Archive for the 'gonzodocumentarianism' Category


Bring the Power, Bring the Light: The Lighting Zone

The Light Painting is done by Marko93.  These are “behind the scenes” shots of us in Production……

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Texas by Light is, more than anything, an exercise in relying on a team to make it all come together.  We had many people help out and one in particular is Mark Clark and The Lighting Zone

We had a pretty amazing shoot in Austin at Moore’s Crossing Bridge. This is reportedly a haunted bridge. We thought this would be a great spot to do some of the Projection light painting and we had this crazy-cool massive white silk that Maggie Poorman loaned us for just this type of occasion. The problem was how to rig and power the projector.

Enter The Lighting Zone….Mark provided us with the critical gear we needed to mount our projector safely in the field and also a great ultra-quiet Honda generator for power. These items are nothing compared to the massive inventory of Production and Lighting gear Mark regularly provides his clients. “Your success is our success” is the motto at The Lighting Zone. Mark made our production a success.

The Lighting Zone Inc. offers lighting and grip equipment for sale and rent. Houston based, TLZ is owned and operated by industry professionals with more than 30 years of set experience including: motion pictures, television series, video production and still photography assignments.

Check out their Gallery!

The Lighting Zone Powered this shoot. Light Painting by Marko93.

Thanks Mark!

The Light Painting is done by Marko93


The Importance of Teamwork

Well, the Texas by Light production trip across Texas is done.  Our friends Marko93 and Mehdi have returned to France and the rest of our team has dispersed to the four corners of Texas and “normal lives”.  The Texas by Light production experience was pretty spectacular, if a bit taxing.  However, even in the most challenging situations our team was buoyed by an underlying sense of respect and humility for the grand effort each of us was putting into the production.

Individually, each person working on Texas by Light, whether they were with us the entire journey or just for a single event, was palpably engaged and connected both to the particulars of the production effort and also to the underlying concept of a collaborative experience that has an inherent value.

It was, as I like to call it, gonzodocumentarianism: documenting a subject, concept, or process in a manner that allows for the creative influence of the documentarian who is affecting/constructing the process while simultaneously experiencing it from within rather than from a “detached observer” position.

Light painting can be done alone, but the real magic comes from an interactive creative experience with other people and the environment.  Texas by Light is predicated on this tenant.  Also, any production is impossible without people to handle the component parts and fulfill the many, varied duties involved.  Nobody can do it all themselves, regardless of talent and/or determination, and Texas by Light works to integrate people that have “mad skills” individually into a functioning unit that challenges even the most skilled and experienced among us.

Texas by Light, hopefully, pushed the boundaries for everyone and brought us all out of or “comfort zones”.  Working alongside people in whom we see equal or greater skills, and using the respect for them and the product to push our own skill sets further  is one of the most powerful effects of collaboration and teamwork.

Being challenged and faced with valuable, potentially unexpected, alternative views is not the always the easiest situation to be in.  All of us have pretty firmly entrenched views and/or perceptions of how “things should work”.  Letting go of our individual paradigms enough to engage with the reality of other peoples’ process, and to validate the contribution that every team member makes may sound simple enough, but it’s often a challenging process to reconcile everyone’s expectations, skill sets, and preconceptions.

For me, the ultimate affirmation for Texas by Light is the way in which it was able to bring together such a radically diverse and committed series of people and artists.  We had a core production team, but the list of artists, assistants, administrators, sponsors, fans, and family that really made Texas by Light is what makes me think that we are successful.  The fact that so many people from literally across the World and across Texas made massive, concerted efforts to contribute to Texas by Light is proof of concept.  It’s proof that there really is an inherent value in the process of light painting and, more generally, in collaborative group art efforts.  All of the people involved in Texas by Light share a distinctly similar reason for participating; they sense, and react to, a feeling both from the “art object” of light painting and from the energy created by the ongoing group interaction. They see the proverbial, and sometimes literal, sparks fly and they are drawn to it.  They are drawn to it because we are inherently social animals that share a fundamental “receptor” that responds to other peoples’ energy as well as the simple act of creation.

When “bystanders” see a group of 10+ people actively engaged in creating art right in front of their eyes it’s pretty powerful.  But when they are drawn into the process and find themselves a part of the group, and by definition a part of the art,  then hopefully they will walk away from the experience with a new sense of empowerment and creative initiative.

It sounds great, but it’s not always easy.  Honestly, it is exhausting to constantly be in a state of technical, creative, social and professional hyper-awareness.  Texas by Light put everyone in this state and lasted for 13 days, 13 days of intense exposure and grand geography (read long travel days). It was 13 days of reconciling the cold hard realities of how many hours there are in a day, when the sun goes down, when to eat, following a production schedule while still having fun and then on top of it all the filming all takes place at night.  When you add sheer physical exhaustion to the mix because you filmed until 4AM then drove 6 hours then filmed till 2AM then then next day drove for 4 hours…etc….things can get challenging very quickly.  Texas by Light also had many people working together, and meeting each other for that matter, for the very first time.  For all the lovely concepts about group art collaboration there are also some unavoidable physical limitations that must be respected, even when they aren’t… ;-).

The strong belief that we were all working for a proverbial “greater good” carried us all along using the nexus of support generated by the contributions of each person.  We all had times in which we would “take up the slack” and the division of labor that existed kept us moving forward and production solid.

Texas by Light is in post production and you can see brief clip here.

There is much much more to come as Texas by Light gets edited by the talented Mehdi Idir.

Stay Tuned!


Classic Iconography with a Futurist Twist

Classic iconography with a futurist twist
We all want to leave our mark on the world.  The monuments of our past remind us of the traditions form which we have come.  We have historically sought to leave the marks of our passage on the architecture of our ancestors.  Light Painting offers a distinctly futurist approach to the idea of re-contextualizing the monuments of our past into the visual future we are constructing around ourselves.
A visual future at our command
Access to unprecedented technology has democratized the tools of media manipulation.  While technology continues to offer vast, exponentially multiplying options, content and performance have always been the fundamentals.  As we move closer to a more unified, real-time interaction with developing technologies the artist morphs these relationships in surprising and evocative ways that offer us formative insights into our perspective spatial relationships with reality, technology, each other and ourselves.
You have to be there
The process of interacting with spaces is significant.  Engaging with the environment imbues the artist with gestural interpretations. Reinterpreting the spaces we inhabit is a sensitive feedback process that simultaneously utilizes and redefines space.

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Texas by Light