Monday, 3 March 2008

Satellite Of Love

View "Something I Regret"

Dearest Friends,

For my first Your Collective project, I chose "Do something you'll regret" which was suggested by my boyfriend, Richard. I thought it was a fascinating idea and one that presented quite a paradox: can one regret an act if it's done on purpose?

I thought long and hard about doing something that would make me uncomfortable and create an uneasy feeling in my gut. I thought about what I hold sacred: the people in my life, my memories, my photographs, my cameras. As a photographer, naturally I revere cameras as holy objects. I have distinct memories with each of the few cameras I own and I would even go so far as to say that each one represents a different era in my life and punctuates my growth as a photographer. The thought of losing one, let alone destroying one of my cameras, filled me with a sense of dread. So of course, I realized I had to take a hammer to one of them for this project. I got the uneasy feeling in my gut that I had been waiting for and knew it was the right thing to do.

When my boyfriend came home from work today, I nervously told him about my idea and he shook his head and said "No." He felt like he was responsible for turning one of my favorite possessions into a sacrificial lamb. "You don't have to do that," he said. Which, of course, gave me more reason to do it.

I acquired my Lubitel 166b while I was living in Florence, Italy, studying photography for the first time after having been a trial and error amateur for a number of years. It was my first medium-format camera and I was ecstatic to own it. My Lubitel has (and always will) signify that very specific time in my life, when I realized I didn't just want to be a photographer, I wanted to be an artist. I learned a lot using it and dragged it all over the world during my travels. Simply writing this now makes me realize how utterly devastated I am at having destroyed it.

So naturally, I suppose you're wondering why I actually went through with it when I could have done something else, like walk around London with a turkey on my head or cartwheel across a busy street. I destroyed one of my favorite possessions because I believed in the brief that Richard proposed. I thought it was a really interesting idea and one that wouldn't have occurred to me to do on my own. And I did it because I wholeheartedly believe in Your Collective.

Your Collective is not only about collaboration, it's about listening, including anyone and everyone in the discussion of what constitutes art, why we create it and for whom. Think of the art that is proposed and created here as a conversation of sorts. It's an exciting time as all of us at Your Collective prepare to properly begin the process of opening up our little website to anyone interested. Though all of us at Your Collective are still students, each one of us have such a unique and distinct point of view that it fills me with curiosity and excitement about the work we'll be creating in the next few months. We are nothing of course without your proposals, so please don't hesitate to send them in. I hope that the story of my poor dearly departed Lubitel will exemplify the fact that Your Collective is committed to putting our hearts, souls, minds and guts into the work that you propose.

I do regret destroying my camera, but I'm proud it was done for Your Collective. Before I started hammering away, I paced around my flat and thought of all the memories I had with my Lubitel: the projects I created with it, the places I took it and all of the wonderful people in Italy that I took photos of with it and sadly, hardly speak to these days. As you can tell, I'm incredibly sentimental and I nearly put the execution tool away because of all the memories. In the end, of course, I went through with it, but I decided that if I was going to destroy my precious Lubitel, I should at least give it a proper send off, so I played Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" as I picked up the hammer and tried to be gentle.

Yours truly,

John Aranda