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Created: April 2, 2004
Latest Update: April 2, 2004
THE SEASON OF ROGERíS DATE BOOK: One Manís Life in Money, Meetings and Cliff Island, Maine. Written by Caitie Whelan, Photographs by Letitia Spangler. Backup. No, there were no photographs. Could you consider adding some visual to this lovely piece by some other means?
These were quick drawings designed to capture the image I read of Roger. I was fascinated by his quiet, abbreviated "Couple of questions." What would those questions have been? What does one ask when one is trying to take some personal responsibility for the forests of one's dreams and imaginations. Here is an Other, answering, simply, but with focus. How I would like to know what he asked! And how that helps me feel what I imagine what Bakhtin must have meant when he asked what shall I say to one, like Roger, who can answer?
I think I made Roger too young. But playing with them gave me something to react to; otherwise, I might never have known that they didn't fit my image. Maybe you could find a photo or a picture somewhere that better fits the image of Roger this piece elicits in your mind. I threw in a quick forest that looks a bit more like a garden. Notice how the colors change the affect. Color is so much a part of our world today, we can't not be aware of it, for to do so is to miss a great deal of the message. I used bright colors because the little Corel set I'm using doesn't offer much else. But I see Roger more in paler, smoky colors against an autumn skyline of color pale from distance.
If you were to see my picture as you read the story, would that alter your reaction to the story? I ask you to consider this because I am concerned that we recognize the effect of the art and advertising that surround us continually. Billions of dollars are spent to make us feel good about buying a coca cola or owning a specific kind of car. Where does the "feel good" come from? How are we presuaded to want the things we buy, the things we imagine we want?
I found the brief piece on Roger at the Salt Gallery compelling. I've been thinking about Roger for hours now. Who is he? And I don't mean in an everyday reality sense. Who is he in terms of one of us, presumably in the US, who is considering how to honor what he seems to believe to be his responsibilitiy to preserve a piece of the American dream? Is he young? old? Does he care about some of the same things I do? What could I talk to him about? What values do we share? What does he care enough about to pledge $25,000?
I don't think that any of the four paintings above would stop me cold in my tracks and make me want to talk to Roger. But the short biography did. What do I need to know about visual sociology to create that same effect visually? For the visual has a faster, more emotional impact. My training was in the verbal. What do I need to do to learn to incorporate the visual of the 21st Century?
Why does it matter? Because only by understanding who all these Others are, in their full complexity, will we bond solidly enough to make a commitment to the interpersonal relationships (that we form anyway) to take responsibility for the world we live in. No, we can't know everyone. But we can raise our awareness of the humanity and ethics involved when we act according to what we do know and share.
Now this is closer to what I had in mind when I was thinking of Roger:
And this is even closer to the colors in which I imagined it:
I just can't leave poor Roger alone. Now, I've come back on Saturday night and tried to capture the narrative again:
Person asking Other to give back to the culture,
to preserve what is still wild and free.
This time the colors suit me better. I like the pastels, with Roger and the solicitor in black. The words help tell the story, and the city words are less important, so not in black. But I want to see the whole thing through a cloud, soften the colors, let some of it fade out. But not with the little Corel Photo House program. This still focuses on the story, not on Roger. And Roger fascinates me. I needs oils and acrylics to do portraiture. Someone find a photo, or capture that enigma of an Other, who is thinking responsibly and assuming one role of governance. I want to see him better. Such is the power of the visual. jeanne. Late Saturday night.
Later Saturday night: Now, if I could just scope in on that Other, Roger, contemplating his commitment to give back to the culture. I'd like to know and understand him. How do we retain that part of the liberty provided by earning an income, when work is so distorted? Can we still give back? And if we cannot, what will be lost?