A Stress-Free Point Of View

I wonder about the disconnect between my life as I experience it and my life as I imagine it. I wonder about the difference between our world in actuality and our world as we imagine it together (possibility). From A Stress-Free Point of View, I wonder about the power of all images accumulated throughout history to infect the meaning of one’s life. I use my life as an example through which to understand and come to peace with this unredeemable system – a turbulent sea of images constantly (and arbitrarily) regulating how we build our conceptions of the world through our imaginings. 

Throughout history images surround us and influence our individual and collective imaginations. Images claim for their subject territory in the imagination of the viewer. Claims can have many purposes – whether to solidify state power or sway my mother’s buying habits – but each claim employs the same subtle mode of regulating our imagination. Claims might be disguised as other claims or might not look anything like claims at all. We have always imagined about images and their claims because, and especially during our time of an accelerating global network of images, they have constantly bombarded us (looming stone, icon, royal portrait, Instagram…among other lineages). Certain claims, for example those associated with upholding the global dominance of whiteness and its associated cultural productions, arbitrarily elevate themselves above others by limiting their imaginings to specific groups of people.

Do you also feel anxious reconciling your experience in the world with your imagining of the world? And doing so according to the mysterious claims made by never-ending onslaughts of old, new, and recycled images? I find it relaxing to make my own images because, wandering through them, I can try to recognize their power to amplify, filter, and suppress how I imagine the world.

I mash together disparate but amicably associated images to catch the texture of an anonymous yet entirely particular perception (something familiar that feels strange and romantic, a reflection). I want to talk about the world on a level where my own particular visual grammar blends with and exposes the arbitrariness and ulterior motivations of images’ claims. I have no contempt here: I just want to calm the noise and step back to appreciate how thousands of years of built up claims have scrambled my imagination. Among my images I come to recognize and value the disconnect between the actual world built up of competing claims and the fresh, possible world of my imagination, easing the anxiety of trying to know things as I imagine them.