A State of Affairs | my great-grandparents watching over

great-grandfather and great-grandmother
great-grandfather and great-grandmother

It’s been 3 months now since I’ve been home, and I’ve started wondering about some things. Even though I'm full on taking care of the distribution of my ODO YAKUZA TOKYO book and images and having great fun doing it and meeting the press and other super interesting people (more on that one soon), I’m starting to feel the need to slowly get into new projects. Broaden my horizon. Deepen my photography. Read more. Learn more. My great-grandparents, even though I never knew them, are right now in my studio looking at me and telling me I'll be fine, but that I've thought things through long enough now. Time to get to work.

Beirut is playing The Rip Tide.

It’s a funny state of mind I'm in... I recognize it so clearly from three years ago, when a little voice in the back of my head made me decide to go for the YAKUZA project. Just as YAKUZA was only inside my head then, right now all these new ideas are only inside my head. Some of them nothing more than a feeling; a longing to learn more about something. A deceptively small and fragile thing. A seedling.

And the hard part I know will begin right now: to try and shape those little ideas into something tangible, into hopefully that real thing, to take it out of my head and put it out there for everyone else to see and become real.

To me, the best way to actually start my new projects is simply... to tell everyone that I'm going to start them.

So there you go. Make it public. Get it out of your head and start talking to people about it. Make those first pictures and show them. This is the moment the lingering stops. The moment my great-grandparents tell me: good, at least you're doing something now. And it's also the moment that the ideas that will forever remain ideas, suddenly hide and stay inside my head, while the "possible" ones come out and maybe become reality.

You know that feeling when for the very first time you talk to someone else about a new project? And while you're talking you instantly feel that, no matter how much you thought it through, there are holes and illogical things all over the place. You feel nervous and scared and almost ashamed laying out that little seedling of an idea.... it seems like your confidence is gone all over again... you stutter.

But doing this is so necessary for me. I feel that an idea can only be really put to the test through dialogue with others.

I need to do this with people who understand what you’re doing, yet at the same time are not too personally involved. And I need to do this repeatedly. It’s like I have to have a secret group of human touchstones to talk about different aspects an idea. Some people don’t have anything to do with photography... others are seasoned pros... mentors... and mother of course... and some who do not even know they are giving me advice in the first place. It’s all meant to happen naturally. And after a certain time, when the feedback has sufficient mass, I'll stop being scared and slowly start to believe the project might be possible. I'll be able to voice my idea eloquently. This is the moment when I start believing that the idea can be "possible"... From then on, considerations become more practical and real and that's when I hope everything hopefully will be able to fit within my daily life and duties and existing projects... Like anyone, I don't live in a bubble, however attractive that would seem.

Of course, seeking feedback from all of you here is a crucial step in this all, and something I'll be going into over the next couple of weeks: laying out these new projects and talking about them, sharing my excitement and insecurity at the same time. You guys will be the ones to see my thinking all come together. And maybe see it fall apart too... So hold your hats...

As a teaser, here is a sampling of what's about to come, off the top of my head. All are working titles, and I might be forgetting some, or some you might have heard of already:

YAKUZA original prints and posters as part of the YAKUZA project

Dislocate my personal long term photographic project, back in full force

Heavens a long term photographic project - collaboration

My Machine a mid term personal photographic project

Skippas a mid term personal photographic project

Twelve a short term photographic project - collaboration

... ...and more will pop into my head I'm sure...

I know, it seems impossible to start all these in one go... it would be like an explosion... some projects are light and full of life, some are extremely dark and heavy and full of death...  but I'm in no rush... we'll see what works out. One by one, slowly....... I for one am SO super excited. Looks like a photographic new year's resolution in a way... smiling... and hoping I'll be at least able to start the massive and incomprehensible "heavens"... that's the one to look out for.

Bon Iver playing Perth now.

hugs, a