Saturday, November 16, 2013

LET THERE BE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LIGHT



"It's an incredibly loaded subject--this diaphanous soup we live in...It feels primeval. There's a sense of the undifferentiated, the nonhierarchical. It's not exactly a dramatic light. In fact, 'dramatic' is exactly what it's not. If anything, it's meditative. And there's something really peculiar about it. In places where you get a crisp, sharp light with deep, clean shadows--which we do here sometimes--you get confronted with a strong contrasting duality: illumination and opacity. But when you get the kind of veiled light we get here more regularly, you become aware of a sort of multiplicity--not illumination so much as luminosity"...

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"Southern California glows, not just all day, but at night as well, and the opacity melts away into translucency, and even transparency"...




"Things in the light here have a kind of threeness instead of the usual twoness. There's the thing--the object--and its shadow, but then a sense of reflection as well. You know how you can be walking along the beach, let's say, and you'll see a seagull walking along ahead of you, and a wave comes in, splashing its feet. At that moment you'll see the bird, its shadow, and its reflection. Well, there's something about the environment here--the air, the atmosphere, the light--that makes everything shimmer like that. There's a kind of glowing thickness to the world--the diaphanous soup I was talking about--which, in turn, grounds a magic-meditative sense of presence."

--Coy Howard, from an essay by Lawrence Weschler called "The Light of L.A." (in Vermeer in Bosnia: Selected Writings).

THE 10 E, HEADING TOWARD DOWNTOWN L.A FROM VENICE BEACH

1 comment:

  1. How poetic! Our lives can also be described as luminous and opaque. Beautiful pictures too! Your next book, Heather, could be photos with your reflections. You probably have something in the works already!

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