Synthetic Diversity

March 14, 2011 in Photograph, Shoot, Social by William

Star exemplifies synthetic diversity. Her life story is full of creating new ideas from her environment. This photo was taken in a park nearby, we hardly began shooting, when snapped this one off. It captured the light and Star’s personality perfectly. It was the best shot of the day.

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Star Winters

These photos are an ongoing experiment searching for an aesthetic to celebrate differences rather than abstract them into mediocrity, pushing away society’s want to assimilate and reduce us all to one concept, refusing to lose all other meaning for the sake of protecting our own myopic views, in a hope to bridge to new understanding and acceptance of ideas not our own with joy. Classical portraits focus on the emotional connection, a connection a viewer can “see” in the eyes and face of the subject, what if we get the viewer to “see” something else, see something not contained within themselves, but outside themselves? I call the concept synthetic diversity, borrowing the concept from Kantian philosophy of synthetic knowledge, creating new ideas by combining two ideas, recognizing neither idea alone would lead you to something new.  Without differences there is no new ideas to be had just refining existing ideas.  Celebrating diversity, focusing on differences, not shying away or glossing over them, is the world I wish to be.

Meredith was posing for another photographer when I framed the portrait with her own hand, which is breaking a rule, but works perfectly here. I like to think of her supporting herself while she focuses on the future.

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Meredith Boring

The following only shows one eye of Mercedes, yet I find it to be a very expressive and interesting portrait.

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Mercedes

There are many other pictures in the project. I’ll post them over time and as they are relevant to another topic. Earlier last year ComplexD, a fashion magazine from England the focuses on diversity in shape, size, and color, published some of these pictures and a short essay on synthetic diversity.   They named me a “ComplexD Man”.