Blake Gordon Photography

NEWS: Blake Gordon Photography

The latest from the frontlines

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PDN Outdoor Photo Expo panel
PDN Outdoor Photo Expo

PDN Outdoor Photo Expo

I spoke at the first annual PDN Outdoor Photo Expo in Salt Lake City this past week. I was on a panel with Mark Fisher, Trevor Clark, and Yassine Ouhilal all skillfully moderated by PDN's photo editor, Amber Terranova. We spoke on "Marketing and Business Strategies for the Emerging Outdoor Photographer". The panel was well received - a big hats off to Amber for wrangling the for of us together and her preparation of the panel.

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LOOKbetween Coming back from an assignment in northern New Mexico, I headed straight for Dallas and hopped in the car with Brandon Thibodeaux to head just outside of Charlottesville, VA to the LOOKbetween photography festival at Deep Rock Farm on June 11-13.

It was an amazing time - over and finished in way too short of a time. I got to catch up with a number of great friends and even meet a few new ones. I just wish there would've been more time to speak with some of the people I didn't know. I was really impressed and inspired by the quality and range of projections that were shown on Friday and Saturday night.

I conducted a few interviews with the Creative Action Team to both foster dialogue and get to know the working process of other photographer/artist/creative folks there. I could've easily spent two weeks doing this but all the magic was squeezed into a short weekend.

It was a true pleasure to be out at the farm, see old friends, meet new ones, swim in the lake and a mountain swimming hole, see the fantastic work, listen to live mountain music, and share the power of photography. Many thanks to all who contributed to the event.

Made in Moss Point exhibition

Tonight in a Mississippi town of 17,500 people on the Gulf Coast, is the opening exhibition of a body of work developed collaboratively with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) out of Biloxi, MS. It has been an evolving project that has developed across three separate trips to Moss Point. It's hard to say how excited I am for the project and how I wish I was there. I finished my part of the collaboration the day before I left for New York. I'm really excited for it as a start to things and incredibly enjoyed working collaboratively, primarily with Nadene Mairesse.

Nadene studied architecture at Auburn University, where I studied landscape architecture. It is a field I immensely enjoy, though I prefer to engage it through exploration and documentation. The dance of being not knowing how the piece will take shape, but together working with the questions at hand was a tremendous test of my sense of creative skills. When I visited previously, the old library that is the exhibition space had windows boarding it up, concrete barricades in front of the building, old files and ATVs inside. And those things have been there for a few years. The GCCDS has transformed the space (I'm still unsure of what it actually looks like) with new paint, hanging display panels, and temporary walls.

Jim Sipwicz at Shell Media did an outstanding job handling the prints, which also had many questions. We went made it smoothly the printing process over the past week despite being myself being sick, some unresolved questions, and the exhibition date only a week away.

What fascinates me about the project is our attempt to bring together a small town community through a broad understanding of what it means to make something. We're all very curious to see how the town will respond to it, as we set out to reach across several barriers. Nadene found quilters, taxidermists, doll makers - a wide and beautiful range of people with a creative practice. I found it a joy after having studied fine art at University of Texas for two and a half years to hear how humble and eloquent many of them spoke about making.

Tim DuBose draws on high quality wood left over from job sites with a wood burner, marking the wood through heat. It is a personal practice for himself and he tells the stories of his culture. He mentioned that the act of creation and production is a very important human act - and something embedded in the American ideal. But he mention that he feels contemporary America has shifted to consuming more than it produces. I was in awe at such a profound and apolitical, though politically relevant, statement.

And so with this tiny exhibition that we've worked hard on, we wish to celebrate the humble physical act of making. We've been working hard at getting the exhibit together, but the project is bound to evolve to reach a wider audience. Stay tuned.

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Slideluck Potshow: Austin

SLIDELUCK POTSHOW convened in Austin for the second time, approximately one year after its debut appearance. It was at the Shangri-La again, which was a fantastic outdoor venue again. I didn't have the opportunity to help out with production this year due to having zero free time, but did have a piece in the show.

I put together a piece on the migratory massing of snowbirds in Quartzsite, AZ. Once home to the training ground of military camels, then a precious rock & gem show, and now thousands upon thousands of RV-based snowbirds who flock seasonally to the Mojave Desert. Its a rich fieldsite for invesitagating swarm intelligence.

Lula Marcondes: Brazilian Folk Art

Forró Dancers: (c) Lula Marcondes 2009 Trained as an architect, Lula Marcondes is a visual artist from northern Brazil who draws inspiration from regional folk art where he grew up. I captured sound and images during the opening, as well as conducted a short interview, in order to weave it together into a multimedia piece to document the opening.

Lula performs in a Brazilian folk band, Seu Jacinto, as well and they performed at the opening. The music supplied a festive ambience to the opening at the multimedia piece as well. It was really enjoyable weaving different media together to tell the story of Lula's art. He draws his inspiration from the spirit of the people of northern Brazil, and so keeping that evident was essential.

See the multimedia piece here.

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Barnstorm XXI: Eddie Adams Workshop

Paintball It was nothing less than an amazing amazing weekend at the Eddie Adams Workshop. Between not sleeping, shooting (w/ great gear), and being immeresed with amazing photographers and story tellers I couldn't have asked for much more.

Seeing Bill Epperidge speak about covering Bobby Kennedy's campaign in 1968 opened up a gap in history and allowed me to draw tight correlations between that political landscape and our present day. I'm still processing the wealth of images and conversations that were presented will stay with me for a while. But, much more impactful was the amazing community that I've found and joined. Photography has often been a solitary pursuit for me and I'm thrilled to find others who are moved by the same things.

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