August 11

A dream comments on an accidental coffee spill

To illustrate “otherness,” I take close-up photographs of coffee spills, oil patterns in the street, bark of trees, clouds in the sky—literally anything that is not a product of my direct intention, but of “something else.” This something else captures my fancy and stimulates my imagination. I pay close attention to the experiences these found images bring forth in me. I call this way with images a “Goethean way of seeing” to contrast it with the highly intentioned “Newtonian way of seeing,” What one finds in this odd activity (which, of course, is itself intentional) is that images so captured “speak” in ways that would be difficult to come by from intention alone. In this sense they are like found dreams.

Experience in “seeing” these images, that is the “finding” of them, I experience as a gift for which a polite “thank you” is not enough. This note sets the stage for a blog on this theme of  the accidental image for which this bit of exposition may be taken as a sample post.

After dinner one evening, I spilled some coffee on a ceramic table surface (a wonderful surface for coffee spills!) Before the table was cleaned off, I took a picture of this spill, and added it to my collection without examining is closely. Later, I had a dream. I was in my studio area and I a voice called out: “only riding the moon enables one to see the coming guest.” I‘m still not sure whether I was hearing another’s voice, or that my own thoughts had voiced themselves in this way (it has happened before). I knew that the voice–whatever its source–was talking about this most recent spill. Now in looking at the image above (on which I have used some editing tools to bring out the image in order to see it better, the original being very light), I invite you to see the figure “riding” the Crescent moon, looking out at the earth, and looking at that approaching”figure” the dream calls the coming guest. […to be continued…]