American Photo posted an article about The Day My House Burned Down this afternoon. They interviewed me last week, and we talked about Echo Park neighborhood myths and the local newscaster who worried that I might be a warmth-seeking transient (which I was after, but not before the fire). The post has a slideshow of images from the book, so click!
This is how I feel on Labor Day weekend. Summer, why have you forsaken me?
Shabd’s tie-dye t shirt party at Ooga Booga earlier this summer.
I finally scanned and uploaded Fortunate Finds, a zine I made a few years back.
Back then I went to the Fairfax flea market every Sunday to sift through the impossibly large bins of found photographs. The volume and intimacy of the imagery was completely overwhelming. Birthday parties, family cars, proud parents, school portraits, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, weddings, prized possessions, disasters, vacations, grandparents, newborns, overexposures and mysteries.
Some Sundays I felt like one of the angels in Wings of Desire, touching the memories and lives of all humankind. Other days I didn’t feel the same benevolent rush, but I was fascinated with all of the ways people used their cameras, and all the things these pictures might mean. Most of the other people searching through the bins were looking for nudes, and they got bored quickly with all the other photos. The moments of other lives can seem so mundane.
After the flea market, I’d get takeout. With my new found treasures spread across the kitchen table, I’d think and feast. Fortune cookies taste like sweet cardboard, and the slips inside are exhausted clichés, dreadfully obvious yet vaguely true. It didn’t happen often, but some days the fortunes and my circumstances would align in a way that felt personal and powerful. Other times they didn’t read as my fate, but maybe someone else’s. Side by side on the table, the photos and the fortunes started to look like they belonged together.
Tony Pierce of busblog posted my book trailer last month, labeling it a “a short public service announcement.” I’m so slow with the trackbacks!