Transformation of a Document
by Steven McCabe
The document exists within a moment. Perhaps a sweet moment.
And the moment exists within the skin of a document. Perhaps bitter.
Perhaps not. Yet you begin the undoing.
You unwrap this moment, and every moment you see. You can’t help yourself. This moment tastes like nothing you’ve tasted before.
You’ve been out there working in the dark too long. You can’t see a thing.
You say the darkness is naked and for the darkness you must undo all of the moments.
You document everything.
And now look at you, at the very beginning of your moments.
In my very early twenties I drew two ink drawings titled ‘Fragmentary Moments of Momentary Fragments’ and ‘Momentary Fragments of Fragmentary Moments.’ As you might imagine the drawings were very similar.
One of the images used in this digital composition is Ancient Household, a 1945 sculpture by David Smith. I find David Smith’s line (particularly in his early work) strangely comforting. He seems to suggests a reality we once knew.
& Also the Cathach of St. Columba, a 6th century Irish manuscript: https://www.ria.ie/library/catalogues/special-collections/medieval-and-early-modern-manuscripts/cathach-psalter-st
The moments continue
Beautiful delicate images.
Thank you Anna. It was a delight ‘working’ with the source images in Photoshop. The ‘document’ is actually a booklet from 1969 (I removed the title) so that too added a flavour to some of the mix.
Really stunning imagery and text, Steven. I am ever in awe of the type of light-color that you generate and present. It always reminds me of some heavenly witness but then there is always the grounding of these earthly structures that it turns out the colors are orbiting, or emit from. The earthy and the other in tandem. Then I appreciated how you dissected this series for us at the end. I always enjoy your work, friend.
Thank you very much Jack. I always like the light in your work. The light is intriguing to work with in this digital format. It’s there, it’s ‘real’ in its transience, and yet it’s only ‘there’ if we turn on the screen. Working with Photoshop amazes me with the alchemical possibilities. Something about the process of layers in the program mimics something about layers elsewhere. The software is a portal, or can be. It itself opens up relationships and possibilities when one uses it like a divining rod or dream-state. That might sound grandiose and I don’t mean to. Your observations my friend always open up new observations. Thank you again.
A moving piece, Steven. x
Thank you for visiting and your thought Narelle.
Really moving – I love what you do with images, Steven.
Thanks a lot Richard. I appreciate hearing this from you knowing your work.
Steven…you did it once again. Posting in fluid process…..and fluid it has been….
I caught this one yesterday (?) where it read reflections on Attica and Sam Melville which sent me to the Google archives for some research which then exploded (appropriate verb) memory of that time and revolutionary dreams last night and influenced my writing all day. Am I imagining this? And does it matter? You talk about photoshop with Jack…” Something about the process of layers in the program mimics something about layers elsewhere.”
Who needs psychedelic drugs?
Hi j.h., Believe it or not I wondered if you saw the multitude of changes this went through yesterday. Yes Attica and Sam Melville were in there! Now I see the value in my ‘Transformation of the Document’ (in a Safari browser that wanted to operate at half-speed) in the sense of sharing with your dream & writing life! No you’re not imagining anything! And yes, about those ramifications of Photoshop and the layers …it does lead into some strange, penetrating, territory. Thank you for these fluid thoughts.
Always enjoying your magic Steven…I love Smith’s work and you honour by merging so seamlessly into the Celtic artifact. You are a magician in what you do…
Thank you very much John. I saw one of Smith’s sculptures last week in a drawing show at the AGO. Isn’t it strangely serendipitous how well his line does merge into the Celtic artifact. Have you read John Moriarty? A friend just referred his work to me yesterday.