Runs With Scissors PRO 10:58pm, 21 January 2006

A number of New York City Writing Project members gathered on Saturday, January 21 to walk, shot pictures and write while at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. This was a second attempt to fuse the popular Writing Marathon activity with photoblogging.

Participants in the day's event will post two images in this thread with the tag "nycwpmoma" along with their writings.
Runs With Scissors PRO 12 years ago
not on a cell

and his hair was perfect!

each fine hair laid atop another but finely set so not to change shape. a perfect form crowned his head to match his perfectly aligned form and to fit the clothing worn. set against the backdrop of the museum's exhibits it all belonged. everything fit and looked as intended.


white men wearing white clothing

painting white walls with white paint walking along white walls.

filed together in common task in a line.

the work day begins and breaks in unison. it seems to flow like the ocean against the shore.

one coffee break done. another to come.
therealnani PRO 12 years ago

From my journal:
"What am I trying to capture? I've been pretty much ignoring the artwork and consciously looking for interesting perspectives and looking at people's reactions/behavior toward/around the artwork. MoMA has windows that look through and across levels. There are also windows to the outside. In one, I spotted a Rosenwach, one of my constantly sought-after finds. An old Rosenwach still standing, among the moneyed construction of Midtown, staring down the expensive, shiny, new MoMA. My camera took a ride on the elevator, looking for something good. In a hundred snaps, one good one is hugely satisfying."

"I want to capture the image as I see it in my mind's eye but the camera doesn't always follow suit, so it becomes an exercise in trying to figure out what position the mind's eye is in and trying to replicate that on film (or, digital, as the case may be). It's a lot like trying to emulate a writing style in that regard. You know how you want your writing to sound, to look, to feel but it takes some playing around, some analysis of the style you're trying to replicate. For years, I've tried to match the style of the New Yorker but it's hard to discard my voice and pick up another one. Voices are so nuanced in it is in picture-taking.
catt55 PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by catt55 (admin) 12 years ago
art and man
“Shooting on the right side of the brain…” – reflections on a day at MoMA
NYCWP photo marathon 1/21/06 (271 shots)

Can’t stop shooting! (turn off the camera and write…)
A mild beautiful spring-like day in January with gentle blue skies and fluffy clouds…
The sculpture garden: the intersection of art and people…

I realize how much less inhibited I feel when part of a group – any group – doing anything – it gives me permission to feel free, to be less self-conscious/embarrassed – as much as I view myself as this individualist the truth is I like to be part of something , it allows me to take risks, lighten up, and feel connected…
Good conversations with Ken and Susan in particular, about work (school), and shooting…flickr acting like a social organization, a means to know people in a way apart from “real life”- time, personality, space, distance, location factors notwithstanding…

MoMA: the architecture just takes over the art – it IS the art – today shooting not even looking at the art at all (afterwards I went to see the Pixar exhibit and two films - “Monsters Inc” and after that an Italian film…) – using MoMA as the visual playground…the architect who did the renovation is Japanese so I think really he made MoMA into a presence of it’s own not just a container for art…you can look at it in both positive and negative light – speaking of which light is incredible there, so many wonderful layers, so much natural light and such unintrusive “artificial” light. It’s the MOTHRA of museums…

I was not wearing my glasses most of the time and forced my eyes to work – light actually is a factor in my being able to see properly without assistance…

Shooting “blind” - over the shoulder, behind me, not looking, not framing, fast, not thinking too much – (see above title…)

The more I shoot in a particular time frame the easier it seems to get (pending viewing of results…) – it’s like a muscle, keep working it gets better more efficient (like cardio/heart) - does practice make perfect?/there is no perfect…break the rules. Go take a picture. Now. (I’m not playing). Lol.
Susan NYC PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Susan NYC (admin) 12 years ago
on the way home from MOMA, everything looked like art mirror mirror
First, a quote by French-African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako - with a substitution:

“Cinema (Photography) for me is not a show, but a quest. I look for what I have in me.”

Or put "Writing" in there. Or put anything that's important and creative in there.

That said, some random thoughts about our photoshoot at MOMA.

I'm sometimes torn when I shoot. Do I look through the viewfinder (which I rarely do) or can I just continue to literally point and shoot. (I also do behind-the-back shooting like Claudia.) The pointing-shooting, to me, is prewriting or freewriting. Just get it down and see what comes out.

When I prewrite/freewrite, I go back to see what "works" and shape it into a composition. I do that, too, with a photograph. Although my camera shoots at 4.0 megapixels, I still do major cropping and playing. (I figure when I get a camera with higher resolution I'll do the same thing, but my pictures will be sharper and less noisy.)

Sometimes I do compose a photograph in the camera, and that's okay. But I actually prefer the "messy" method. More chance for discovery.

And I'm with the shoot-hundreds-of-images group. It's a matter of personal taste and style, I think. I write the same way - dozens of pages for an essay that's supposed to be 8-10 pages.

Sissako talks about looking for what he has in him - to me (today, at least) a reader-response method. Shoot/write, then "see," then make it "more" of what I see. Then keep looking and revising, sometimes radically by throwing it out.

This method takes a whole lot of time. I wonder, then, if I "should" compose more carefully when I take the picture/do my prewriting. That'd be more efficient. And who knows, maybe I'd end up with a better "product." But for me process is mostly what it's about. Maybe I need to compromise, but I don't know if I will.
Grace Raffaele PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Grace Raffaele (admin) 12 years ago
Me at MOMA

From my journal writing in the sculpture garden:
Forty photos later and I am still seeing angles and spaces and only beginning to see the people. I wonder how it would feel here if there were no paople at all? Would the art speak louder? clearer? or is it the camera that has turned off their voices to me?

A guard just told a young child not to touch the sculpture, but I am sure that, to the child's eye, it was merely a black slab to be sat upon. Why not sit on it?

What shots did I not get? What are the images that my mind is still holding onto but that my camera did not capture?
• The little girl carrying pages of paper with paintings on them - was she the artist in this artist's world? But I could not follow her fast enough...
• The woman with the Modrian-like coat. If only she had been inside the museum near any kind of other art.
• The white-clothed workers in the brrightly lit elevator. What was their mission?

And now the sounds of NYC surround the garden as do the brick townhouses. All well-behaved, staying on the periphery of this ultra-modern, marble, glass and canvas space.
Grace Raffaele PRO 12 years ago
Hmmmm What You See Is...
What would the thought bubble above each of these mueum-goers say?
Each of them sees in their own way, asks their own questions, finds,
or does not find, the artistic expression.
There is no answer to the question "What is Art?"
Instead of looking for an answer,
I'll just keep looking...
Susan NYC PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Susan NYC (admin) 12 years ago
Grace, I read your self-portrait post and wonder if "scrlpture garden" (which I read as "scripture garden") is a Freudian slip. Scripture as in "writing" or as in "sacred." (Occupational hazard - reading into things - when you're an English teacher.) And if it is a Freudian slip.....?

And a response to your art-watchers:
arms crossed
Paul Allison PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Paul Allison (admin) 12 years ago
Light Bulbs atMOMA

See my video-podcast and other links at this news item on my blog: MOMA Flickrathon.

The Table of Perfect (Detail), by James Lee Beyars

The Table of Perfect (Detail), by James Lee Beyars

The Table of Perfect (Detail), by James Lee Beyars

The Table of Perfect (Detail), by James Lee Beyars

"The Table of Perfect," by James Lee Beyars

Quote from the museum description: "a sacred site for contemplation"

When I was photographing this object I was feeling some questions about perfection: the gold, the standard were words that came to mind, and the range of shades fascinated me--caused by the curves on the cube.

It also feels like a much smaller object--like a jewel that has been enlarged. In the description of the work it is mentioned that even though it is called a table, it is actually too high to be a table, which gives it its feeling of being an object used in a ritual.

I could see it this way, looking in from the outside, yet it is totally empty. So it becomes a sacret object of nature, of not-God, and this made me want to spend more time with this object.

There's also an appeal to beauty and to minimal, abstract, perhaps even conceptual art as well... all at once.

This all made me think about how even without a God or rilition there remains the values of beauty, proportion,, contemplation, truth, clarity. I felt re-invigorated, refrished by this gold block.
feliciag 12 years ago
I've tagged my pictures, I've written my reflections, but I can't figure out how to post them. There is no post to thread directions anywhere that I can find. You can look at my pictures on my site until someone sends me some directions. Thanks.
Susan NYC PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Susan NYC (admin) 12 years ago
Hi Felicia -

Here are directions:

I'm assuming you've written your reflections in a word file (or some other text document), which is fine. You can add the picture info to the word file and copy and paste the whole thing into a box here for your post.

Go to the first picture you want to post. Open it in "all sizes" which is a choice along the top margin of the picture. When you open it, choose "small" or "medium" and click enter (return). You'll see the picture in the size you want. Below the picture you'll see two boxes with code. The first is the URL - ignore it. The second box has a picture code in it. You want to copy and paste that in the document where your writing is. (A word document is fine.) Paste the information above your writing if you want.

Then pick your second picture and repeat, getting the code for the small or medium size.

If you paste that code for the second picture in your word document so it comes right after the code for the first picture, you'll end up with two pictures side by side, like Grace's. If you start the code for the second picture on a new line, your pictures will be vertical, like Paul's.

If you insert a blank line between the code and your text, you'll have that space/line in your thread.

Copy and paste the code/text from your text document into a posting box here on the thread.

Your box for posting is already open in this thread; it says "Reply to this topic&quot and it's under the thread that's currently last in the list.

Paste your code/text into the box that's waiting for you. Click "post now" (under the posting box) and you should have everything exactly as you want it. If you click Preview, you'll see it and can edit anything you want. But you can also edit anytime you want by clicking the little word "edit" underneath your post.
Susan NYC PRO 12 years ago
Paul - I enjoyed your videocast a lot. (I didn't realize of course that you were filming most of the time you were filming.)
Paul Allison PRO 12 years ago
I should have checked with you all... but you're photographers, no?
Susan NYC PRO 12 years ago
Yes indeed - we're fair game.
feliciag 12 years ago
Funeral of the Anarchist Galli, Carra

This image looks nothing like the real painting. It's lost its intensity and darkness. Yet, the figures are clearer and come through in a way that they don't when viewed actually. This is a metaphor for the group that eschewed all rules for writing marathons in response to the limitations placed on us by the museum and polite society. In the chaos the light will shine through.

The museum experience

Looking at art that is looking at you. The museum experience happens in and outside, internally and externally, within and without. What happens to the guards who are here daily? Do they grow attached to particular pieces of art work. Do they have favorites? What do they think about the collections? Some are very diligent about keeping the public in check. Others seem involved in their own social world, conversing with their colleagues. Still others seem detached, bored, solitary.
feliciag 12 years ago
Thanks Susan for your help. Next time I'll make the pictures smaller. And, I'm copying your instructions. It was so easy once I knew what to do.
Susan NYC PRO 12 years ago
Glad the instructions worked. You can fiddle around with posts you've already submitted. You see the "edit" link below your post? It opens your post, and you can delete the "old" code for the pictures and replace it with new code for the smaller pictures.

But large pictures are fine. When there are dozens of posts on a thread, they load too slowly - but not an issue here.

I sometimes talk to the guards, actually - ask the questions you're asking. Many of them feel the art is "theirs" - and definitely have favorites.
Groups Beta