No Particular Night or Morning

Photographs by Austin Reynolds
Interview via emails, February 2019

How do your bodies of work typically come together, are they planned before any photographing has begun or are they constructed in hindsight?

In most cases I create something after the fact. It all depends. Sometimes the work is planned prior, like the work that I am doing along the Russian River, however, “No Particular Night or Morning” was created spontaneously.

At the end of my darkroom class, I started to build off of my contact sheets and begun seeing the series as a whole. It all started from the image of the book The Illustrated Man laying next to my father’s bed. That is when I started to collect all my images and create the work.

The Illustrated Man tells of two men traveling into space, one is Clemens a man that wishes to explore more of his mind while the other is Hitchcock who wishes to forget. Hitchcock embracing solipsism, and believing that neither night nor morning exist, refuses to believe anything about reality without sufficient evidence and soon becomes skeptical of everything he cannot directly experience. Clemens continually tries to change Hitchcocks’ views of the world, but he cannot and soon finds Hitchcock questioning whether he existed prior to the present moment. He gradually gets more philosophical and questions his whole reality and by the end finds himself swimming the deep sea of space, “a space with nothing on top, nothing on the bottom, a lot of empty nothings between.

My favorite style is to just get out there and photograph. I get caught up in wanting to create some epic piece and forget about all the fun in it. Photos are meaningless, we as humans create a story behind them. Nowadays with artist statements and bios, I get lost in what my work is, when there are no words sometimes.

Where were you in your life when you started to put the work together?

“No Particular Night or Morning” is a fictitious composition. In short, the series deals with ideologies of religion, self, and dreams. During this time, Matthew Genitempo released his work “Jasper” which I was struck and inspired by.

What struck you about Genitempo's work Jasper? In what ways did it inspire you?

The mystery he brings to his photos. The work is like bait, leading me on, wondering what is there that I cannot find.

What compels you to make a photograph?

When I first picked up photography in 2016 I was very much into capturing essentially everything. The world of photography was and is still so new to me that almost anything compels me to photograph it.

It’s funny, Eggleston's view point of being at war with the obvious is truly the underlying construct of photography. If you think about it, all photographs are “obvious,” otherwise they would not be photographs, what we saw was and is obvious hence why we pressed the shutter.  

How has seeing the world through a camera changed the way you interact with your environment?

You know that is a great question. Life is completely different once you train your eye to see photographically.  I would think by the time I die life would look so wonderful and strange. After seeing Ron Jude’s book “Other Nature” that really opened my eyes to the ordinary. I mean really making me see the most minuscule things as interesting.

This is an interesting thought, "I would think by the time I die life would look so wonderful and strange." What exactly do you mean by this?

Well, as I get older I see differently. When I look at the work of Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, their work at the end becomes so simple and blissful. Letting life create photos rather than going out and finding them.

Who or what influences your pursuit of photography. What motivates you?

That all depends on my mood, what life has thrown at me and where I am. Lately, I have been listening to William Basinski which has created an overall tone in my image making, very dull deadpan work in black and white, however, I tend to work on multiple bodies of work at time to keep things interesting. It’s nice to come back to work that I have forgotten about.

What's on the horizon for 2019?

2019 is seeming pretty structured, I feel less lost than I do normally. I am working primarily on a body of work in West Sonoma County along the Russian River as well as work in my home state of Florida.

What are you exploring at the Russian River? What in your home state of Florida?

Since moving here from here Florida I have not necessarily vibed with the Bay Area or San Francisco. I feel more attached to the communities along the Russian River out in West Sonoma County. It is away from the tech bros and the mass.

I just feel more at home there and comfortable which allows me to invite myself to meet others. There I am able to photograph people at their homes, find ordinary things and let the camera do the work.

For the Florida work I am visiting roughly each year and picking up from the past. Florida was a deranged place for me to grow up. The friends that I still have there tend to follow the same loop of events over and again. So I am photographing my old memories, family and friends.