The earliest Still Series were captured as multiple exposures on film and further layered together on the computer. After moving to Wuhan, China, I shot the first digital time-series outside the Big Gate of the university. Revisiting this location, I began to notice that the space was more or less active at different times of the day. Street vendors would appear and disappear: prepared food at lunchtime, fruit and vegetables late in the afternoon, snacks, DVDs, and socks in the evening.
Many of the individual images are dense with overlapping shapes and scale becomes all whacked out. A tiny woman can fit under the chin of a dog; Miniature flamenco dancers float over the head of a girl blowing a green plastic horn. This is not a collapse of 3D space into a 2D image, it is a view into a parallel reality where people come in all sizes, just like dogs and inhabit vibrant places all day every day.
Although the preparation, planning and organization for this projects gives me the illusion of control, I know that most of the process is out of my hands. In the end I have to embrace the randomness of the outside world and know that the randomness will somehow create its own meaning.
When I look at this growing pile of flipbooks and thrift store electronics, I often think back to street vendors in China. Some had obvious economic purpose. The ones selling food would have crowds of people waiting for their snacks. DVD sellers would attract students in pairs or trios looking for cheap entertainment. But others would spread on their blankets an inscrutable array of items like cell phone fobs or cheap headphones. It is hard to imagine ever selling enough of these cheap trinkets to support themselves. Not only were these objects low demand and low profit, there were also almost always countless other people nearby selling the exact same things. It seemed to be such a hopeless endeavor. But then I think about how the average person might view the paintings on a coffeeshop wall or in a gallery window. Why keep making this unusable, unsellable crap that will never sell? Like the street vendors, maybe the only thing of value is to keep showing up, being there and connecting with the people around me.