Monday, November 19, 2007

Have You Heard?

About Artist Shirley Scheier? She is the University of Washington art professor who was detained by police for taking photographs of electrical wires. She was planning to use the photos as reference material for her art prints. Unknown to her, the wires were attached to an electrical substation identified by the Department of Homelad Security as a "critical infrastructure" target. For more details about her story, click the linked Title above.

I know a lot of you out there probably have no idea why an artist would be interested in power lines. I for one love the intriguing negative shapes formed by the stark black lines when viewed against a light field of skyscape. I'm attracted in the same way to the black lines of tree branches that are exposed in autumn when the leaves fall from the trees.

So, I'm out there walking in a residential neighborhood early Sunday morning. And I start to see all these beautiful branches and twigs and pieces of sky that weren't there a few weeks ago. I just had to record them. I whipped out my camera and started snapping away. But I got this paranoid feeling that the neighbors wouldn't like it. That they would be suspicisous of some stranger in a sweatshirt and baseball cap taking random photos of their territory.

A part of me kept wondering (truly not seriously, but the thought did come up) if someone would call the "authorities" who would then come and take me "away." We are living in such a different world these days.

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