… it is a Journal.

That wasn’t always the case. Two days ago, I’d have said I was a blogger .. and all the time before that.

But describing yourself as a blogger is a lot like describing yourself as a tax-payer – regardless of one’s contribution, induction into either role is without obstruction; neither role describes the contribution but merely acknowledges sign-up to the system; and, if either role is entered into with ambivalence the reality of the commitment is soon apparent.

Blogging is a much maligned activity … and rightly so. There’s too much noise. Several types survive in the blogging ecosystem. The truly inventive and readable bloggers sit top of the tree – it is they in whom we invest energies and time .. and they are a rarer breed. That group is outnumbered by other types – the martyr, the sycophant, the gossip, the marketer, the angry, the bored, the pedant, the populist, the rich and the wasteful.

I am not in the first bunch and I want to stay clear of the second.

And, one wants to be defined by more than the [blogging] tool that one uses, right?

On Monday, a buddy said rather nicely, “I like what you’re up to. That journal you keep about prisons and photography is cool. You know, like in the tradition of poets or theorists or madmen who don’t really know where they’re headed but are just exploring a theme to see where it takes them. Because they’re compelled.” Right on.

My mate Wikipedia says, “Strong psychological effects may arise from having an audience for one’s self-expression, even if the journal one writes in is only read by oneself.”

I guess I am happy with the thought experiment alone as justification for this journal.

I’ve always answered people’s inquiries about Prison Photography by describing my various interests and the fact I couldn’t describe (or really expect) an audience for them in one package. Also, that I don’t know if there’s a product or how ‘product’ is quantified.

But, then, who among this company of distinguished diarists knew their audience?

My rather nice buddy is also now a published photographer:

Somebody Wrote “Shit” on a Sign Advertising Condominiums, Seattle. (2009).

From the ‘Mobile Phone, Arm, Car, Sidewalk’ series. © Maia Ipp.