String Theory Continuum
9 Mar 2012
A physicist might simplify string theory for us by explaining it as the excitation of particles. In this series I use the meaning to consist of light particles and what can be done with them in cities after dark. Yes, neon!
The idea is to describe cities in a different manner, not using recognizable edifices but to express its energies or many pulses, like string theory. It has been interesting to discover that just as each city reveals architectural differences when one photographs traditionally, each city seemed at first to appear distinct when photographed using various techniques. However, as I moved forward with the series a similarity began to emerge because there are only so many ways one can bend light. Somehow this reminded me of a unity found within my first series on performers backstage, begun way back in 1980. Where I had sought differences by photographing in various countries, I actually found uniting themes in the world of theatre and, of course, neon light is similar no matter where it is found, despite country or context. The differences are found mainly in colors, over all design and typefaces and what can be done with these elements.
In October 2008, I began this series shooting from the 30th floor of my hotel in Beijing, China where I was a guest for a 30 year Retrospective Exhibition of my work! This is not computer manipulated imagery; Canon digital EOS's are used and all images are made in-camera. Techniques for creating the most optimum designs have evolved over time with my shooting up to five times per week. I'm studying future cities which may yield exciting colored neon lights, such as Mumbai, Rio or Las Vegas.
I push and bend light depending on its sources and original speed to create a new world of abstract nebulae, textured ribbons, geo-shapes, whirling colors interspersed with sporadic identifiable objects.
To enter this land of color sends a viewer into the very heart of what light is. This is one of my most essential series. After studying the way light falls on objects for thirty years, most especially the human form, it is both entrancing and liberating to experiment with light sources.
Cities Photographed: Beijing, China; Paris, France; Hyderabad and Trivandrum, India; Houston, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Los Angeles, CA.