BG’s New Anti-bog Blog

8 07 2007

Here’s the post fron bgblogging, marking the opening of this here new blog:

Lately we’ve had a slew of those listless pre-storm afternoons when even the dog doesn’t want to go out and the cats can’t be bothered to mess with no-brainer prey.storm settling in
And I wrestled–for days– with a chapter I promised for a worthy book project. My mind wandered.
intothewoods

This kind of weather brings some of the languid ease of the South across our fields, I imagine, because the storm never materializes, just teases with its barking tantrums well to the South (how a Northern New England girl of Irish ancestry can set her imagination on overdrive). I worried a bit about the state of this blog, that I was running out of gas, my brain too sticky, too taffy-ed, too, well, too distracted.
vermontsummersky

How can you live in a place of such intense physical beauty and have something to say that isn’t charged with poetry, bad poetry at that?
harlequin hollyhocks

You can find yourself slinking slowly into a somnolent bog. (See?)

But then we went to New York. That place always slaps sense back into me. A weekend spent wandering the streets and galleries and eateries of Lower Manhattan picks me out of my nature-addled daze. The stunning range of human story and culture and reality are an antidote to my lush woods and big skies and green mountains and small villages of Vermont. It’s good to be thrown into something different. And it’s good not to overplan those visits, to take them slow in a New York buzzy sort of way (if that makes any sense), to look around and let the city’s odd magic do its thing.
westvillagefacade

The only plan we had was NOT to go to any Apple store during the iPhone madness and to see the astonishing Soledad Barrio dance with her flamenco company at Theater 80 (take a look at the flow of stories about the theater in the comments linked off the post), and dinner with some friends.
Lately we’ve had a slew of those listless pre-storm afternoons when even the dog doesn’t want to go out and the cats can’t be bothered to mess with no-brainer prey.storm settling in
And I wrestled–for days– with a chapter I promised for a worthy book project. My mind wandered.
intothewoods

This kind of weather brings some of the languid ease of the South across our fields, I imagine, because the storm never materializes, just teases with its barking tantrums well to the South (how a Northern New England girl of Irish ancestry can set her imagination on overdrive). I worried a bit about the state of this blog, that I was running out of gas, my brain too sticky, too taffy-ed, too, well, too distracted.
vermontsummersky

How can you live in a place of such intense physical beauty and have something to say that isn’t charged with poetry, bad poetry at that?
harlequin hollyhocks

You can find yourself slinking slowly into a somnolent bog. (See?)

But then we went to New York. That place always slaps sense back into me. A weekend spent wandering the streets and galleries and eateries of Lower Manhattan picks me out of my nature-addled daze. eastvillageshift
The stunning range of human story and culture and reality are an antidote to my lush woods and big skies and green mountains and small villages of Vermont. It’s good to be thrown into something different. And it’s good not to overplan those visits, to take them slow in a New York buzzy sort of way (if that makes any sense), to look around and let the city’s odd magic do its thing.
westvillagefacade

The only plan we had was NOT to go to any Apple store during the iPhone madness and to see the astonishing Soledad Barrio dance with her flamenco company at Theater 80 (take a look at the flow of stories about the theater in the comments linked off the post), and dinner with some friends. The rest of the two days, my daughter, my husband and I moved where our feet took us. Camera in hand of course. With changes of plan welcome.

And this time, that included more of the East Village, the West Village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. We found open-air markets, cupcakes and graffitti and the single-most unbelievable draping of tye-dye attire on one person I have seen anywhere (and that includes Haight-Ashbury).
shoppinginny inthemirror

In Chelsea, as we feasted our way down the windows of the galleries on West 24th Street, we stumbled on an exhibit that has jarred me out of my blogging complacency. Got me thinking about a new blog, a blogger’s sketchbook of sorts. Silverstein Photography’s current exhibition, “First Contact: A Photographer’s Sketchbook” placed photographers’ contact sheets next to the image pulled to print (and in some cases these were iconic images, taken by Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Man Ray and many others. What a great learning moment for anyone taking pictures, or for anyone looking at pictures– to see the creative process in taking shots–sometimes many in succession of nearly the same image, sometimes not at all. How much richer, then, the experience of seeing the selected, fully realized image selected and printed away from its neighbors.

I came away from that show thinking about how I have been slowing moving towards writing with images and text but how so many times I leave those posts undone, in draft form or sketched out on paper, or in my head because they didn’t seem to fit bgblogging as it has evolved. bgblogging explores formal learning in, sometimes, informal ways, certainly in informal spaces, but it almost always has its eyes directly on changing our educational system. Yet Twitterhas opened to me a new interest in micro-texts. Sharing photos on Flickr has pushed me to pay more attention to my images, both taken with camera and taken with words. I’m ready to keep pushing the kinds of posts I’ve been exploring.

chelseagallery chelseastreetart

I’ll still read and write blogposts. Edublogposts. But experimentposts too.

Perhaps about the mysteries of place and light and childhood.
yellowroom

During summer, then, this blog will see fallow spells as I shift into a new blogging realm, one more creative and experimental, one that engages more of my playful side than my critical, hungry-for-change side.

I want to play with Henri Bresson-Cartier’s notion of “the decisive moment” defined as “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.” (from the Silverstein Photography Gallery Press Release). I’m tired of the repetition in my feeds and in my books; I’m going to be more selective in my reading while more open in the territory from which I learn. Otherwise, just as I find happening when I stay in Vermont for too long at a stretch, I get lazy, complacent, and dull.

I’m in search in the summers for the poetry of blogging, the poetry in blogging, and will do so over on bgexperiments. I’ll move between the blogs, hoping the tension between them will prove useful. We’ll see how it goes…

fuschiaintherain

(image by Sondra Stewart The rest of the two days, my daughter, my husband and I moved where our feet took us. Camera in hand of course. With changes of plan welcome.

And this time, that included more of the East Village, the West Village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. We found open-air markets, cupcakes and graffitti and the single-most unbelievable draping of tye-dye attire on one person I have seen anywhere (and that includes Haight-Ashbury).
shoppinginny inthemirror

In Chelsea, as we feasted our way down the windows of the galleries on West 24th Street, we stumbled on an exhibit that has jarred me out of my blogging complacency. Got me thinking about a new blog, a blogger’s sketchbook of sorts. Silverstein Photography’s current exhibition, “First Contact: A Photographer’s Sketchbook” placed photographers’ contact sheets next to the image pulled to print (and in some cases these were iconic images, taken by Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Man Ray and many others. What a great learning moment for anyone taking pictures, or for anyone looking at pictures– to see the creative process in taking shots–sometimes many in succession of nearly the same image, sometimes not at all. How much richer, then, the experience of seeing the selected, fully realized image selected and printed away from its neighbors.

I came away from that show thinking about how I have been slowing moving towards writing with images and text but how so many times I leave those posts undone, in draft form or sketched out on paper, or in my head because they didn’t seem to fit bgblogging as it has evolved. bgblogging explores formal learning in, sometimes, informal ways, certainly in informal spaces, but it almost always has its eyes directly on changing our educational system. Yet Twitterhas opened to me a new interest in micro-texts. Sharing photos on Flickr has pushed me to pay more attention to my images, both taken with camera and taken with words. I’m ready to keep pushing the kinds of posts I’ve been exploring.

chelseagallery chelseastreetart

I’ll still read and write blogposts. Edublogposts. But experimentposts too.

Perhaps about the mysteries of place and light and childhood.
yellowroom

During summer, then, this blog will see fallow spells as I shift into a new blogging realm, one more creative and experimental, one that engages more of my playful side than my critical, hungry-for-change side.

I want to play with Henri Bresson-Cartier’s notion of “the decisive moment” defined as “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.” (from the Silverstein Photography Gallery Press Release). I’m tired of the repetition in my feeds and in my books; I’m going to be more selective in my reading while more open in the territory from which I learn. Otherwise, just as I find happening when I stay in Vermont for too long at a stretch, I get lazy, complacent, and dull.

I’m in search in the summers for the poetry of blogging, the poetry in blogging, and will do so over on bgexperiments. I’ll move between the blogs, hoping the tension between them will prove useful. We’ll see how it goes…

fuschiaintherain

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4 responses

8 07 2007
the other barbara

There was a wonderful little article in the NY Review of Books today about a Japanese man who says he learned to be a writer by learning to love music, in particular jazz. I thought of you and your desire to find new ways to weave sound, image, text, and emotion.

One of the quotes: “Practically everything I know about writing, then, I learned from music. It may sound paradoxical to say so, but if I had not been so obsessed with music, I might not have become a novelist.”

http://tinyurl.com/3b33lh

9 07 2007
Jim

Consider me subscribed! I love the idea of cultivating a space for creative expression to dialogue with bgblogging. I am excited by your coming experiments, and Antonella and I really marveled at your narrated photos of Maine, it was a really powerful experience, and I think gave both of us a really sharp idea of just how amazingly beautiful the act of creation and sharing within kinda of strange, intimately depersonalized settings like twitter and flickr can prove to be.

I have also found that my penchant for creativity, however meager, has been continually sparked by my blogging and I find my propensity to blog about work stuff constantly fueling (and at times feuding) with my inclination to quote a film, make a statement, or just have fun. It’s a strange balance and when you begin to think about other people reading your work, how much of you style is dictated through some perceived expectations of an edublog?

I tend to think about bavatuesday as a cross between Filmfax and The New York Post -a sensational rag with some fun film facts thrown in -writing an edublog just always seemed far too narrow, constricting and stifling of the kind of creative play that I believe will fuel those education shifts we are working towards. In other words, I love this experimental space and will be haunting it often. Have fun, for we all will benefit greatly from the pleasures you derive from experimenting wildly!

BTW -glad to see you’re finally a WP fangirl!

10 07 2007
bgexperiments

Wow, two comments already, and from two of my favorite bloggers!

bs–thanks for the link. I think some of the writer I love most have felt a tension between art forms, turning to one to help with or to inspire the other. I am keen on playing with sound though I don’t quite know at this point what form that will take, or how I will weave it into these multi-media creations yet.

Jim–yup, trying out the WP for myself instead of for workshops only. I feel a bit of an MT turncoat though…
I love your description of your bavatuesdays blogging and how you move so seamlessly from film to plug-ins to teaching to musings about New York or war or whatever. You’ve figured out to use the medium in just the way I hope my students will, weaving the various snatches of things you want to get down before they vanish.

For now I’m going to link back and forth between blogs because I like the tension in the borders between them–can I really use them both to push my teaching and learning without suffering from whiplash or having them become too rigidly self-conscious? I dunno but I want to find out.

19 07 2007
lsmblog

As is the case in this world of RSS and blogs, you have guided me in a new direction, toward publishing photographs in flickr and exploring Twitter (I have not done so yet). The ability to go back and forth between these different environments is…well…it just is. Thank you again for the inspiration. My children now wonder about all the Barbaras in my life. The threesome from last summer remain my guides in so many ways.

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