Show No. 18: Braunschweig, Germany
I am writing to inform you that I have photographed you without your permission. As I do not know your name or current address, I ask that you, my subject, identify yourself.
This photograph of you was taken on Monday, October 29, in Braunschweig, Germany. I took this photograph around 11:00 p.m., or 23:00 in 24-hour military time ubiquitously used throughout Europe. You were standing outside a concert venue called Nexus in a light, but penetrating rain (the precipitation accounts for the snowy distortion in my photograph) speaking German. My band had played this venue earlier in the evening to the delight of a small but enthusiastic audience. I believe that you attended the show, but did not watch my performance. There is a foosball table at Nexus, and I suspect you whiled away most of the evening in friendly foosball competition with your friends and their numerous dogs.
When I photographed you, I was wearing a brown, knit watch cap, a green, overpriced jacket/blazer from Urban Outfitters with too many pockets and zippers, dirty blue jeans, soaked Ben Sherman canvas sneakers, and somewhat pretentious fingerless U.S. army surplus gloves. Perhaps you saw me? I am a 5'8" (1.542 m) , 140 lbs. (63.6 kg), 30ish bald white male "indie rocker." You are slightly taller than me and about 50 pounds (22.7 kg) heavier. You were wearing a camouflage pair of slacks, a camouflage shirt that did not match your camouflage slacks, an enormous chain (for use as a weapon or bicycle lock?), a black shirt with a red star on the center (you are a Communist, perhaps?), a grandmotherly blue scarf, a goatee, and dredlocks. You were also drinking a beer. Though I do not wish to associate you with any subculture before speaking with you, your clothing, numerous dogs, beer, and devil-may-care attitude makes me suspect that you are a crust punk (a.k.a gutter-punk, a.k.a. speed punk) and may be a devotee of crusty punk music and the crusty's marginal lifestyle.
As you may be aware, a photograph is the unreliable digital or filmic record of an elusive moment in time. Because human lives are composed of innumerable such moments, I cannot expect that you will remember when I photographed you. However, in the hopes that you have access to the Internet (a.k.a. the world wide web) and, through some set of circumstances I cannot imagine, stumble upon my photograph of you, I now post this photograph and hope you can confirm that you are the subject and I am the photographer. I take these steps in the hope that you will remember the elusive moment my photograph records and, if you live, declare yourself. For, though my photograph achieves art without your consent, said art cannot transcend mere voyeurism if I never communicate with you or learn your name. In my life, I have heretofore espoused democratic, participatory art forms ("DIY" punk, weblogs, and, rarely, journalism). I despise the fictional barrier between "artist" and "subject" and, since I have made art out of you, must now seek to know you. In fact, I would have spoken to you after photographing you, but had to hide in my band's touring van when I heard from a third party that you and your friends were not happy with my picture-taking. Thus, though I failed to make human contact before, I wish to make clinical, digital contact now. Email correspondence will suffice.
Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
Writer of the WeBlog "Iceland"