Saturday, February 7, 2009


Recently on a flight to Chicago I read Albert Camus' The Stranger. Without giving away the details, it is a story that deals with how absurd humanity and existence is in the grand scheme of an otherwise indifferent universe. The main character at the end of the book is in prison and has an epiphany.

I too felt ready to start life all over again. It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean - emptied me of hope - and gazing up at the dark skies spangled with the stars and signs, for the first time - the first - I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.

It is this moment of clarity where the main character accepts his fate and understands his place in this world "indeed, so brotherly". 

Although his situation is rather bleak, the idea of embracing the world with all its inherent beauties and fallibilities ran through my head a lot last night. I thought of the two different conversations i had with my friends Eléna and Jenn about connections and about what we hope to accomplish in our lives, respectively. All this before I picked up my camera. 

I was stuck on the idea that, somehow, fleeting moments have the capacity to change a life fundamentally and, while the universe may be cold and indifferent, what remains is our ability to do more, to grow and accomplish things in the wake of these moments. In some way can we be the architects or auteurs of our own moments?


This is the first time i have included the full bios. Some of the answers are amazing.

Anne: Occupation Graduate Student & Instructor 
Political Affiliation
Ethnicity Caucasian 
Marital Status Single 

Clay: Occupation I Do What I Want 
Political Affiliation Democrat 
Religion Love Others 
Ethnicity White 
Marital Status Bachelor till Rapture 

Ian: Occupation Student/Dishwasher 
Political Affiliation Barry Obammy 
Religion (Not) Jewish 
Ethnicity White As Hell 
Marital Status Single As Hell 

Eléna: Occupation Student 
Political Affiliation Democrat 
Marital Status

Zvia: Occupation Student 
Political Affiliation No Idea 
Religion Jewish 
Ethnicity New Yorker 
Marital Status Single 

Agnes: Occupation Student 
Political Affiliation Democrat 
Religion Catholic 
Ethnicity Caucasian 
Marital Status Celibate 


Because we're all family


  1. Outstanding J!!! I am LOVING these shots. And LOVING that your minister put the mooch on your grad student. A beaut, to be sure. You know what else I'm loving? In all our talk of bridging divides and all the points you made in your "About the Project" post (you're in somewhat conservative NC, I'm in liberal NY; you're a boy, I'm a girl), something else I'm observing in our respective photographs is that you often photograph the night and I photograph the day, and I love how the result pans out. The quality and texture that gives to our project makes me so happy! Though I admit, I want to get some fiery photos, too. Maybe I can find some passion on these city streets tonight.
    Loved this post. Keep the fires burning.

  2. oh wow. you are totally right. i hadn't noticed. so awesome. i almost did some day shots today but wasn't feeling it. and like you said in your previous entry, we have to be invested or we are just going to be shot down. more tonight i think. :)

    i think Clay and Anne should be in the book/for artists talks.

    i didn't pose that. they came up with it.