Eight Pictures
Texts Based on Letters From Friends
Joel Weishaus


"The land retains an identity of its own, still deeper and more subtle than we can know.
Our obligation toward it then becomes simple: to approach with an uncalculating mind,
with an attitude of regard. To try to sense the range and variety of its expression—
its weather and colors and animals. To intend from the beginning to preserve
some of the mystery within it as a kind of wisdom to be experienced,
not questioned. And to be alert for its opening, for that moment
when something sacred reveals itself within the mundane,
and you know the land knows you are there."

Taking a camera into the forest for the first time, the world became so intimate I felt as if I were no longer there; and, to my surprise, the photographs assumed the abstract simplicity of a "style of old age."

Commenting on the pictures that completed "Forest Park: A Journal," Dirk Vekemans wrote, "I'd show them twice as large." So here I did, and found how one may be drawn into a picture as through Alice's fatuous mirror. I also decided not to hold to any one viewpoint. Sometimes the pictures are, as Edward Pirot suggested, "a mass of detail pressed up against the lens of the camera, which makes us feel as if we're in the midst of the natural environment instead of standing above it or at a distance from it, detached from it." At other times the world is envisioned through a doorway of foliage, or the limbs of trees, as the liminal tends to draw us in.

Although "Interdependency" consists of digital photographs inserted into webpages with three lines of commentary on letters I received from friends and colleagues, it does not include the paratexts, invaginations, and other the tropes I usually deploy. So that only this introductory page is "new media," as Talan Memmott defines it:

To click here,
     rollover that,
here to there —

these are all
     part of how
           in the
new media operate.

An internetic project is communal by default. Artists who participated are: Anny Ballardini, Edward Pirot, John Kielty Bell, Martha Deed, Michael Szpakowski, Peter Ciccariello, Regina Célia Pinto, Stephen Vincent. My gratitude also to the nonhuman inhabitants of Forest Park, who continue to teach me how to walk with compassion in the circle of living and dying beings.