Surf Solar

Seven weeks ago I got to visit some very dear friends. As these are babes who live far from me, the moments shared felt more precious to me. Thus I find myself wondering about how to make meaning of the experience using the tools and technologies of this place. Put more simply -- what does a trip report look like from here?

For as long as I can remember I've been creating images with cameras. As a creative tool I've always found it stimulating, plus as someone not especially outgoing, I take great comfort in being behind a camera.

One of the more thorny questions I wonder about in this place is the ownership over an image. While much of the community here produces visual art which is wholly fabricated, in my medium of choice the image can have its own set of constituents. It's one thing to have value accrue to the creator of art which is purely abstract. My art includes human subjects -- if I am to do right by them they must be party to the creation of the tokens that will represent the images which feature them.

There's a large intellectual gravity well to be avoided here. The discussion of one's right to be documented, and for that documentation to be available to anyone who can access a web browser. Suffice it to say I will wrestle with the 'what is a photo' question in the future. Rest assured.

For the moment then, the issue is simply a functional one. How to plan out the series and explore the space, as rock legend Bruce Dickenson would say. What are our options? Our levers?

This feels like where some reading material could be helpful. I imagine a great deal of time has been spent in the exploration of tokenomics -- I'd love to be able to learn from others. That said the simplest form is to limit the number to a handful, or even just a pair. If I keep one for myself and leave one in a wallet as a gift then I'll have done something. And in doing so I will be building a body of work over time, and my subjects will have something that will be waiting for them once they make the journey here.

When I was younger, just about everyone I knew had a Flickr account. We posted our pictures there and it was glorious. We had conversations in the comments and more important than that, we kept up with one another simply by pointing our browser at the same place we were sharing our own snapshots and fine art. To many people it was their primary creative outlet. If we were to use Instagram as any indication, the outlet is still quite important.

Trouble is Flickr didn't stand the test of time. Thankfully in this place building for the long term is something most take rather seriously. We'll save the full brief for another time, but thanks to projects like the Inter Planetary File System it is possible to create quite durable storage of digital information. And so presenting something as simple as a photograph can -- I think -- carry more weight in this place. A greater permanence comes along with the representation.

The nice thing about presenting here is that everything about the web is still involved. I can use a platform to act as my host, and the underlying pieces can be reached by anyone, be they a resident of this place or not. This is why you're able to see them in your email client right now.

What is unique to this place is the ability for one to collect one of my images. On Flickr this did not exist. For all its popularity with users and its commercial success, Instagram has not improved this state of things. This is part of what makes this place exciting: Anyone who makes photos as part of their creative expression has the opportunity to develop relationships which are both more durable and more nuanced than ever before. The people in this place who resonate with my art have the means of building a relationship with me which can be visible to anyone while also becoming potentially beneficial to each of us. My hope is that by committing to the practice of presenting my photography I can illustrate a path for anyone to follow.

And so that's what I've done. This is nothing more than a trip report. A series of moments, frozen in time, which tell the story of my week in Seattle. I am unsure that I'll keep doing things in this same way, but I'm fairly sure there will be more photography. It's too big a part of how I enjoy living for me to leave it out.

Plus there must be an ongoing opportunity for me to practice, as they say here, minting.



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