Todd R. Forsgren
Ornithological Photographs / The World is Round / Post-industrial Edens / Resume
Untitled Re:Iterations / An Imperfect Representation / Other Works / Order a Book

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Artist's Statement
Complete Image Index

Like many people in the 21st century, I am addicted to taking pictures. These images are a selection from my photos from 2000-2014 (spanning my late teens and into my early thirties). This sprawling series is not a tight and concise project, instead it’s a playfully organized document outlining my wanderings with the camera. It was a time I was preoccupied with observing the world and discovering myself.

The evidence of my addiction is extensive: binders full of negatives and positives of different sizes: 5x7, 4x5, 120, and 35mm film. Hard drives brimming with RAW, .jpg, .tif, and .psd files. Over a quarter million photographs in all. These images are my humble contribution to the massive quantity of photographs that have been made during the first chunk of the 21st century.

In most of my other series of photographs, I try to carefully frame my choices within certain art historical contexts. But this series is full of other sorts of observations: when I went out with the goal of seeing the world with as open a mind as possible. Relishing in looking, taking risks, and learning. Developing an ‘eye,’ you might say. These images were shoot in different styles and with different goals, as I wandered through cultures and met amazing people. Some are ‘snapshots,’ to use a dirty word, while others are more conceptually or technically driven.

These photos aren’t organized chronologically or geographically. There’s no overt narrative, though details of my life certainly do bubble up. Instead the groupings are more nebulous, perhaps reflective of this turbulent era of my life… when I’ve started trying to define or inscribe the images too carefully, it felt a bit like chasing a wild animal. Or like those little recurring dreams persist without ever making any more sense. So I left things open and penumbral: glances at the edge of my visual interests. If I keep these ideas in the periphery, they flourish.

My goal in this series was to try to inch towards making sense of all the data I’ve created. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking for patterns as though I’m performing statistical analysis. Other times it is about poetic resonance. As I sifted through my archive, I found that when a photograph was supported by others taken in a similar spirit, complimentary viewpoint, or contrasting idea. And then something grew. The sum was greater than the parts. So I embraced that glassy-eyed gaze and fuzzy logic. As I organized, I resisted the urge to define anything too concisely—a struggle for someone who strives to be an empiricist like I do.