fault lines

Mick Karn
Mick Karn

Apologies for the lack of blog action over the last couple of weeks but sometimes life takes over and certain things have to take a back seat. However, I am back; refreshed and revitalised and with a whole slew of lovely photos to wax lyrical about.

One of the reasons for my short sabbatical was that I moved home last week and, as I am now happily ensconced in my new abode, I felt it was time to procure myself another Jansen print to celebrate. One of the great pleasures in life, for me at least, is browsing through Steve’s website and tumblr page, trying to decide which picture(s) would look at home on my walls.

I had been toying with the idea of buying a print which features Mick for some time now; I am lucky enough to own one of his sculptures and I always thought it would be fitting to have one of Steve’s images of Mick to hang above it. This house move has been the final impetus to go ahead and finally do it. The sculpture now sits upon a beautiful marble fireplace in my bedroom and the wall above it cries out for an image of its creator…….but which one? After perusing all the available pictures and ‘umming and aahing’ over countless iconic shots, I realised I being drawn towards an image of Mick which has intrigued me since Steve published it on his tumblr page last year.

I am a bit of a sucker for a reflected image; a shot where you can see the photographer reflected in a mirror or window – or, in this case, in the lens of Mick’s glasses. I have kept going back to this particular image for over a year now, second guessing about the circumstances of how and when it was taken. But mainly, I have wondered “just what is that dangly thing?”

I had always imagined it was a piece of cord, used to skew the focus and add something extra to the shot. I thought it added a beautiful dimension to the image and it appealed to me greatly. However, any so-called artistic credibility I thought I had, took a bit of a nose-dive when I enquired about ordering the print.

Let me explain.

The limited edition prints that are available via Steve’s ‘imageshop’ are all tried and tested – they are guaranteed to be reproduced without any loss of quality. However, the photos he publishes via his ‘sleepyard’ tumblr are often an ‘unknown quantity’ and Steve has to send the negative off to the lab, to have a test print carried out, before he can decide whether he is happy to offer it for sale.

And it was at this point that Steve had to explain that the dangly thing wasn’t actually a dangly thing at all……but a fault on the film where light had leaked in. Oh dear. I felt like a bit of a berk, to be honest!  So much so, that I wondered if everyone else had realised that it was a fault on the film, and I was just a bit of an idiot? So, I turned to my trusted allies at TMK and asked them what they thought the ‘dangly thing’ was? And I was happily relieved to discover that EVERYONE assumed it was either a piece of string/rope or paper. Thanks goodness for that. Rather amusingly, Mischa suggested it could be someone’s knicker elastic but it fell to Craig to come up with the most creative suggestion “(is it) Sylvian with a pendulum ? “I wrote Visions Of China; I wrote Visions Of China; I Wrote Visions of China”  Oh, how we laughed.

Regardless of this fact, I still really love this image and am now patiently waiting to hear back from the ever-reliable Joseph as to whether it’s a “goer”.

This isn’t the only photo that Steve has published which has been less than developmentally perfect; earlier this year he published some shots from the Sons of Pioneers tour which included this touching picture of Mick in a field of goats, again exhibiting a light-induced flaw on the film.

Magic goat & Mick Karn, Japan world tour, UK 1982
Magic goat & Mick Karn, Japan world tour, UK 1982

And back in March I wrote a piece all about the photos Steve had taken using the Widelux self-panning camera which featured a number of shots where the image softens as the camera pans, creating a beautifully surreal sense, but again a flaw. Sometimes the results of such “faults” turn out to be happy accidents.  https://jansenphotographyblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/a-disturbed-sense-of-distance/

train station
train station

Steve’s imageshop has a choice of limited edition signed prints available for sale http://www.stevejansen.com/imageshop/index.html

Steve publishes photos and answers questions on his tumblr page http://sleepyard.tumblr.com/

All photos by Steve Jansen

13 thoughts on “fault lines

  1. Another great blog, Victoria! These ‘flaws’ now appear to be light spilling from another dimension. More proof that art is not the sum of our conscious efforts but an interplay with the forces of chance and technology. That aside, I liked my ‘umbilical cord’ suggestion…😉 a thread through the labyrinth of perception.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Of course …. the clue is there to see, or not to see … had it been a `dangly thing`, we would have seen its reflection thru Mick`s glasses. (?)
    Its great that Steve has shared the `accidents` with us. Strangely, the accidents add to the mystery of the pictures. I`ll never take `dangly bits` in pictures, for granted, ever again.
    I got `dangly bits` in twice …. nay, three times in this piece. A prize Victoria ???

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hurrah! I always assumed they were leaking light! Sadly the one freaking time in my life I could have been write about something I was off ill and missed the question at TMK! I hope by the time you read this we will have discovered Steve has said, ‘Oh, that picture? That’s a dangly bit.’
    Delightful as ever, utterly compelling, honest and informed. I can’t wait til you have the photo over your sculpture, it is a lovely thing to do and if my ship comes in I will ask Joseph to send you a full compliment. xx
    Craig, I believe you are here, subtly but surely, gathering data. 😉


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