Music Friday: Blaudzun, Quiet German Girls

Lets just start off with a little Happy Friday to everyone. I know I've already posted on Blaudzun before but it seemed like whenever i headed for iTunes this week, I've gone straight for Blaudzun. And with a quick google search I found a video that missed last time around. Hence this second post on Blaudzun. Plus, this happens to be my blog and last time I checked I didn't have a rule that stated I can only post music once. That's good. Anyway, check it out if your a fan. I totally am.

Sadly this is a quick one today seeing I have some things to do but whatever you're up to this weekend...be safe out there.


Photographer: Greg Jones [q&a]

Again this week I find myself lucky to have another talented photographer to feature on the blog. It's been several weeks since I first met Greg Jones but via the power of email he was nice enough to answer some of my questions this week. His style and content have a distinguished presentation that led me to want to know more about his work. HighlandPark

[me] It’s been awhile since we last talked about your work, I was wondering could you restate your artist statement here for myself and others reading.

[Greg] You could call these photos my own particular take on street photography, and they're heavily influenced by the Paris/New York street photography from the mid-twentieth century. Rather than capturing the single, "decisive moment" however, these photos are composites of multiple moments of a single scene stitched together into a single frame.

Outside of some contemporary artists like Jeff wall who really focus their work around the tradition of pictoralism, and Crewdson's take on narrative-driven scenes, I look a lot towards old European landscape painters like Claude Lorrain and William Marlow (among many, many others).

Those types of paintings, which show human presence within intimate landscapes and environments, touch on something that I think has become lost in contemporary art. I suppose that something has to do with our experiences in the world, and our interactions within it. Perhaps even a type of sensitivity to our condition on this planet, which is strange when you think about it. Above all else, I think what I'm trying to do is to establish a link with those old paintings to show that at the core of our experience, there really isn't all that much that has changed. You could even say that my method of working, bringing together different points in time, reflects that attitude as well.

[me] Your work contains a tremendous amount of tension in seemingly mundane environments, do you have preconceived ideas about what you would like to see and say, or is your statement on the contemporary landscape a more visceral creation?

[Greg] The photographs themselves are purely visceral. When I'm out shooting, its always just a matter of seeing and reacting. However there are things I'm always looking for, both formally (quality of light, compositional complexity, systems of spacial depth and color) and well as pictorially (character of place, activity within the scene, details). Beyond the photographs themselves, I'm always aware of the type of tradition that I'm working in. Although my methods of working fit more within the more progressive stream of photography, I never feel so far removed from all the Cartier-Bressons and the Todd Webbs in terms of intention and attitude, and those are the types of photographers that I admire.


[me] I constantly hear from people that any given city has a "dying downtown" or is "dead" after the workday, your more "city-esque" pictures seem to echo this pensive conversation, is this a particular sediment of yours or something else entirely?

[Greg] I think that's an interesting reading of the work, but I don't really see it in that vain, and its certainly not what I think about when I'm shooting. While we're on the topic of the city though, I should note that these were all shot in Rochester, NY. I think the tradition of photography in this city has done a lot to influence my work. I even have a photo in the portfolio where you can see the Kodak building in the background.

[me] In contrast, your more rural images seem to have an inherent sadness to them, is this an element I am introducing with my interpretation? Is this something others have noted or not at all?

[Greg] There hasn't been anyone who's specifically noted the inherent sadness that you see, but I certainly wouldn't argue with that. I think all art should invoke some type of emotional response, even the more conceptual based stuff. We're hard-wired to experience things emotionally before we're able to rationalize them. Without being able to feel a work of art, we would never be able to form a meaningful interpretation of it. And this is why craft is important too, because when we find flaws in a work of art, the illusion is broken and that emotional response becomes lost.


[me] Where do you hope to take this work?

[Greg] I've just begun to promote it, and I'm looking to do some gallery shows in the near future. Of course, its still developing, and I continue to surprise myself with the twists and turns that the work takes as it develops. I will have some tough decisions coming up soon in terms of where I'm going to go and exactly what I'm going to do (I'm finishing my B.F.A. in May). Right now I'm considering teaching English abroad for a year or two. I'm looking to find new environments and experiences for both my work and myself.

So there you go. I remember when I first saw the work of Greg Jones. I was really taken by it but I didn't have that much time to get into it and I'm really thankful that I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions that came to mind.

As with all artists I write or interview make sure you stop by their sites a to see more. In the case of, Greg there are quite a few more images on his site and you'll be able to get a better sense of what's going on.

Top quality all around. I just want to mention again, that if you're reading this and have some work you would like to share feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to get it out there for you. All you have to do is ask.

As far as today goes...I gotta post and run. Check back later for maybe a post in between here and Music Friday.


Music Friday: Breathturn by Hammock

Where did the week go?? I mean honestly. It few by. Which is good I guess. There was a post on Ryan Ball(fantastic work there), I joined twitter(which could be fun) and now we have an absolutely beautiful song/film by Hammock. If you're reading this, you have to, need to, will not regret... watching this 6 min film. I watched it, then thought about watching it again for at least a minute (there was also a wow factor in there too), then watched it again. So I spent a total of a quarter of hour watching it and I don't regret it at all because it's amazing. The original post is here. Which states:

"Breathturn" from the album "Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts" to be released on May 18, 2010. Directed by David Altobelli.

So hopefully I know what you're going to be doing for the next 6 minutes. I'm tellin' you, awesome...

Hammock - Breathturn from David Altobelli on Vimeo.

Anyway, super stoked about the album and this film gives me a lot of hope for art and the future of short films. And yes. I just watched it again (last statement to be read as: I've spent a total of at least a half an hour watching it). Amazing. David altobelli is the man and has a few more videos on his vimeo page. There's also a cool little VFX piece put to the awesomeness of M83 We Own The Sky. And while I'm at it Hammock has a Facebook page. All around, really inspired stuff.

But(!) it's the weekend so have a good one out there. I don't know where you are but it's supposed to gorgeous here so that means it's time to get outside a bit. A little run by the lake, I think so.

Be safe out there.

Artist: Ryan Ball [q&a]

What a great honor to start off the week again with a featured artist. Again, I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan and discussing his work a bit in person. Furthermore, he was also kind enough to answer a few of my questions and allowing me to post the responses on the IUBlog. Ryan Ball is a really great guy making some really beautiful and inspired work. I spoke to him mainly about his series Hurry up and Wait but he has several other bodies of work up on his site so make sure you stop by and check it out. His artist statement for Hurry up and Wait:

In this photographic series, Hurry up and Wait, I am illustrating the mental struggle that one experiences during simple repetitive tasks. My interest with humans’ affinity for boredom comes from my own unrealistic lack of patients and an incessant urge to keep in motion. Repeated failures and unwavering daily routines fuel me to express bottled up frustration by creating universally accessible images.


[me] When you first started this work, when and how did you decide black and white would best communicate your idea?

I started into this work with intentions to shoot monochromatic film with the 4x5 view camera because I knew the power that certain color palates have on the emotional interpretation of art works and I wanted to minimize those variables and concentrate on lighting and tonality. More importantly, I felt that working in black and white complimented my intentions to create timeless spaces that are absent of contemporary references.


[me] Your austere environment hints at a modern world yet the notable absence of technology creates a apparent tension between what we see and what we know, can you elaborate on your choice (or a choice) of visual signifiers (or a visual signifier)?

[ryan] I chose to limit the presence of technology and instead employ physical activities to further the underlying theme of futility in my work.

The fact that technology exists to push water out of a shower head or move furniture from place to place is the very reason why it is absent in these images. Knowing that viewers will pick up on this tension will hopefully solidify the notion that my character is working against the world. This series, Hurry Up and Wait, is an exploration of human nature, touching on the idea that there is always something better around the corner and I find myself constantly taking one step forward and two steps back as a direct result of my own ambitions. This work displays an environment devoid of helpful devices which sometimes complicate life as much as they intend to simplify as we sometimes do in everyday life.

[me] Your work in the series "hurry up and wait" comes from a very personal place, the images and performance work together to create a deeply compelling series, has this led you to any new personal discoveries or in turn influenced other work in new ways?

[ryan] Working on this series has been extremely helpful in my outlook on the way I live along with putting my life under a microscope and exploring all of my frustrations and fascinations with physical activities. Having to be creative in devising counter productive problem solving techniques like in the image with the cinder block has inversely improved my productive behaviors in life. I am also more aware the creative methods of others and gaining insight on how our world is truly held together with duct tape and string. I find more and more that random objects interest me like they would interest McGyver in a life or death scenario. I was just about to mow the lawn and I fell in love with a patch of weeds.

[me] What's the current format of the series? Where can we see it?

The exhibition size is 16x20" Archival Inkjet Prints matted in 20x24" frames. About 10 images from the series will be shown in the Senior Photography Exhibition at the Enterprise Center in Ruston, Louisiana with an opening reception on April 30th at 6:30PM to 8PM. The series is also on my website ryanballart.com along with work from other projects.

Really great stuff. Again, huge thanks to Ryan for wanting to be apart of my discussion series.

More to come so check back later...


Epic Music Friday! The Candle Thieves, Jonsi, Two Door Cinema Club and Kyte

Things have been extremely busy behind the scenes here at IconBlog. However I came across some fantastic videos for some tunes I've been diggin' as of lately. I've got three four for today and if you have the time check out all of them. Also if you have the time scroll down the blog to see some of Christin Boggs work (or just hit the link and go to her site, you choose). Like I said earlier this week, great stuff. And check back next week for Ryan Ball's work and another q&a. Until then here's what I've been diggin' this week, and now that I see what I'm going to post, it's all over the place...anyway, enjoy!


TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB | MySpace Music Videos