He asked everyone what they did and made 3, sometimes 4 sentences with them. He was brief yet attentive and relevant, he shared himself. Some fans treated him like a relic, a living museum piece that was being toured around the world, others treated him like the Pope or a Guru figure, a supreme voice of reason. But I wanted to to see him as a barfly, a guy with just another opinion,a know it all.I just couldn't get there. (Click On Photo)
On a quiet rainy Saturday afternoon small groups gathered at Westlake Center in the heart of Downtown Seattle. For many including myself this was our first BLM Rally, there was a rigidity in the air, the weather was shitty and the turnout seemed low. But they kept coming, most in groups but some alone. At 5:30 I counted 3 dozen, at 6 maybe 70, by 7 over 200. The cold rain seemed to act as a stimulant, something tangible to fight against in the moment. There were speeches, tangents, interruptions by outside parties, by 8 the crowd stood 300 strong and were riled up, ready to March.
The march began right after 8, this stew of humanity consisted of everyone you could think of. Middle aged white women,queer black women,kids,cops,beatniks reliving their childhoods,hot news anchors,black nationalist,christian extremist,thrill seeking photographers,scared onlookers,night and rain. We stampeded down from 3rd and Pine, hit 1st and marched all the way down to a fan packed Safeco Field, we shed over half the crowd by the time we made it too the stadium, The Mariners lost by 1.
I left the March at Safeco exhausted and satisfied yet puzzled, there was something essential lacking. It seems the movement isn't quite a movement, it's a blast of ideas and energy, a supernova, with the potential to produce more organized effective forms of social dialogue. To survive it needs to evolve, I'd rather not see it devolve into a voice that solely relies on slogans,celebrity activism and feel good rhetoric. The near future's unclear, one thing,s for certain though, I'll be back for more.
In a #city as #fast and dense as #hongkong I didn't want to #break #movement I wanted to move with everybody and be part of it. There was so much activity I knew if I merely filled the #frame the compositions would make themselves. I shot from the waist at 28mm, I saw something and I #shot as I walked, It's very exciting to sift through the #photos and see what worked. Because I wasn't shooting with my #eye I don't have distinct #memories when most of this series was shot, it was simply a moment with other humans living their lives, I'm deeply fulfilled.
Jon had some new material he recorded, this song caught my ear and gave me some interesting visuals about youth but I didn't know how I could fulfill them. I ended up handing over my 8mm film camera to band mate Jeff Anderson and his son Bjorn to create their own story and something I could work off of in the editing room. We ended up making something that adds to the song, there,s an honesty about it and it's visually unique.
If you liked what you heard look into the tags below, Jon Atkins and Jeff Anderson are in the northwest band Moon Dial-There is Also a link to Jon,s Solo Work.
In the winter of 2014 I found myself on a half broken Greyhound rocketing towards Chicago at midnight. Looking out the window at infinite white plains and cold blank air, the full moon stared back at me and questioned itself. The Hound made heavy aching sounds as the bus driver held tight to the wheel. Her posture was stiff and I could tell she was nervous, something had gone wrong. We'd left Jackson, Michigan about an hour before and it'd been around 10 degrees. With the sun down out in the open desolate farmland, the temperature had dropped to negative fifteen.
There were less than twenty people on the bus. Some college kids from Ann Arbor had jumped on and were sleeping. From what I could see only the bus driver, myself, and an Amish couple were awake. No cars passed us and besides the stars, there was only three twinkles of light out on the horizon. Me and the driver were very concerned yet the Amish couple seemed very relaxed. I observed them to keep my stress at bay. I asked myself, "Do they know if this bus breaks down we're fucked? Are they so docile because they don't know the sound of mechanical failure? Or maybe their faith is so strong there alright with whatever happens?". I was content with that last answer because it was cinematic enough to convince me everything was going to be okay. Then out of the blue this little Amish women pulled out a giant bag of doritos and began to eat them and not in a normal way. She started off slow and then began to savagely waste them like an ungodly peasant. There are only two possibilities, I thought. Either she doesn't get to eat processed food on the farm and she’s getting her fill while she’s off the reservation or she knows we're in deep shit and has lost her composure. I resigned as long as Father Amish kept his cool, I was gonna keep my cool. But then he threw a chip in his mouth. At that moment I knew I had to go deeper to the safety of my thoughts. Back to where I had just come from, The D.
I spent a week in the Detroit area visiting family. Most of my time was spent west of Detroit in Dearborn but I spent time all around the city. These pictures were taken from a car as these areas were not ideal for walking.I kept vigilant with my 40mm to find metaphors that I could later ponder over when I had time to think. A great feature of East Coast cities is the age of the structures. Sure, Detroit is a baby compared to other world cities and has had less up keep but in the grit and decay lies a message. The archaic brick and crumbling art deco scream the city's heyday- when it was the world's main exporter of automobiles and an epicenter of music and culture. The sharp steel and hard brick were a testament to both the American worker and the American Dream.
The collapse of Detroit was brought about from both internal and external forces. The cities dependency on automotive production, an inability to diversify, long standing political and racial tension, union disputes, outsourcing, the rise of technology, financial mismanagement, depopulation and multiple economic collapses led to the city,s demise. Driving through town in the bitter cold, there was some disbelief in witnessing the structural collapse of an American city. Looking out the window a chill went down my spine as my understanding of the country changed. I think about that ride more often than I would like to. That change in me is what made the city a gem- it's naked and cannot mask itself. Detroits message is larger than Detroit. Driving into downtown there was a blatant visual trope no one could miss. Boarded up shops and failed commerce looked inward to a preserved heavily policed metropolitan area. GM headquarters stood resting on the Detroit River, a gleaming citadel bailed out by the Fed. "The Emperor Has No Clothes" would be an understatement, The Emperor is cold, naked and has frostbite.
I found myself waking to the sounds of civilization and a woman's tired screeching voice over the bus intercom. We were moving slowly, maybe 40 mph and I watched traffic move around the bus and merge back to a seamless form heading towards massive glass columns. Most of the passengers slept the whole ride. The Amish couple had fulfilled their munchies and were asleep. The bus arrived in downtown Chicago around three a.m, coasting in on the Hound’s broken leg.