The Stockholm Syndrome

While Shelly is obviously struggling with the Imposter Syndrome and is rightfully exploring the inner workings of the meaning of live, art, photography, plastic and faking it all, I feel more close to home (ouch, one of my long sentences).

I like to sympathize with the Art crowd out there (they have soup after all) and just stick the label of Stockholm Syndrome on my back and move on.

I agree to be an arrogant Artist™in the 21st century.

Art in the 21st century is still very much the same as it was 25 centuries ago. The means have changed and the world has turned flat, and we moved on from binary art to (the next level) of binary art, yet we are still asking the same questions and researching the same inner workings of the big bang.

This does not mean we are imposters as we explore our boundaries and see where we are stuck in plastic together with you.

And this is what this post is all about.

Finding you.
Yes You™.

Regardless whether You are close to the Imposter or Stockholm Syndrome, if You™feel you can be that partner in crime here at Stuck In Plastic and join Shelly and me in our journey of conquering the world (phase one, Universe is following in a second stage) and join us in our Art™collective where we try to find our place, do speak up. It is about You as an Artist™, as a Photographer, as a brick stuck in plastic … and about Us™as a collective (pun intended to that other strange collective called Pink Floyd).

So You™wanna join OurJourney ?

(ok there is no official solicitation form, but that is part of the journey and You™know how to contact
Us™)



 

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Flow – Part I

https://flic.kr/p/mRqwpa

Last weekend I was stuck in a small city called Leuven exploring some of the secret portals they have hidden in plane sight and I was really struggling with my on the road workflow (hence the reason I did not post a blog or a quick selfie on instagram) as there is more to the flow than just point, shoot and post …

So this morning, back in The Studio, armed with a cup of coffee I decided to upload Stargate™to Flickr when my happy flow and the rest of the day was ruined.

Flickr and Yahoo decided to have a battle with my identity provider and no longer offer a trusted sign on with Google (and Facebook) or at least a big pop up told me that soon my login would no longer be possible …

And so my early morning post on Shelly stealing topic and some of my on the road workflow musings got canned and this posting turned into a little rant.

I can understand the need for Yahoo (who owns Flickr) to try to regain a piece of the identity puzzle, but why they have to enforce this on the existing (paying) user base is beyond my understanding and I don’t understand why I am forced in a yahoo email address.

There is no incentive, no clear explanation, just the need to register yet another email address I will never use. 

I do like Flickr, and I stayed away from uploading my pictures into Picasa (the Google Flickr) but given the road Flickr and Yahoo have choosen (removing the blogger integration, removing the Google Identity integration, …) it is clear that Flickr wants me to choose between the Google ecosystem and theirs on the long run.

A choice that may not be in favor of Flickr after all … 

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Agree to disagree …

When my partner in crime wrote  “… if this doesn’t prove my point that photography has been rendered valueless by the sheer volume of images being produced, I don’t know what does …” I could not disagree more.

I actually would argue very strongly that the sheer volume of images and the same sheer volume of possibilities to take these images actually is the exact reason why we have this discussion and is in essence the reason why I disagree.

The mass production of crayons in the early 1900 by Binney and Smith did not turn the graphical artist using pencil and paper valueless.

Art and the artist in itself have always struggled (and embraced) and will continue to struggle with their own contempary challenges taking into the account the context of its own age (which is what we are doing at this exact moment here).

When S. mentions you can purchase a picture for 250 € all in (and I dont even want to embark on the flawed offering here and all faulty legal assumptions), we are talking about the fundamental difference between stock photography (a craft with sometimes a spark of genius) versus the art, the emotion, the engagement, the creativity, the spark of genius that is not aimed at making money at any cost and want to engage on its own right.

I am sure if I want to make money as a commercial photographer, I can work on my skills as a stock photographer and choose to create iconic photography that looks at the market demands, see what colors are hot, and play the game, … and sell. Sell my skill set and craft.

At the same time I can choose the try to become a journalistic photographer, an illustrative photographer, a snapshot photographer, a landscape photographer and work my skills or I can boldly state that I am an artist and my photography is no longer a technical craft (remember that chromatic aberration) and I am taking it to the next level where the photo is the message on itself.

An artistic statement.

So, when D. censored the art work of Daniel Josefsohn to protect the integrity of IG users he was making both an artistic and political statement. (see accompanying image) 



So I disagree with S. that volume has rendered photography valueless and it is up to us to step up and define the new standards …

New standards that do include plastic and toys, just as my good old buddy W. included soup cans of Campbells

So, who wants to join the plastic  revolution ?


Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Journey has just begun …

Just back from outer space where we enjoyed a fantastic 24 hour light show where environment and art were coming together. And so now it is time to wonder on great questions mankind and bricks alike have been asking for centuries, like where are we coming from, where are we going to and things like what is art ?

When I asked this question to Lady G. she told me I was lucky and that art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

So when Meg explained in the comments section of Shelly quest for live after IG ” … that the value of images like this are simply to put a smile on someone’s face. That’s what it does for me …” I do think that a smile is for sure an appreciation or sign of beauty or emotional power and we at least make one part of the definition.

An appreciation, a smile, a like …

The discussion then continues with Mike throwing in the other side of the discussion that likes and being popular is not what it is all about.

And I agree.

I agree completely with Mike and Banksy quote about being famous and the eternal question why one goes to a restaurant (which is after all more as just getting the basic nutrition in and the waste out) .

Now, how does one measure success in triggering this appreciation or emotional power, the smile on Meg face ?

How does one measure his or her engagement with the audience ?

How do we know we are doing something more as just pasting time away or developing our own skillsets for our own pleasure ?

And this is where likes on IG do come in to play.

It is the recognition of other people (and bricks) that what we are doing is putting a smile on their face, or triggers an emotional power within strong enough to move that tumb so slightly up to hit the like and show some appreciation or engage in the discussion.

Other people.  Strangers to us and we share our work with these people, with the world.

Not to become famous, but to be able to engage.

And there are some numbers and rules out there that give a deeper insight in these engagement ratios and some people and services are taking these numbers into a mathematical game, but if you dont try to play the number game, 500 likes on a 2.5K follower base (the Shelly example) tells you that the picture did trigger a smile and an engagement with its audience on 620 by 620 canvas.

But is that enough ?

Is 5K likes on IG the end game ?

No, and here I am completely with Shelly, we have to storm the walls outside IG and make sure our art bring that smile also inside the real house, not just in a fantastic app.

The framed in print, signed and stuck against a brick wall, triggering that smile everytime someone walks by the image.
 

Stuck In Plastic is all about that.

Taking our work to the next level of the journey …

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Earth Hour™

As most of you know by now, I was stuck at the end of the runaway of a major non disclosed airport (the third busiest of planet Earth) for the bigger part of last week and was suffering major connectivity problems in our meeting room (one could wonder if this was Faraday taking protective measures) …

Shelly has been touching on some great topics going from the whole IG like debate to the inner self of what art means for all of us (being a rebel or not) and how #stuckinplastic plays a role in this …

And while I would like to take the debate to the next level (yes, I do have strong opinions about all of it) I am stuck here on the outer side of the Death Star enjoying the great Earth Hour and want you to continue the fantastic show of respect to Mother Earth that is happening now …

Continue to tag your pictures and post to #earthhour as we try to save our Planet Earth !

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

A little competition …

Like us on Facebook !

As you most probably know by now Shelly and me are having a little friendly competition going on here at #stuckinplastic on who can get the most engagement on G+ or FB.

Our lottery handed me the FB pages, and what better than to organize a little Easter Egg Surprise Lottery with an exclusive Me2 print.

Everyone who likes us on facebook automatically gets his or her name entered in the Easter egg and an innocent hand will pick the lucky three winners (yes, we have three signed prints reserved for you).

Now, you can seriously increase your chances (up to 5 times) by sharing this blog, reposting on instagram or sharing the love anyway you see fit (be creative and show us here or on FB and instagram).

The rules are simple.

Everyone that likes #stuckinplastic will enter our gigantic easter egg, and the innocent hand will draw the lucky three winners (yes, we have 3 signed prints reserved for you).

Only one print per household. 

Likes counted on Easter Saturday 19th April 2014.

Official drawing happens on Easter Sunday 2014

So get going and spread the word, like us here at 100% stuck in plastic and you may find an extra easter egg coming your way !

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Total Meltdown

Total Meltdown

When Shelly opened up the pandora box of where do you want to take your editing I felt the complete scala of rainbow colors (and beyond) passing by and was actually pretty close to a total meltdown experience.

The question is maybe too large to answer in our life time but it is still a question we have to ask ourselves and is for sure part of every photographers inner monologue and will pop up here once in a while at #stuckinplastic (and we even may find its own #hashtag for it).

When IG (instagram for those of you who are not into acronyms) took filtering and direct feel good snapshots to the next level on the iPhone, we actually took the quick snapshots into the next level and added some magic to it that was previously only reserved to the inner crowd.

And that is great, and we should embrace it, explore it, extend it, use it, filter the heck out of it ….

Now, at the same time it is actually just that, taking your picture to the next level.
It is liberating the inner beauty of what is already there.
It is extrapolating it, magnifying, making it more visible.
But it can only do as much with the RAW (pun intended) material we present it.
A bad composition will not turn into a masterpiece because we apply a Hefe (not the beer, the filter) or a Lord Kelvin to it.

And sometimes we will push a good composition and well lit balance over the edge and ruin the experience with post processing and filters.

I love HDR (especially the kind that takes a tripod, a golden hour, 3 exposures and some heavy post processing in the studio and when you post it no one actually thinks it’s HDR and just loves the scene), I love filters, I love artificial lightening, I love cleanup as ultimately the picture needs to be telling the story, be magic, pulling you in, regardless of the tools used …

Now at the same time I love a low ISO, an f stop that gives me a bokeh I cannot artificially recreate and glass that allows me to blow up my pictures full frame without the need to crop (you know the whole macro discussion) and deep down I believe in craft to reach art …

So, will we discuss “technique” here on #stuckinplastic ?

Yes, for sure (unless you tell us to shut up and tell us you only want the pictures).

So whenever it make sense or Shelly decides to open up the box of magic we may be taking a deep dive in filters and techniques …

Let us know in the comments below what you think about “post processing” …

Totally M.

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Pink

Pink

Here is a quick #selfie of Pink, our makeup artist who did a great job in keeping our crew and actors alike animated and refreshed during the shoot. Not only with her make up brushes, but also with her great voice.

Her favorite song yesterday on the set was the old time classic of Meridith Brooks

I’m a bitch,
I’m a lover,
I’m a child,
I’m a mother,
I’m a sinner,
I’m a saint,
and I do not feel ashamed.
I’m your hell,
I’m your dream,
I’m nothing in between.
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

And that is true, we wouldn’t want Pink any other way !

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Spring is in the air …

Hyacinthus

While a fresh rainy snowstorm here in the Stockholm Archipelago canned the plans of an early morning spring shoot on location, we decided to stay inside and turn things yellow in The Studio this morning.

While the crew turned all their energy in setting up The Studio for what is going to be on of the first bigger projects here on #stuckinplastic we found Dorky exploring the fresh Hyacintus we had standing in the green room.

Bigger project ?

Yes indeed, Shelly and I had a great long distance working session last evening where we laid out the foundation of our first big project and the crazy thing was that we were actually already both working on our own on a very similar idea.

I am not going into the details yet, but it involves two individual art projects coming together between Seattle and Stockholm including Lego, Pictures and some great Fun …

Curious and interested ?

Add us to your blogroll, follow us on Google+ or just leave a comment below … 

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.