remembering college

i’ve been think­ing back on my years at art school, and it occurs to me that i must have spent quite a large pro­por­tion of time, end­less after­noons it seems now, light­ly smashed in friends’ front rooms, drink­ing end­less cups of tea and lis­ten­ing to ecm records. jan gar­barek, kei­th jar­rett, pat methe­ny bobo sten­son. those who know won’t need to ask.

i think it was as much the cool album cov­ers and their pho­tographs (this was pre-CD vinyl only), as much as the music con­tained inside. we were all pho­tog­ra­phers and the cov­er pho­tos were min­i­mal­ist ice.

often we’d talk about pho­tog­ra­phy, and, as wise old 3rd years, hav­ing heav­i­ly ingest­ed swathes of roland barthes’ writ­ings, togeth­er with ros­alind krauss and screen mag­a­zine as well as susan sontag’s “on pho­tog­ra­phy”. ‘why is this a set book’, some­one inquired petu­lant­ly, ‘she doesn’t even like pho­tog­ra­phy’. so there we were so engrossed in the ethics and moral­i­ty of pho­tog­ra­phy that some of us had spent most of the sec­ond and third years with our fin­gers per­ma­nent­ly frozen over our cam­eras’ shut­ter releas­es we couldn’t take any photographs.


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