I was asked this morning by my Dean why I teach photography and if I could provide her with a teaching philosophy. I have failed to write anything that serious. But I have made a list of a few things both fresh and recycled from my past written pieces. To be continued...
My list for Karen...
- Since I was a small child I have been compelled by the passage of time, memory, and the fleeting nature of experience -- all of the things that are easily lost as we grow and become. I make photographs because I want to locate these lost secrets and tell these truths. I selfishly teach to connect and to share, but more so that I may invite others who might be brave enough to embark upon on a search of own.
- Intuitively following my cameras like divining rods, I've spent my relationship with image-making seeking truths. Not some all encompassing truth about the world, but rather in search of the little truths, our distinct stories, revealing and connecting us as humans. Conveniently, the medium of photography inherently results in the process of learning how "to see"–sights both found and invented.
- Parallel to my obsession with photography, I've spent my time in the classroom in a relationship with the creative process. I believe in this process of following threads or choices, making marks, assessing the above, and then readjusting – like engaging in a formidable dance. All the mechanisms are built to unveil connections that sharpen our understanding of our truths. The recipe of these combined delights gives birth to a generous fluid process, across innumerable perspectives and experiences, learning to see and be seen.
- I choose photography as a voice, because all at once, it can be articulate, simultaneously, in both the conversation of the emotional and that of the intellectual, the irrational and the rational, the intuitive and the logical.
- Teaching art (not just photography) is essential to cultivating skills in students that accentuate open dialogue, critical thinking, problem solving, empathy, and compassion.
- Teaching and learning is fertile and complex. When done well, it is a flawlessly designed and self-propelling system. I find it a rich and delicate honor to be party to it's fruits.
- To be afforded the luxury of teaching is to attempt to drive sitting ackwardly between the front and back seats of the car, rotating through all of the required tasks at hand. Navigating, steering, riding along, braking, accelerating, etc. Inviting opinions from the passengers on the destination as well as the observations of the voyage. Exhausting, but the view, unforgettable.
- I teach photography because the language of the visual has wide enough arms to describe the often indescribable.