In college, with no money for film, I walked around with an empty camera, clicking the shutter at moments. I remember being vaguely aware that these phantom photographs were not ‘of something’ I was seeing, but were the result of moments of fleeting connectedness to where I was. Moments of feeling part of something immense.
In the early 1990’s, I found a way to describe these experiences in language borrowed from theology and religion. For a brief time it helped me justify or explain what the images “were about.”
But despite and because of this justification, I had made a gross error. I had begun to make a project out of these ‘connections’, and had gone out seeking them. Eventually, I realized it doesn’t work that way - thinking that moments of connectedness appear as a result of seeking them. The images I was seeking were nowhere to be seen, because they didn’t exist. They would happen only after I had stopped looking for them.
But I didn’t know that then. By 1994 I stopped making art altogether. I literally packed it away.
In the fall of 2004, I spent an afternoon with Sol LeWitt, and talked about a range of topics, including why I had stopped making art. A lot of time has gone by since that conversation. I have come to terms with the fact that the only art I can make is the art that I have only ever been able to make – records of very specific, fleeting moments of connectedness – sometimes in the most sterile of places. My photographs are not ‘of’ those places, but are the remains of those experiences, residue of moments of connectedness.
These images are not about places. They are about moments of immediate connectedness, moments of being. These images are of what remains.