• WILDLIFE ANALYSIS
  • WILDLIFE ANALYSIS
  • WILDLIFE ANALYSIS

BRYAN GRAF »WILDLIFE ANALYSIS« – selected by KEN SCHLES

»I’m trapped in the indeterminacy of Bryan Graf’s randomly sequenced WILDLIFE ANALYSIS; lost in its possibilities. Traditionally a photobook promised a unitary experience. A discrete string of images moved you through a consciously determined sequence. Graf abandoned that strategy. Experimenting with indeterminacy dates back to the Dadaists in the 1920s. Musicians from Charles Ives to John Cage to Brian Eno are famous for it. The novelist William Burroughs would tear up manuscripts then randomly reassemble them. Until wildlife analysis, indeterminacy yielded a singular audience experience. But need this be? In private readings we often don’t follow a photobook’s linear construction. We subvert that operation: skip passages; flip through. Operating a photobook randomly forces unanticipated connections. Employing this as a device, WILDLIFE ANALYSIS formalizes that approach. It works, however, only because there’s no narrative. But humans crave narrative and insert it where there’s none. And rarely are our attentions dominated by a linear conceit. Interruptions occur, flow is broken. Notate it as you will, disorder, repetition and drift are closer to how life unfolds. Counter-intuitively, disruptions of this sort allow us to imagine narrative as we construe meaning. These images, with their acid hued smudges, their repetition and drift, somehow feel closer to how life is naturally ordered. And there is no pretending a fiction of shared experience: each book has its own machine-dictated ordering schema. Is it a craven attempt to placate the collector’s desire for a unique object? Perhaps, but I think there’s significance in its shift away from human agency. I find it seductive, subversive and not a little disconcerting because increasingly machines order our perceptions — keeping us seduced while occupied. Which makes us the wildlife analyzed.«

BRYAN GRAF
»WILDLIFE ANALYSIS«
PUBLISHER: CONVEYOR ARTS, NEW JERSEY, 2013
DESIGN: BRYAN GRAF
TEXT: BRYAN GRAF
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
FORMAT: SOFTCOVER, 25.2 × 20.2 CM, 140 PAGES, REPRODUCTIONS: ILLUSTRATED THROUGHOUT
ISBN: 978-0-9834183-7-5

WWW.BRYANGRAFSTUDIO.COM

Fotobookfestival Kassel