Friday, January 30, 2015

Canal

There are few things more captivating than flowing water. 

Casey’s story: Pizzarro and hundreds of other explorers scoured the Americas in search of the

fountain of youth.  They never found it, because the fountain of youth is not to be found, but

instead built.

The greatest civilizations of the world created great public works and spread disruptive new inventions that contributed to the prposerity of their populace, vast improvements to standards of living, and massive reductions in infant mortality rates. The Romans built towering aqueducts to ensure water supply, the Incas dug massive terraced gardens to maximize productivity, the Egyptians developed basin irrigation to improve farm yields, the Greeks organized great central spaces to meet and debate, the Chinese practiced paper and printing to distribute knowledge, and the Babylonians created one law to rule that land.

Today's great achievements include the internet, wind-farms, flight, combustion engines hydro-electric dams, vaccines, and blood donation, just to list a few. These have created the most dramatic improvements in population sustainability and increases in average life expectancy known to man (note that the increase in life expectancy is not necessarily increasing total years lived by the populace, but instead reducing the number of people that die young - watch the math).

The photo above is of a massive canal project and reservoir in the central northern region of Peru, called the Tinajones Reservoir. The canal distributes life giving water across a large desrt live region, transforming dry grasslands into fertile rice, corn, potato, and tobacco field (tobacco is slowing being phased out). Small and large farms stretch out across the river valleys, safe from flooding, and with sufficient water to grow their crops. Of course, we can't all play a part in creating massive public works, but we can educate ourselves on their importance, dream big, and help spread new disruptive technologies that will create a better world.
On that note, I am excited about Fetch Your Sketch. A hand-made portfolio, great for artists of all ages. Check out this video we made!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dreamy

Who wouldn't want to have a lazy morning brunch or late afternoon dinner with this scene?

Casey's Story: A romantic finds beauty in the small moments in life and converts them into precious memories.

This photo for me has always served as a definition of romantic. One table, two chairs, a simple room, and a beautiful view. I took the photo on an early morning walk. IT was shot through the window of what appeared to be an abandoned building in the hills of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.

Was the building abandoned, leaving the memories of an older couple never to breakfast together again? Was it where two lovers met clandestinely? Was it occupied by a homeless couple with a sense of beauty? Who knows.

Wolfgang Puck says, "I don't expect to have a really amazing meal each time I dine out. Having a good meal with your loved ones - that's what makes the experience."

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hands

A seamstress’ hands are the channel through which a new world is created.

Casey's story: A baby discovers the world with his mouth. An adult moves the world with his hands.

With this in mind, when I was 20 years-old my father dispatched me and my camera with the creative dream - "Photograph their hands, son. Find the farmers, the carpenters, the mechanics, the accountants, the seamstresses, and the musicians. Find them and photograph their hands." Among many photos, this photo of decaying statue outside struck me as the most poignant. It was a cloudy day and I was traveling around with some new found friends. These friends, Leonard Damonte and Laura, took me to Laura's sculpting studio. Outside the studio, rotting amongst the overgrowth of the Greater Buenos Aires, was a group of plaster statues. This life-sized statue stood with interlaced hands.

The statue's hands were at peace, not war. They were covered in marks and scars, but not those of the fight. They were covered with the scars of experience and the marks of a life of learning. The daily grind tired the hands,  but did not break them. And, perhaps unintentionally, the accumulation of all this experience and learning created a work of art.

Do your hands move the world? At the end of the day, when your hands go to rest, what is left? Is your legacy a work of art?