Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Call and Response: John Bambach"

“Maybe we try too hard to be remembered, waking to the glowing yellow disc in ignorance, swearing that today will be the day, today we will make something of our lives. What if we are so busy searching for worth that we miss the sapphire sky and cackling blackbird. What else is missing?
Maybe our steps are too straight and our paths
too narrow and not overlapping.
Maybe when they overlap someone in another country
lights a candle, a couple resolves their argument,
a young man puts down his silver gun and walks away.”
Naomi Shihab Nye
Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25

The Call:

Hi John,
Hope all is well.
I’m working on a series called Call and Response. It’s about dialogue. I would appreciate it if you would participate. Just send 2-4 pieces of evidence. It could be images of your work, work you like, things you find interesting.

The Response:

These are attached in better resolution. Notations follow. Tell Sheila hello for me. – John

©John Bambach
Close family friend, Carolyn, with Jesse just prior to her orthodox Jewish wedding in 2003.
It was a photo shot with my last roll of film, just prior to my current digital lifestyle.

©John Bambach

John Bambach has taught and worked with photography since 1969 and was a founding member of the Light Factory in 1972. His career in education and multimedia technology spans 40 years, in both higher education and public television. His current work is most often done for Myers Park Baptist Church and the Cornwell Center where he works in visual media, technology and educational programming.

tomschulzartist responds: it took me a while. It took me a while to discern what this particular packet of information might mean. Might mean to John. Might mean to me. On one hand it seemed so scant - delivered quickly - almost on demand. On the other hand, the expediency and austerity had a certain urgency about it. Like it was there all the time waiting to spring across the ether, aching to be seen. But then, who's to say what is insight and what is unfettered imagination? That distinction is a hedgerow of leafless trees.

An awareness slowly made it's way into my conscious thinking like a methane bubble drifting to the surface of a silt pond: I had been delivered an autobiography. Succinct but layered. Discreet, but complete. A span of adulthood covering forty years of work and involvement. Chapters of personality shared in content and detail. Methods and materials and circumstances as adequate in precise description as dialogue and family albums. Lovely, concise. Funny and elegant.

I wonder to myself if I could carve my story to the bone like that? Perhaps you may wonder the same. I'm prone to layering. If one image will do, why not overlay a galaxy of images? But why not dial it back? Naturally, I can think of a million reasons. And irony is so 1990.

So maybe. Just maybe. Maybe, in 2012, elegant will be my new black.

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.”
R. Buckminster Fuller

While comprehending both the conveniences and pitfalls of a Cause and Effect existence, here at empathinc. we prefer to live in a Call and Response Universe. This series is an exploration of that space.

Thanks John, for Responding to the Call.
Sheila says hello. Tom

Above: "Aneurysm", watercolor, gesso, enamel on paper, Tom Schulz, 2004.
From the "My Nature" Series

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