Re: Alternative Processes and Concept and Temporality and Therapy

From: Steve Bell ^lt;>
Date: 03/11/04-11:39:39 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Hey John,

thanks for getting back.

this is definitely something that i've been thinking about. the process of work
as therapy. i come from a pretty radical political perspective, a lot of times
decrying work (in the labor, captial sense) as negative to natural human
desires, and so often my connotations with the word "work" often are negative.
but the more i work on art, the more positive the process becomes. creative
production, i feel, is important to human spirituality. i don't wanna get too
mystical here, but i think you were hinting at that kind of idea, and i think
making things with our hands in really tactile ways does something for our

problem solving as a form of therapy. good stuff.

keep up the good work.



> In a message dated 09/03/04 18:03:54 GMT Standard Time,
> writes:
> > i'm also interested to hear concepts behind your work. and what you feel
> your
> >
> > chosen processes do for it beyond aesthetics. and what you take pictures
> of
> > and
> > why.
> ..................................
> Hi Steve, The other day I came across what I, later, reflected was one of
> those stupidly profound statements about `art`, ``Art can be the therapy of
> the
> poor and the currency of the rich``. This, of course, could be shot to pieces
> by intellectual reasoning by those who may not feel comfortable or happy
> fitting into this scenario. I have always felt that my interests in
> photography
> were a very successful therapy for me and I was never particularly poor.
> Even
> as a very young child I was often drawing/painting and using modeling clay to
> make tangible things as I felt I wanted to present and contribute something
> recognizable to my family and friends which may be valued in some way by
> them.
> Later on when I learned to approach more technically complex areas of art my
> photographic processing served as an excercise for my analytical mind. When
> focusing attention on a photo problem I am obliged to clear my mind of all
> the
> small and large and imagined problems of my life to be able to achieve
> practical
> solutions.This was my therapy.
> With industry having solved many of the questions arising
> it became less easy to get satisfaction from silver gelatine photography.
> Several times over the years ( five) I attempted to give up my photo
> involvement
> as it was not producing anything new for me. I was so pleased when, about
> fifteen years ago I was introduced by a good friend to the work of Jose Ortiz
> Echague and his use of the mysterious Direct Carbon system seemingly
> monopolized
> by the Fresson family.............but this is the subject of another
> persistent thread which continues to appear from time to time on this list as
> you may
> have noticed.
> Since I recently reached the age of retirement from imposed
> employment it has become even more important for me to have challenges which
> might
> bring some personal "wins." Many of these challenges come just outside of any
> specific photographic considerations.........such as, how to market, promote
> and
> sell a product in which you have absolute faith. And then, again, it may be
> more theraputic for the community to be given the problems of how to make
> these
> Direct Carbon prints the solving of which has given me so much pleasure in
> discovering for myself.
> Long live alt photo. Regards John - Photographist
> P.S. It is not so easy for some people to verbalize on the issues which you
> have brought up but you seem to be getting there, OK.
Received on Thu Mar 11 11:40:35 2004

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