From the series Three Star by James Deavin
Here it is. The second segment of my interview with James Deavin. Enjoy!
Alice: Visually your show is not that different from your earlier work, other than it is shot in another world... It is an impressive body of work. Were you working on the SL shots before NYC, HHS!, and your Ultra status?
James: No I started 3 months before the show opened. In the meantime I made work in the UK, in Bourneouth, a series called 3 Star...And some other stuff in NYC... I was introduced to Second Life and logged in w/ the sole intention of making pictures. I wandered around for 3 months without interacting really with anyone working out what it was all about
A: Did you figure it out?
J: it's a shame the 3 star stuff has been TOTALLY overlooked because of the SL stuff...Figure what out?
A: What it's all about? This Second Life... I'm joking, you don't need to go there. I'm still somewhat in awe over it, that's all.
J: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT????? SOMEONE HELP ME PLEASE. Well I know I have different opinions on what its all about to everyone at Linden Labs. I am writing an essay at the mo, on photography and SL, that makes it all clear.
A: I anxiously await.
J: It just fascinates me how it is possible to approach an entire world through the medium of perspective.
William Henry Jackson and his glass plates and camera gear
A: I can't help but imagine you virtually lugging your view camera around that treacherous landscape... That's still how it is in my mind.
J: Heh...Well that's the funny thing about it. That camera in SL was made for me! I mean its really mad in fact - there is NO way that camera system has been used by anyone to its full potential until I came along... it is a view camera.
A: A pioneer... THE pioneer.
J: How would non view camera users know that, or want to know that, its bizarre in fact... I asked Philip Rosedale about it at the opening. he said: "We made it for you."
J: ...and 77mb file sizes! who would use that?? Except someone who wanted to make 40/50 prints??
A: It is a bit crazy.
Photographs from the New World by James Deavin
J: The funny thing is... I thought the SL images were a massive step backwards at first. They reminded me of the stuff I was doing in the RW at age 25 or something. You know just wandering around, taking pictures, whistling, taking pictures, all very innocent... Stuff like Three Star seemed to have much more depth to it. It was only as i started reading about and looking at still life painting that the penny dropped, and i saw how the SL stuff could develop.
A: Some of the SL shots would have gone over very very well in my beginning Large Format class...
J: right. its all straight verticals and so on. is that what you mean?
J: And sharp back to front! Without focusing! Joy!
A: It amazes me how much talk the work generates.
J: I always forget to focus my view camera. it can be really annoying (when i get the film back) I am an expert "sharpener' in Photoshop...
A: How's the SL lens...?
J: what talk, Alice?
A: I got into a 30 min chat with someone in the gallery the other day about the work and SL
J: Wide angle.
A: Some people just won't stop...
J: Which is ok, although use normal to long in RL.
A: Maybe they'll make options...
J: do you get the feeling that people are thinking about authorship???
A: No, I don't...I think it's more the "mind trip" it takes them on...
J: OK...but wouldn't they get that trip through the computer screen too?
A: It seems we're all so caught up in the idea of a photographer documenting another world in the same way that he would document this one.
A: I thought it was a show of novelty at first, I will admit... However, no longer the case.
A: It's good stuff. Anyways... Do you have any advice for aspiring Hot Shots and/or the new round of winners?
J: OK. My advice is that you could have a great opportunity on your hands. There can be no better way to get a show up quickly in NYC, with great people. That and remember to focus and stop trying to be William Eggleston...I mean, really!
From William Eggleston's Guide
A: Remembering to focus, not always an easy task. But Eggleston, he might be even harder to let go of...
J: and STAY OUT of SL!! Incidentally, where do you study?
J: SL is my turf!
A: Oh we're all moving in, and never sleeping again.
J: Do you take pictures? Do you have an avatar? Questions questions! Role reversal!
A: Yes. And in fact I am still taking pictures.
J: What's your avatar's name? (Send them to me.)
A: Alie Wheels
J: Oh yeah? Brill.
J: Do you think Flickr is a good medium for a portfolio?... Alie wheels -that makes me laugh!
A: It's not necessarily bad. But, my website is still a work in progress, stay tuned...
J: So do you need to know anything else, alie wheels?
A: I think that'll do. You're too kind to offer your time...
J: Well get back in touch if you need anything else, pleasure. Nighty night.
A: Will do. Sleep well.