Bikes And Little People

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

I spent a couple of years in college as a Music Theory and Composition major, and it was there that I learned of  John Cage and aleatory music. I worked on a number of experiments in that direction, which resulted in a combination of excitement and disappointment, par for the course when following those ideas.

I never thought to apply this to photography until I came across Brendan Comey, who was already doing this.  The idea is to shoot a roll of film (underexposing by a couple of stops) and give it to someone else, who then shoots that same roll.  The result is a series of double-exposures that may or may not work with one another.  Because the frames will almost certainly not line up, there is a fair amount of discretion as to how the film should be cut, which is one of the few choices that can be made.

The roll I shot was exposed in Fells Point, Maryland, right outside of Baltimore, his were shot in Howth Co Dublin, mostly in Deer Park.  This is a distance of well over 3,000 miles, as the crow flies (better yet, an airplane).  As I wander through this image I keep seeing more, and wonder at the unintentional relationship of the elements.  I think that John Cage might be proud.

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About GLSmyth

GLSmyth.com GeorgeSmyth.com
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2 Responses to Bikes And Little People

  1. Nice write up George, I think the real beauty of these swaps is that you never really see the full picture, the more you look. the deeper you go, the more you find.
    My initial reaction was that the the B&W results were too obscure, that it is too difficult to decide where Fells point ends and Howth begins but on a small amount of contemplation I think maybe, just maybe there is a little more there. It becomes a collage instead of the cacoffiny that is the colour results to date.
    I think I need more time with these results to fully form my opinion but so far so good.

  2. Thank you for posting – I hadn’t realized that the film swap had a musical analogue. I like the ambiguity in where one exposure stops and the other begins. And more generally, I like the unconscious connections that get made in film swap images.

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