Nov 4, 2011

UVB-76




I tuned into the UVB-76 stream today after reading about it in Wired. UVB-76 is the call sign for a shortwave radio station that's been broadcasting a repeating series of monotones 24/7 since at least 1982. The foghorn-type tones are occasionally interrupted by a Russian voice reading cryptic words and numbers such as "Š¢RUTNIK 65 12 18 47". The signal originates out of a rusted radio tower in the woods north of Moscow. No one knows what it means, who's sending it or why. It feels like a message through time, a mystery left over from the Cold War or something from the Dharma Initiative. It's an evocative accompaniment to a rainy LA day while re-reading Uta Barth's book In Between Places

I've always admired Uta's art because she pushes the idea of what a photograph is. Her work is about perception and her intent is to create visuals that are more about experiencing a photo as opposed to reading it. 

In Between Places appears to be full of out-of-focus images because she's photographing the volume of space between the camera and something else, like a wall. She's not interested in pointing a camera at a subject and imbuing meaning to subject. She wants to talk of light, space, silence and the feeling that comes from that, not the actual thing.

I'm interested in doing something similar with the re-envisioning of my skin series. I want to convey intimate emotions and feelings without the distractions that come from interpreting a portrait. What better subject matter to use than something as common yet intimate as skin.