This fellow I have named Gordy he is a unexpected visitor this afternoon after I witnessed a car strike him near Headland Alabama. Gordy, is a Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). Im hoping he will make it, the pics below show the damage. Here in the southeast living in the longleaf pine ecosystem, the Gopher Tortoise performs a remarkable ecological function, he provides habitat for over 360 other species of animals that would not exist if this species were not present. Really amazing if you think about he is a biological diversity multiplier of the first rate. At Auburn when I was working under the late Dr Mark MacKenzie ( forest ecologist), I learned that during annual fires in longleaf pine forests, in the burrowed den the Gopher Tortoise digs, it becomes home to the rattlesnake, bobwhite quail, eastern indigo snake, Florida mouse, gopher frog, burrowing owl and gopher cricket, and at times even young fox as the fire rages overhead. These burrowed dens they make are up to 40 feet long and can be 10 to 20 feet deep. Strangely they all get along and do not prey upon each other during the time period of a forest fire or controlled burn- really miraculous. They often live from 60 -80 years old and are currently on the endangered species list. Lets hope Gordy makes it, my guess he just might fate has a way of putting us in the right place at the right time.
I believe in living with the camera, and not using the camera. Suddenly, if you are working a lot, it takes over and then you se emending in everything. You don’t have to push for it. Thats what I mean by the visual life. Very rare. DOROTHEA LANGE Learn more about her work here in PBS’ American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
Its obvious if your reading this then you know I am attempting to commit (once again) to keeping a blog.
A “blog”…. isnt that such a banal sounding word ? Somehow with the 30 plus set of non-tech savvy people there is this fixed image of a fat bachelor living with their parents, sitting in their basement eating Cheetos, typing away voicing unsought opinions. This is what MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough frequently imagines is “blogging”.
Actually blogs, or the code that defines a blogging platform when used as a CMS system, has become a richer way to develop not just maintain a site versus endless lines of hard coded html. Content has a richer more expressible medium with a platform like wordpress for example, where someone can create themes or modify those with a just rough working knowledge of php and html. These sites are indistinguishable to the average viewer of what is a web site hard coded by html, or a creative “theme” hosted on a coded backbone of a “blog”. Think about it this way you have a legal pad with lines on it to write on as opposed to rough sheafs of paper that require lines, margins and hole punching, and then some sort of binding or notebook. The legal pad has its limitations artistically but is invaluable to recording and developing ideas that are shared with others. Code, in no uncertain terms, is seeking to overcome these limitations in the medium of a blog.
Joe…unfortunately, like many his age, have not a clue about how this transition has electrified the ability of artists who are tech-savvy to share content.
One of my favorite contemporary photographers is a perfect example of this - Anton Kusters. Altering or creating code on a theme becomes a sort of medium or “frame”, a compositional element controlled by the artist in the presentation of images. The web becomes the primary method of content sharing and then exhibits and selective print editions follow. The photographer then controls the entire process staying true to their vision without compromise.
I still like the word “journal” though far better, the word “blog” frankly still sucks. But the fact of it being written, how, where, and at what detail, I cant see that influencing content. A CMS system of PHP and HTML with the use of a sql database is, whether we want to admit it or not, a medium of sorts. Think paper or notebook, then visualize the computer as merely something akin to the pen.
The core issue for me is how work is shared or published, and with who ? The internet, although not anonymous, is the medium of now and any foreseeable future in my opinion.
If one puts words on paper then they are limiting their potential audience, if you don’t believe this bare witness to the disparity in books that are now offered only in print versus digital versions. A “print only” book simply can’t compete with a under 40 group outside of academic settings.
Whatever it is though, journal ,web site, all those sort of mesh together in what a blog has evolved to be. To think otherwise is to remain in the world of static html and Joe Scarborough-luddite-land.
What I do like about a blog is it enables you to throw stuff up on the wall and stay connected with those you care about. It also is a permanent sort of graffiti for those so inclined.
Maybe Ill find mine’s purpose, in addition to sharing my thoughts unedited, or maybe not.