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Nostalgia

Several years ago, shrouded in non-recollection, I stumbled across a web site called Classmates Dot Com. Now, my initial foray into checking this out included a pseudonym; not sure why anymore. Excessive paranoia, I guess. Eventually I did register Mad Shutterbug's Physical Universe Name and listed three schools; no one contacted me (no surprises, nor disappointment), and apparently only seven people visited my "profile" there. For the past year I've not logged on, but did just recently. I suspect part of the reason is related to LJ's new little toy, "Schools."


There's a small set of people on my "Must Read" list (I suppose I could diverge into a philosophical discussion about whether or not it's truly a "Friends" list, but that's not much related to what I'm discussing here, nor truly earth-shattering news, so you'll just need to content yourself with what you want to think about that) that list some of their schools. I've not yet done so, but I've looked at the same three that are listed on Classmates Dot Com for moi. As a few other's made note, there's a decided gap between those who are actively listing these schools and the years I attended them... I'm quite contentedly in a group of One, if I ever do list them.

I am not usually one who looks back to reunions and et cetera regarding schools; certainly not high school (while not a devastating time of life, nor was it particularly pleasant). I've two college periods. The first, when I studied engineering with the intent to fly but must admit didn't study with any particular concentration. The second, when I studied nursing with a great deal of intensity, not so much because I felt that strongly (at the time) about the profession, but because during the intervening years I'd learned in the School of Hard Knocks that college is a full-time job en-route to a much better paying job. In my case, this includes the caveat that fewer people would be shooting at me.

What this is all related to, though, is photography. Yes, photography, because I spotted two names (over time) on Classmates Dot Com that belong to people I photographed. In the infinite wisdom of my youth, I neglected to obtain written permission to use their photographs in my portfolio. Not that I expect there to be a problem if I did include their images as Not For Sale, because they are good portraits and not a part of my rather more sensitive area of artistic endeavor. Thus, since even at the time the understanding between us included "We are collaborating to make some type of artwork," I may without much difficulty legally show the work so long as I don't make any profit from it.

However, being the Sensitive New-Age Guy that I am (even if I do say so myself), it seems polite to both let these people know I'm ramping up my artistic ventures, and that I'm still (at least occasionally) thinking about them and the part they played in my life. I missed the chance with one of them, as they've since un-subscribed (or lapsed) their membership with Classmates Dot Com. The second is listed, and so today I did something unusual and which I wonder if I may regret... I spent money to join, so I could sent that person a message. We'll see what comes of that.

Meanwhile, there's at least one other person from that same time period, which for me is the glorious in-between of No Longer In High School and Just Moved Out (but still supported in a major part by parents), and the Stint As a Federally Subsidized Tourist On An All-Expenses Paid Tour (which could also be called, somewhat less humorously, as The Great Awakening to the Fact That the World Is Not a Friendly Place), with whom I'd like to get back in touch. (And isn't that a run-on sentence, neh?) Same reason and more, actually, as this person is the first person I photographed in that more sensitive area of artistic endeavor. So there are several portraits or "life scenes" which I may display without problems, and at least a half-dozen other images which test the limits with out that written permission. I could show these images privately, one-on-one and not be in violation of any trust, but not publicly, not even remotely publicly as in a private show and these works are listed Not For Sale.

This is true even though the same principle applies to these first attempts at nude art as to any of the other photographic work I did while attending a fascinating small liberal arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To Whit: we both knew we were collaborating to make art. So since that was the intent, I may perhaps show you, dear reader, if you're interested and if we're meeting face to face. I can not, though, in good conscience publicly display these works without that permission.

Which begs a question, because there are a couple of pieces from a much later session which I have shown semi-publicly. Different circumstances apply. The discussion and agreement before hand included the intention to be able to display this work, and in the particular choice pieces there is no identifying feature displayed. Begs the question because there is no existing written agreement (it being destroyed in an unfortunate but otherwise non-catastrophic event). However, both pieces are selected particularly for that lack of identification, and both of them are modified from being photographs, per se, into very high contrast prints, essentially lithographs in quite literally two colors: black, and white.

Thus, I might be able to show these two prints, but not to sell them.

So, we'll see. Maybe I'll hear back from the one. Maybe I'll be able to track the second down, now that I've got a bit more information to work with. The latter two, though, seem to be lost in the sands of time.

How very Zen.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
songius
Oct. 10th, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
In the tapestry of life, it's always interesting to see when two threads will unexpectedly be woven together again.

In my writing, I've got a nasty tendency to vomit my life and the people in it onto a piece of paper, so I've always got to be conscious about the "level of agreement" between me and my loved ones; particularly how much they are to be involved in my creative (cathartic) expressions.

It's definitely worth the effort to make sure those boundaries are nice and clear, even of John Law is totally okay with things.

I've found the mutual respect required in art to be both challenging and rewarding.
madshutterbug
Oct. 10th, 2005 09:11 am (UTC)
The only real difference between the writing and photography (or any one of the "visual" arts) is that old cliche about a picture being worth a thousand words... it's possible in both to transgress those boundaries. Sometimes all too easily.

The good news is, there's a reply to the contact. And it is good news, too. *G*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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