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Language Log

Monday, Feb. 21, 2022 - 11:25 a.m.

Three days of walking has me kind of sore. Today it doesn’t seem to be convenient, and I need a rest, but it’s going to be colder the next couple days and I don’t want to miss that many days.

A habit needs to be reliable in order to really be a habit.

I was thinking about two things art related. One, that you can make art from anything. You bring what will make it good or not. I personally like art made from surprising and humble materials better than art made from more conventional materials, I think that creativity and challenge of it is harder to overcome but can have a huge payoff.

So I’m having a little what if thought about doing serious printing with styrofoam plates. The edges will not be sharp, but does that have to be a bad-making feature? I have faith that someone could make it amazing. Whether that someone is me is pretty unlikely, but I may try.

Relatedly, there was a meme about doing things you enjoy and doing them badly. If it’s for fun, who cares? And I feel that way about the pinhole photos. I have a great deal of insecurity around them because photography is such a precision thing among “real” photographers, and also so ubiquitous now and most people have a very unexamined sense of what makes a good photograph. With the pinholes, I’ve really gotten to question that. Would my photos be better if they were sharp and in focus? I don’t think I’d like them as much.

I heard a story about someone’s vocal teacher playing them two recordings on the first day. “One is right and one is wrong” she said. One was a perfectly trained opera singer, one was Ron Howard doing “Gary, Indiana” in The Music Man. One was technically perfect, but a bit soulless. One was full of imperfections. Which is right and which is wrong?

I like that for the photography, too. I do want some control (not overexposing the images to the point they aren’t even images, for starters), but beyond that…

So messy edges, blurred images, a bit of who cares, and bit of soul. You know, when I have time.

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