Extreme athlete Garrett MacNamara has been visiting, and we are working on a few projects. He sat next to me as I rapidly did a search for a print file that a client had requested. In ten minutes this is what I pulled out of one of this season’s file folders. I doubt many, if any eyes have seen them or hearts heard the songs these images sing. In my files they are nothing particularly unusual. So does the fact that many people do not know they exist matter? What about the other thousand or so similars? Oh, and I did NOT find the darned one that I was looking for.
What makes something or someone great? What difference does it really make? Any at all? Well maybe. A great voice inspires, cajoles and brings along it’s audience. An artist is only placed at the front of the hall by audience request. So is voice without audience valid? Of course it is. Determining worth is all a matter of scale and the ability and willingness of the artist and audience to interact.
To me a great image defines it’s artist. The portrait of Winston Churchill, shot after his voice had galvanized the will of the free world, that was and continues to be, “great”. Whose was greater? There are several.
“As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It is a way of life.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Someone great will transform that lone voice in the wilderness into an arrangement that turns the members of the audience into part of the performance. One pulsing, resonant chorale that rises and falls in chromatic timbre. It is what happens when we choose to participate.
I want in. It does not matter to me which part of the hall I am to sit in.
Brian Eno and Nitin Sawhney are at the front of the room today with Prophecy.
As is usual for me lately, Seth Godin was a catalyst. So was my friend Kylie Oliver who posed the question today. Then there is Catherine Howard, whose love of the sea motivated me. Great voices. Sitting down now.