colby caldwell

Jaye Bartell - Day One

colby caldwell
Jaye Bartell - Day One
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The first photograph I took today with observation in mind was of the fish tank in my kitchen, and the little blue fish in it. I thought of doing “Sunday animals,” in a Brady Bunch-type grid. My favorite artists work with ingenious ordered systems. The only “system” I manage is a coffee maker. I use Cafe Bustelo; it’s strong and the can is a great taxi yellow. Today I left the house in a kind of state of observation, like being high without the vague terror and relentless sense of humiliation. I would truly love to “get it all down,” to record the whole sensorium of experience, but in the end that would just be life. So, good news, I want to live. The last year I lived in Asheville (2013), I tried to videotape my whole life using a VHS camera I bought from a guy in the Ingles parking lot by my apartment on Kimberly Avenue. I carried this heavy machine everywhere, and it barely worked. After years of writing, making music, etc., I had reached this impasse: How does one characterize experience? Such is the mystery still, and its pursuit can have magic verve, like shadows. This image is a window at Anthology Film Archives, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street, in Manhattan. It’s a photograph by filmmaker Michael Snow of the same window some years ago, overlaid on the window now. Light exposure has desaturated the image so it’s just blue. The woman on the 3rd St. corner reminds me of Erin in her beret. I love 2nd and 2nd–it’s like a node of the universe, you could just watch it happen and slowly understand existence, because it is existence. I work here every Sunday, managing the theater.