Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gorman - aghast!

I like Dave Gorman. I think he's a natural writer and a great communicator. Finding 54 other Dave Gormans was inspired. Travelling the world via a chain of googlewhacks was another. And I've been particularly enjoying his new book - America Unchained - where he attempts to travel from the West coast to the East without paying any money to the big petrol corporations or chain hotels (The accompanying movie was good but not a patch on the book, surprise, surprise.) There are some really good photos in the book but not nearly enough to sum up his epic roadtrip, so you are directed to his blog or website.

So I had a look. Mr Gorman is annoyingly talented in the photography department too it seems. But while huge skies, awesome landscapes, tacky Americana and graffiti are interesting subjects, by far his best collection of photos is his 'I see faces' collection. They're brilliant!

Gorman seems to have an extraordinary ability to spot the simulacra all around us; he manages to anthropomorphise everything from kettles to USB leads to hinges. Some leap out at you. Some take a little longer to reveal themselves. But they're all terrific. See them all here on his Flickr Book Album.

It just reiterates to me something I once heard Richard Dawkins say about all animals being natural artists and mathematicians, always looking for patterns in the randomness of creation all around us. We're programmed to see faces that aren't actually there and Gorman seems better programmed than most.

Oh, and buy the book. It's pithy, poignant, political and pure fun.

Talk to you all again in May!

All photographs copyright (c) Dave Gorman


Me said...

Two stupendous words for me in this. simulacra and anthropomorphise. Very interesting post as well!

Stevyn Colgan said...

Thanks Me!

That sounds so egotistical ...

John Soanes said...

There's an interesting exercise on this theme in Scott McCloud's 'Understanding Comics' - to illustrate the point echoed in Dawkins's comment, he suggests one gets a friend to draw a number of shaopes - round, squiggly, whatever, on a piece of paper; then you add a single dot to points within each of the shapes. The result, invariably, is that it appears to be the face of a worm or amoeba or whatever.
Never actually done it as per the instructions, but I'm pretty sure it would work...

Stevyn Colgan said...

The face of a worm or an amoeba? Now that is something I'd like to see. How much more would we learn from them then?