where I am now: Some of the early work I still marvel at; some, I wouldn’t think of posting today. Still, I’m generally pleased at the way the work has progressed.

The reason I’ve been going backward in time is because I’ve started to develop another website where my images can be organized in a way that’s more meaningful than straight chronological blogging. At this point I’m pretty much resigned to the likelihood that the book I’ve been fantasizing about for years will never get done — mostly because of expense and time, but also the necessity of leaving so many photographs on the cutting room floor. Those won’t be problems on the new site, called alighting. There’s also a satisfying sense of continuity in sticking with the medium that birthed Pixetera. Having started my professional career when slide shows were all the rage, I have a special fondness for backlit images.

The downside of all this is that after six full years of picture taking/making, I need to back off a bit from Pixetera: Between eking out a living, railing against our fake president, getting alighting off the ground, cooking, cleaning (on rare occasions), and nourishing an inner self, something had to give. I’ve also been aware of encroaching burnout, a sure impediment to producing fresh and exciting work.

I’ll still be taking photos, just not posting them as frequently as I’ve been doing since 2012. Instead, I’ll be aiming for once every 7-10 days. At the same time, I expect to continue following my blogging friends daily — one of life’s great pleasures I hope to never relinquish. Some of you I’ve only become acquainted with in 2017. You should know that in a year filled with so much destruction, loss, tragedy, and profound disappointment in what this country has become, you’ve become bright spots in my day.

As a consequence of posting more infrequently, I’ll be ending my memorial to terror victims. My fear is that in a worst-case scenario, such posts will take over Pixetera now that the number of photos will be reduced. For better or worse, I don’t have it within me to create another blog chronicling the blood that’s shed in the delusional and horrific perversion of religion.

Here’s to the better angels of our nature in 2018. I like to think that one of them lies behind the photographs we take and why we’re so moved to share them.

Friday, December 29, 2017: Cairo, Egypt (Again)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

NY Times

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017: Kabul, Afghanistan (Seventh Attack Since October 20)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

The Guardian

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017: Feed the Tree Edition

(Click on images to enlarge.)

From the song, Feed the Tree. Lyrics by Tanya Donelly

This old man I’ve talked about
Broke his own heart,
Poured it in the ground
Big red tree grew up and out,
Throws up its leaves,
Spins round and round.

I know all this and more
So take your hat off
When you’re talking to me
And be there when I feed the tree.

 

With thanks to Mr. C of Postcard Cafe

 

Monday, December 25, 2017: Kabul, Afghanistan

Not exactly the kind of image I would have liked to post on Christmas Day.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Washington Post

 

Saturday, December 23, 2017: Dreary Day Edition

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Sunday, December 17, 2017: Quetta, Pakistan (Again!)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Washington Post