With the piles of photographs and linked narrative, navigation through the thicket of content is challenging. I’ve created some signals that, I hope, are relatively unobtrusive to help guide readers and viewers.
Before the curtain rises on the Second Act
Entries that were created before January 1, 2021, are grouped under “Preliminaries” in the menu, and images appearing on the website are all monochrome, vaguely black-and-white with a blue hue. Since I am writing these in December 2020, these entries outline areas that I anticipate will be useful to focus entries on areas that are perhaps under-explored in a transition like the one characterized in the Second Act. They are categories of experience, somewhat linked. One entry recognizes the creator of the “Memory model,” Bernadette Mayer, and lays out changes in culture and technology that influence a reuse of Mayer’s straightforward approach that helped to animate Memory in 1971.
Categories in the “Preliminaries” are used as standard tags for all subsequent entries. I may add to the categories as the month proceeds, if new ones seem warranted. Those additions will be noted as late-comers, bear a timestamp, and be otherwise similarly flagged. I do not plan on reviewing tags for entries before any addition like this, so the added category will only be present in tags for later entries.
During the Second Act
Since each day will have thirty-six images and a single journal narrative, the number of entries can quickly get out of hand. Also, since all narratives have an an associated photograph, finding a day’s narrative could be a challenge. I am leaving open the possibility that shorter narratives, perhaps only quotations, might accompany some images. The website presents images without words, though you do see information by hovering your mouse over the image, basically a timestamp and location. If you click on the image, you’ll see the information as a text entry and the tags associated with the image. Sometimes (though I think rarely) I’ll include other information — say, for example, that an image was taken in a state park or other location of interest.
Here’s the problem with the journal entries: If I’m really only interested in the words, how do I find them in the ocean of images?
Journal narratives are indicated by yellow borders
If a picture is associated with a journal entry, it’ll have a yellow border. Like this:
I have decided that I will take the liberty of rendering photographs in black-and-white or color, according to my judgment and desires. Either can have a journal narrative, but all journal narratives will be indicated by the yellow border. They will also be tagged with the word “journal” and accessible from the menu under “Journal.”
Photographs with brief comments and quotations have blue borders
Some images might resonate with reading or thoughts related to the larger project. Those will have the quotation or thoughts in the text, and the presence of these elaborations is indicated in the image by a blue border, like this:
As I have pulled together the pages for the “Preliminaries,” I’ve come to realize how daunting and consuming the process may end up being. Even though I will benefit from the ease of immediate digital imagery — no photo-processing required — my plans call for daily collection of many times more than thirty-six exposures. I will have at least three cameras working daily, sometimes more, and they can be automatically snapping pictures. The onus is on me to direct these devices in a somewhat crude and haphazard “composition” and, more profoundly, winnow through the results of the day’s photography. It reminds me of daily “rushes” in the motion picture business, which provided a sense of progress and helped in direction.
No doubt, the review and judgments to land on the Chosen Thirty-Six on any given day might nudge subsequent work in a manner that Bernadette Mayer likely couldn’t have so immediately used. Looking at a day’s images just minutes after the exposures were completed wasn’t so easily done in 1971, although Mayer processed the day’s snaps every night. In 2021, the possibility is there for quick shifting towards interests and successes, but with it comes a threat of overwhelming and delay.
We’ll see how promptly the days’ harvests are gathered and arranged.