Writings on photography

Pixel Factories. Views from Second Life industry 

(and preview named Clockwork landscapes)


Industrial landscapes have been hated in Real Life. They are dirty and polluted, messy and distressed. Nobody like living close to factories or shipyards or even train workshops. Deindustrialisation made most of them lonely, sad and even dangerous places, they don't justify any longer their existence either by being useful to the economy or the job market.
But, Second Life seems to reproduce the same abundance of such places that we can find in RL: amongst thousands of "awesome" tropical or luxurious places - although often boring 'cause their uniformity - a lot of SIMs are dedicated to show chimneys, machines, warehouses, engines, designing an underworld where the sky is always dark grey, oil and smoke stains makes surfaces dirty, working or abandoned huge devices clutter spaces..
It's because we know, we feel, that our civilization has been made by those now embarrassing giants, with all their pageant of polluted waters and skies, of hard noises, of desolate skylines...
A wide range of places and of meanings can be found in that abundance: from passionate and toy-like remakes of old, glorious industrial towns in Steampunk lands, to sad and tragically impressive post-apocalyptic places; from busy and technologically advanced factories to lonely and decayed ones. Many SL places suggest to us how exciting has been to see powerful machines do the work of thousands of men, and how expensive it has been (and still is) for our world to have these big  companions of men.
As always happens with those contradictions, we are attracted by all these aspects and meanings of industrial shapes and places.
I walked through a lot of SIMs and lands looking for famous or hidden factories and workshops, riding distressed roads, watching dirty buildings, meeting mysterious engines. I wanted to catch with my photographer's eye and tools the atmosphere, the feelings, the suggestions that arise from their apparent mess and sadness. Smelling the sour scent of steel and oil, watching infinite repeats of the same mechanical moves, and then working on my pics to crop a fascinating detail, or to enhance a neat skyline, made me fall in love with those bold metal structures, with the endless brick walls, with the broken or working hot engines.
My love for Art Deco style - a design code that matches the industrial age - made me discover and appreciate the care some builders have taken of industrial shapes' aestethic, and the same care the SL builders did take in reproducing it.
Some time ago i got impressed by the story of the huge Battersea Power Station in London, an Art Deco masterpiece of industrial architecture, now distressed and abandoned. I made a model of it here in SL, to celebrate the powerful and great beauty of the huge building. Then SL made me discover the appeal of virtual trains, stations and railways. Now i try to show that even other smaller buildings, even less fascinating corners of railways and train workshops, even dirty factories' rooms can have their own attractions and meanings.   
In RL, wealth came from them in the past and is still coming, Its cost is huge, but we have learned to reduce it. Here we can look at them as harmless and familiar shapes that humans have built to increase their power and wealth, sometimes even trying to make them beautiful and stylish.



Stripes. A world seen through a crack

We see the world framed.
Although eyes have a dynamic frame, when we shoot anything, we close it into a static one. Borders, limits, proportions crop the reality, giving us a first way to manage subjects, even before thinking of composition. Painters and photographers know it very well: things are never complete in a painting or in a photo. Outside it there's always something that our image cuts off. Everything is linked to the whole world.
Images' shape defines this cut, changing our look, enhancing or hiding or even changing relations between the subject and the whole. Did you ever try focusing the same subject on a 6x6 cm Hasselblad or Rollei and on a standard 24x36 mm reflex? Or, more simply, looking at a street from a square window or from a round one? Wide pc screens changed even our way to look at the virtual world: SL photography has changed since they've become the users' standard. The wider perspective made images not only clearer, but it gave them a different atmosphere.
Frame is a constraint and contraints are a push for creativity. It changes our way to see the world, and changes the way we want to make seeing our world to others.
I tried to take advantage from a quite unusual format: I made pictures in a roughly 4:1 format, or I cropped to that format pictures I had taken in more traditional shapes. It's like I had taken my pictures from a narrow window or from a wide chink.
The horizontal world I obtained - even when subject shape was vertical - looks to me as a quiet and peaceful one. Gaze proceeds slowly, following the image's width, and discovers unespected details. We do READ the image, rather than look at it.
Even vertical objects get enhanced by horizontal format: they look like brutal cuts on a path, or they crowd the space aligning themselves in a sequence.
Moreover, horizontal pictures often have void spaces. They enhance the void, and - reciprocally - the object portrayed. Empty spaces on the sides of the subject aren't the nothing, they are other subjects that give meaning and importance to the main one.
Finally,  in an horizontal image, top and bottom are closer. We can master sky and ground at the same time, in a glimpse. Evaluating their contast, but also seeing how they are not so far in the reality.
Words can't say all, when subjects are images, so I don't add anything more here, leaving to my pictures the task of telling the many other meanings I wanted to see in them.



Past Future. Courses of Art Deco style


Art Deco is the 20th century style. Better: all styles – in architecture, paintings, fashion and others – developed since 1920s have common features, defined Art Deco.
It's the style of the speakeasy era, but also of the jazz, of the great espressionist movies, and of the great skyscrapers. Art Deco, with its different accents, is widespread all over the world, but in America seems to find its major and most original developments in architecture and design.
It’s a style that expresses and is related to outstanding features of the 1920s history: industrialisation, colonization, new materials, a luxury market but also a wider and more demanding popular one.
Art Deco style has its roots in the Modernism (Art Nouveau) and in more styles of the beginning of the century (as Jugendstyl), but it owns its inspirations to egyptian archaeology, to african art, to neogothic taste, to futurist painting. It’s related to the great development of the knowledge of primitive culture through colonialism, of the industry and design, of the luxurious taste for precious and original materials, but even to the aim to give a simple style for everyone’s and everyday’s life through industrial production of objects.
The style is featured by simple and geometric lines and shapes, luxurious decors, exotic, rare and precious materials (such as woods coming from the European colonies, burls and briar) or new ones like bakelite, aluminium and chrome plated metals, reflecting  the industrial culture of the time.
Its taste is at the same time simple and glamorous, and it’s based on smooth colors, shining surfaces,  extreme care of color matching.
This look is best seen in furniture, which evolved from the dark and still floral patterns of the 1900s to lighter and more geometric furnishing. On the other hand, it's noteworthy that objects and buildings imitate each others as to shapes and decorations.
Art Deco opens a way to the future: the Metropolis imagined by Fritz Lang in 1927 is not far from the New York or Chicago skyscraper’s landscape. It isn't strange that the great American Fairs of the 30s (Chicago, New York) celebrated the forthcoming "future world".  
This exhibit shows many aspect of the Art Deco: it's virtually shared out between some "sections": skyscrapers, interiors, decoration patterns... since I wanted to symbolize some of the style’s features taking pics of opulent of building's entrances or of the proud and bold high buildings expressed by monumental tops.
The exhibit is also the result of a passion, my passion for history, art and visual culture. A passion for a world where harmony and good taste join experiments and quest for originality.



Found in the Attic


Faded, scratched, stained, coming from an imaginary far past, and bearing all the signs of the time,  these pics are a homage to my passion for retro styles. They are thought as ancestor's portraits, or as memories of past travels and trips. I enjoyed the great stuff that many fashion designers and SIM builders of SL offer and i tried to catch the spirit and the taste of 1920-1940 times, to whom I dedicate much of my work in SL.
I'm not good in roleplaying, but I enjoy very much the past atmospheres of places like 1920 Berlin or Paris 1900 or Seraph City or Swing Times or even a lot of other amazing SL places. I enjoy very much as well the pleasure to wear fashion masterpieces, like Donna Flora's or Sonatta Morales' clothes are.
I want to suggest a travel in the memory, this great tool that can save the best from the past and can make the good things of taste and beauty to live, although being aware that past times have been not always happy.
Technical tools allow us to improve quality of our pics, but in this case the game is spoiling and scaring them, so that they can show the hurt times make, along with the fascination of the surviving images. They say that scratches or fading can't hide the memory of beauty.


 

Second Deco. Art Deco places in SL

Art Deco is the 20th century style. Better: all styles – in architecture, paintings, fashion and others – developed between 1920s and 1940s have common features, then defined Art Deco. This is mostly for decorative arts and architecture, but people speak of Art Deco also for the industrial and fashion design, painting and other arts.
This also means that Art Deco has a very large variety of roots and developments, according to the different national cultures in which it spreads, and to the different decades in the past century.
It’s a style that expresses and is related to outstanding features of the 20th century history: industrialisation, new materials, a luxury market but also a wider and more demanding popular one, colonization and relations of the Western world with exotic ones.
It’s the style of Jazz, of the classical Noir movies, of the Hollywood golden age, of the American bourgeois literature, of totalitarianisms or of democracies in Europe; but it’s also the style of many colonial cities, from India to Australia.
This style is featured by simple and geometric lines and shapes, luxurious decors, rare materials (such as woods coming from the European colonies) or new ones like plastic, coming from the industrialization.
Its taste is at the same time simple and glamorous, and it’s based on smooth colors, shining surfaces,  extreme care of color matching. All that is very well shown by furniture and décor, displayed at their best in the classical Hollywood movies.
Changes in the time are remarkable: since the traditional birth date of the Exposition des Artes Decoratives of Paris in 1925 we can see a style opposite to the naturalist and floral one of the Art Nouveau, proposing more geometric lines and bringing in features coming from ancient or exotic cultures, such as the egyptian or the Africans ones. This is the age of the great masters of decoration, like the great French furniture designer Ruhlman, whose creation are shown in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
The second step is its landing in America: managed by the great architects who had began to build skyscrapers in the first years of the century, the Art Deco style turns towards an architecture that mixes even more geometric elements to gothic decorations, leading to a decor style simple but opulent, mostly defined by a wise use of color palettes. In architecture, the style brings towards the solemnity of great public buildings or to the great design of Frank Lloyd Wright and then of the Streamline.
The last style development are American as well. In the 50s, architecture and popular taste go towards something that has been commonly called Rockabilly. In Europe, many elements of the Art Deco style follow being present in these years’ art and architecture. 
Such a big phenomenon couldn’t not affect Second Life building: the taste of SL builders is shared by retro styles and avantgarde. Aside of the Victorian Steampunk or of 18th century costumes, Art deco is one of the more widespread styles in architecture, fashion and decor of the retro and vintage SIMs. A good SL overview  of this style in RL is the exhibit managed by Cecilia Delacroix  (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Schwanson %20Schlegel/113/136/22).
This exhibit, more of documentary photos than artworks, wishes to witness this spread, in a moment when many Art Deco creations and SIMs disappear or are changed by owners, as occurred to the wonderful Vagabond SIM, demolished in these days, to Harlow SIM, closed since almost one year, or to Patch Tibaud Auditorium, recently rebuilt in contemporary style.
The exhibit is also the result of a passion, the one Melusina gets for history, art and visual culture. A passion for a world where harmony and good taste join experiments and quest for originality or go together with the reproduction of a disappeared real world.
I want to thank all friends who helped me, from the creators of the SIMs and buildings I shot, to those who manage some of the most amazing places of the retro and vintage SL, like 1920 Berlin, Paris 1900, Seraph City, Old Hollywood, Esoterica, where I’m honored to keep shops of my brand Melu Deco, devoted to Art Deco furnishing.



Tales of Shadow and Light 

Light and Shadow are the main substances of photography, of the virtual world, of every reality we can see.
Light and Shadow are symbols, too: Good and Evil, Life and Death, Joy and Sorrow.
They are inseparable friends or sisters, like a great italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi, said of Love and Death.
I can't refrain to shot Light or Shadow when I go through Second Life: any kind of Light, any kind of Shadow: soft or violent, sharp or dull, natural or human; they fix borders or they make them fade.
I'll add to all this that the exhibit has its rythm: you'll see set of more abstract images alternated with more figurative ones. However our protagonists will be always Light and Shadow, don't mind if it's a pic of a lamp or a labyrinth of mysterious and dark paths.
I hope who watches my pictures can read in them the same Souls I've found in the scenes I tried to catch.


Solitudes


Solitude is a plural word. We can be alone in the most crowded places, we can find loneliness in a town street as well as in a desert. Solitude can be desperation but also peacefulness, just rest or push to fill the void.
Second Life adds new dimensions to these feelings: large spaces, few people, empty landscapes or buildings make us feel all the appeal of an uncrowded world. It can be slightly sad, but it makes us talk with things, lights, shapes. And they have a lot to tell.
I took a lot of pictures of lonely places that fascinated me. Here I want to show a little preview of a larger set of photos.



Simetrias. Un mundo de formas regulares



Second Life es un mundo más geométrico que el real. Sus materiales básicos -los prims- son formas que no tienen dudas, con sus líneas duras y con sus ángulos a veces molestos. Pero hay aún más: la copia, la repetición de formas y de texturas idénticas, así sencilla y fácil, desvela, en todas  las composiciones de objetos, cuanto de artificial hay en la construcción.
Un mundo de réplicas, como si las ideas de las cosas no cambiaran encarnándose en objectos específicos. Es el reino de las simetrías, entonces, un reino en que falta casi totalmente la imperfección de la naturaleza, la diferencia entre los seres y entre las cosas llega a ser mínima.
Pero la simetría no está solo en las formas, sino en los ojos que las ven: la selección que el ojo -o la cámara- va haciendo para percibir la realidad exterior construye simetrías, quiere ver un orden, para dar sentido a las cosas y a las relaciones que necesita ver entre ellas.
Estas fotos recortan la realidad de este mundo subrayando su lado simétrico, o por los menos, geométrico. Las lineas puras, sencillas, las repeticiones de objectos iguales, arreglados según esquemas claros y correspondientes a nuestro deseo de entenderlos (y de utilizarlos) dan tranquilidad, serenidad. Un mundo ordenado según lineas geométricas desecha el miedo, hace aparecer la realidad fácil de manipular. Pero la imperfección es vida, y el orden excesivo se acerca a la muerte. Así, aún en las formas mas coloradas, aún en los diseños mas intrincados, muy a menudo aparece la tristeza, la soledad.
Queremos ver el máximo de orden, pero cuando eso se muestra, el frío de la inmovilidad nos sugiere inquietudes y se une a la serenidad de los paisajes y de los detalles.
El conjunto de descanso del espíritu y de turbación que nos coge enfrente de un mundo de sombras demasiado precisas, de perfiles demasiado secos es un énfasis del mismo conjunto que no vemos y vivimos cada día en cualquier vida, real o virtual.
Ver las simetrías y las geometrías, construirlas, recortarlas con los ojos y con el cerebro es una experiencia que no podemos rehuir, y somos afortunadas y afortunados con el vivir en una realidad que nos enseña con mas claridad como tristeza y placer salen juntos de las cosas del mundo, así como son hermanos el Amor y la Muerte.


Photo Anthology 

Pictures in this exhibit come from different series, named The bright side of Life, Vintage Image: Details from a glamorous past, Second Deco: Art Deco places in Second Life, Symmetries: a world of regular shapes.
So, their themes and styles are different: places, moments, nature, shapes, artifacts... but they have the same footprint: minimalism. Empty spaces - enhanced by large white frames  - lonely landscapes, straight and simple shapes, basic color palette.
I'm also a vintage furniture builder, I specialize in Art Deco: despite luxury and rich materials, this style is based on simple geometric shapes, it does feed by Bauhaus, Rationalism, Cubism, Futurism, clear and rigorous  lines of Frank Lloyd Wright design. Combining and repeating simple shapes, playing with empty and full spaces, Art Deco gives to our eyes a taste of neat, expressing glamour and richness through linearity.
My shots wish to catch essential shapes of nature and human artifacts, that's their essential meaning. Second Life helps a lot in this: its regular lines, its hard edges, its wide and often lonely spaces show very well those essential meanings.
Meanings we can find also in details, when the look deletes the whole imagine and enhances a small, meaningful part of it. Meanings we can find in light and shadow, immaterial materials of the image, like immaterial are the materials which make Second Life avatars, objects and lands.



Vintage image. Details from a glamorous past


The exhibit i make is the outcome of a double travel: a travel in the times and a travel in the space.
I wanted to catch details coming from a time when luxury, glamour, good taste were the keywords in fashion, building, music, art and cinema.
A time full of diversity and contrasts, but
The other travel is in the space: in a world where distances are always shorter, thanks to speedy media, I could go through wonderful places, catching a special floor like that i shot at Curio, a great door decoration in Seraph City, an exciting ballroom in 1920 Berlin, great furniture and decor in Stylissimo...
A famous italian writer, Italo Calvino, wrote in one of his novels: "the pen go through the sheet leaded by the same push that makes you run through streets; as you don't plan what you'll write in the next line, you don't know if, turning a corner, you might meet a flaming dragon, a barbarian crowd, or a new love". Traveling, writing, taking photographs are quite similar adventures: they give us the opportunity of discovering, if we are able to feel the spirit of the words, of the places, of the objects and of the women and men who stay behind them.
Objects, hair, jewels, gloves, stockings, or hands, eyes, arms and legs..
Blured, coarse grained, faded... imagines coming from the past, bearing all the scars of the elapsed time.
Fragments from a past reality we can imagine only made of luxury, taste and glamour.
Memory is a good care: we can forget the blood and the pain of those days, while we can't do the same with our ones.
Illusions and dreams are our food, here in SL, and filtering the past can be useful to learn from it the good things and keep them with us.
So, i wanted to show only fragments: meaningful details that give meaning to a fragmented and selected memory. Actually, elegance and fascination often lay in details...
These pictures are dedicated to all women who made great the past century by their taste and their intelligence: from Marlene Dietrich to Virginia Woolf, from Josephine Baker to Lillian Hellman.
They and many others inspired me, and SL allowed me to wear their dresses and to live in their places



Visioni







City's Two Faces
Las dos caras de la ciudad

This exhibit is another chapter of a long story in my work as a SL photographer.
I love working on themes and styles. After Art Deco, Minimalism and landscapes, I dedicated some works to the many aspects of urban culture: the City Landscapes exhibit at Dryland, the Urban Blues slideshow on You Tube, the exhibit City Details at ImagineNation Gallery and now this show, focusing the double-sided reality of the urban environments created in SL.
Cities are our homes, and we can imagine them as a well ordered world, made by pleasant streets, beautiful buildings, lovely corners. Pride and opulence, grace and home warm are the inspiration of several great places of SL.
On the other side, our contrasting feelings about cities generated in SL a lot of dark, decayed and distressed places, that express the sadness we can see every day in our RL cities, or that foresee the decay many of them seems to be condamned to. Lonely and sad outskirts, abandoned or polluting factories, dangerous dark alleys, gloomy landscapes of huge and squalid buildings populate our imaginery of cities like fair views do.
I wanted to catch both views of the urban reality, as it's depicted in SL. I wandered through RP or commercial SIMs, replicas of RL cities, urban community spaces... The result of this quest has been a collection of contrasting images, that I want to share with the visitors of this exhibit.
As any artwork does, these photos can make smile or cry. This is our life, both First and Second one.

                                                                              ****

Esta exposición es un capitulo más de una larga historia de mi trabajo como fotógrafa en SL.
Me hace ilusiñn trabajar sobre temas y estylos; después del Arte Deco, del Minimalismo y del paisaje,
he dedicado unos trabajos a los distintos aspectos de la relidad urbana: la exposición City Landscapes
en Dryland, el slideshow Urban Blues en You Tube, la exposición City Details a ImagineNation Gallery
y ahora esta misma, cuio enfoque está en las dos caras que muestran los medioambientes urbanos que han
sido creados en SL.
Las ciudades son nuestras casas y podemos imaginarlas como mundos bien ordenados, hechos de calles
y edificios hermosos, de rincones agradables. Orgullo y opulencia, gracia y calor de los hogares son
las inspiraciones de muchos bellos sitios de SL.
Por otra parte, nuestros sentimientos contrastantes hacia las ciudades generó en SL muchos sitios
obscuros, decaidos, gastados; esos representan la tristeza que podemos ver cada día en nuestras
ciudades de RL, o aún preveen la decadencia a la cual muchos entre ellas parecen condemnadas.
Periferías tristes y solitarias, fábricas abandonadas o causando polución, paisajes sombríos de
edificios enormes y desolados, hacen parte de nuestra imagen de las ciudades así como los más hermosos panoramas.
He querido coger ambas estas imagenes de la realidad urbana, así como esta representada en SL.
He viajado a través de SIM de role playing, réplicas de ciudades reales, lugares de comunidades
urbanas... El resultado de esta investigación es una colección de photos contrastantes, que he querido
compartir con los visitantes de esta exposición.
Como qualquiera obra de arte, estas photos pueden nos hacer sonreír o llorar.
Esta es nuestra vida, tanto la Primera como la Segunda.


Themes


I can never get tired of exploring Second Life. For more than 5 years of virtual visits and photographs I refined my eye and I learned to choose subjects according to themes. Although I do prefer realistic environments and bulidings, and although I don't shoot avatars but only places, the variety of subjects I've shot is huge. Despite that, a personal style has grown over time, and all my pictures tend to be minimalistic in terms of image or colors and lights.

Asked by my friend Simonh Sandhal for exhibiting my work at his gallery, I've taken advantage of his kindness and avalaibility, since he allowed me to display a large number of pictures, so I could show a wide range of my different inspirations' examples.

I wanted to mix up photographs related to one of my favorite theme, SOLITUDE, with images focused on DETAILS or on special subjects like INDUSTRY landscapes or URBAN environments. But I wanted also to pair them up with some examples of pure MINIMALISM and some more traditional - but even featured with my own style - LANDSCAPE pictures.

It's easy to remark that these distinctions are somewhat artificial: a lonely industrial landscape or a minimalist shot of a details can belong to each of these categories. The aims of my photography are always the same: showing how fantasy and skills of SL residents made a world that reflects the main features of the natural or human environment's common imaginery; witnessing how landscapes or details or buildings recall feelings deeply rooted into our souls and minds. There are some recurring themes and images in representing RL world in SL: they are like "semiotic ghosts" (according to William Gibson) that all of us share in our minds. That doesn't mean they are trivial or not original: their recurrence shows how collective feelings shape our world's view and how they strongly feature a world made by ourselves.


Closer looks
Photos by Melusina Parkin

Watching things from close up is an amazing practice. Isolating an element or a detail in a scene, focusing on it, is like when you repeat a word in your mind until it does lose its meaning: it starts then revealing unespected associations, suggesting unusual relationships, showing unforeseen details in it.
When photographed, the most trivial object, thanks to framing, light, shadows and colors handling can acquire a completely different meaning than its own actual or usual one.
This is what I tried to do in these photos. Enhancing the evocative power of daily life objects and landscapes, showing them out of their context or catching their hidden fascination by camera framing and lighting.
SL gives us the chance to create the most unusual things. I try rather to tell how even common objects can lead us to look reality in unexpected ways. It can contribute to make our minds less lazy, to increase our creativity and to avoid being flattened by triviality and conformism.

 "Let nothing be called natural
In an age of bloody confusion,
Ordered disorder, planned caprice,
And dehumanized humanity, lest all things
Be held unalterable!"

(B.Brecht, The exception and the rule, 1937)


**********

Mirar con detalle

Observar las cosas con detalle es interesante. Aislar elementos o detalles en una escena, enfocarlos es como cuando se repite una palabra en la mente hasta que esa no pierde su significado: esa empeza revelar asociaciones inesperadas, sugerir relaciones inusuales, eneseñar aparenciass imprevistas.
El objecto mas comun, si lo fotografamos, puede adquirir un sentido totalmente distinto del normal, gracias a la composición, a la luz, a los colores y a las sombras.
Eso es lo que intenté hacer con estas fotos. Destacar el poder de sugestion de los objectos y de los paisajes de la vida cotidiana, enseóandolos fuera de su contexto o cogendo su fascinación a través del encuadre y de la iluminación de la camera.
SL nos da la oportunidad de crear las cosas mas raras. En cambio, quiero enseñar como tambien los objectos mas comunes pueden conducirnos a mirar a la realidad de manera inusual. Eso puede ayudar nuestras mentes a ser menos perecidas, puede acrecer nuestra creadividad y impedirnos ser achatados para la banalidad y la conformidad.

"No acepten lo habitual
como una cosa natural.
Pues en tiempos de confusion organizada,
de arbitrariedad consciente,
de humanidad deshumanizada,
nada debe ser natural,
nada debe ser imposible de cambiar"

(B. Brecht, La excepción y la regla, 1937)



Wrong pics


Despite the exhibit's title, I didn't pick up my worst photos from the wastebin: these pics are the outcome of a long work of selecting, re-thinking and editing quite good photos, with the aim of enhancing a meaning the subject could inspire, by extreme manipulations of their features. Thus, the "error" is helpful in giving the picture of Las Vegas a sense of  triviality through the exaggerate saturation, or in making a lonely place more desolate by stressing grain and muting colors. Or even in making a portrait "pixelated" by enlarging it from a full body pic, obtaining a photo that challenges the extreme cleaniless of fashion photography.
An outstanding photography scholar, Clement Cheroux, wrote a book titled "Fautographie" (from the french "faute", error, pronounced "phot(e)"), that tells how photographic "error" has been consciously used as a technique for proposing innovative and provocative aesthetics. I tried to show here how meaningful messages can result from this practice.


Outskirts

I was born in a periphery: my childhood's panorama was made by gasometers, factories, broad lonely streets, gateways, warehouses, high dazzling streetlamps, even a small power station.
My playgrounds have been desert fields covered by dry grass and populated by cars' wrecks; the abandoned factory close to my home has been my haunted house; I remember as a magic the mist raising over lonely streets, along old railways where slow and dirty cargo trains were mysterious monsters who could kill me.
I loved all that.
It was a world full with busy and often tired people, where work was a blessing and a damnation, where aestethics was banned at a point that uglyness became aestethics.
And I still love that.
Although fascinated by simple, clean and sophisticated libes and stylkes, I feel myself at home when I walk a street between dirty walls showing ironic, rebel or desperate writings, or when I can stay admiring a huge brick building with hugh, obscure windows open on the void.
This exhibit is a tribute toi the sad poetry of neglected and hated plaves: if so many people do build them in SL, it means that my love isn't a whim of a snob soul.


Absences


Absence is a negative concept: it means that something should be there and it doesn't. So, when we look at an empty place - a room, a seashore, a road or even a chair - we can't avoid thinking of something or somebody who has been or will be there. That's even more true when a world, including nature and landscape, is entirely made by humans, like Second Life does.
Things are talking about their creators, whose thoughts and feelings have shaped a scenery where a play is expected to take place. They keep the footprints of the thoughts and of the feelings of whom have created them. Empty spaces are occupied by thoughts, feelings and dreams.
On the other hand, looking at empty spaces is stimulating: when humans aren't there they can be everything. I love imagining what has happened in a place when people has gone. Or what will happen when it will be populated by people. Spaces and objects shape our behavior: they are the limits or the starts of our actions and of our imagination.
I'm not completely aware of these thoughts when I take a photograph, but when a detail, a color shade, a light catches my eye and pushes me to freeze it in a photo, I think it happens 'cause they suggest me an atmosphere that any word, any human presence could better express.
We live in a crowded world, and loneliness, even when it can appear sad, is something that all of us secretly desire. The void is a potential, not a lack: a blank sheet can be filled with any word, while a written one forces us to read just the words somebody else wrote.

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