I have been reticent to update my blog recently, and I’m not sure why.  I think it is because I have been in experimental mode with the works I am producing from this project.  A combination of personal reasons kept me from going into the field this year, and that forced me to focus on what I am doing with the material that I have been gathering.  I think that many people see me as a photojournalist, but that is not at all how I see myself.  In my eyes, this project is a large work of art, and the actions themselves are brushstrokes on a wide canvas.  My ongoing question has been how to best convey that brushwork to everyone.

I have said that I prefer to be open with my process, but I have to admit that this is difficult.  The process of creating new work is painful and filled with dead ends.  This spring I started working on a number of projection pieces.  I exhibited several of the pieces in a show in Ventura, CA at the Sylvia White Gallery.  Here is one of the pieces that I created that wasn’t shown.

Harsh Paradise Projection, Austin, TX
Harsh Paradise Projection, Austin, TX

In these works I was projecting photographs that I took in Kashmir onto hidden and little seen places in the US.  There was no audience except myself and I photographed the projections.  With this work I was trying to express what I felt from the Kashmiri people – that they are suffering and they feel that their suffering is unheard in the world.

Then I did a set of projections on my own body.  These works were a look at my own process of dealing with the stories I heard.  In this image I am projecting a collage of pictures of grave markers from mass graves in Kashmir.

Harsh Paradise, Body Projection

This is really dark work, and the problem is that I don’t see this project as being dark.  I have seen so much beauty coming out of darkness in my travels, but I am still looking for a way to express it.  I am giving a TEDx talk next month in San Antonio, TX.  That talk is about exactly this conundrum.  There will be a video of that talk, and I’ll post it here.

Until then, I will try and gather the courage to post more of my process.