Kairos: A Life in Pictures Q & A
Q.What story were you telling?
A. I was trying to capture my perception of myself and my life to date in relation to my family, and how that meaning has changed throughout my life in many ways. I wanted to cover the most base and important events of my life to date: from the events which corresponded to create my birth, to my sister’s illness and eventual passing, to my brother’s struggles with addiction, to my time touring the country in musical acts, to my mother’s very sudden death, and all the way up to falling in love, getting engaged, and creating this photo story and album to summarize it the best I could.
Q. What “grammatical” choices did you make? How did those choices work?
A. In the sense of physical writing, I chose to say very few things, and repeated the words in such a way that would create a them. Certain pictures, I chose to do close ups on, showing a sense of despair in the faces that may have been overlooked the first time. I particularly decided to do this with my brother, to depict his fall into addiction and how it affected the passing of his time as well as the time we have shared over the last 15 years or so.
Q. Why did you want to tell this story? What is the meaning?
A. I chose the term “Kairos” for a multitude of reasons. But there are a few things a person must know to understand its meaning, and why the meaning prompted me to tell this story.
First, in ancient Greek, there are two terms for time. There is “chronos,” and “kairos.” Chronos is the literal term for the physical passing of time. If you were trying to figure out when you did something, you’d be trying to figure out the “chronos” of it. “Kairos,” on the other hand, is the term used for the “quality” of time. This would be a term used to describe something of significance occurring within a time.
Second, my parents bought a 36-foot sailboat about 10 years ago, partnering with a wealthier older man who paid a majority of the upkeep so long as my father kept the physical upkeep. This boat has meant the world to him. He and my mother dreamed often about sailing away on it. At my mother’s funeral, my father explained all this, and eventually said “but I was wrong. The boat was never my Kairos. She was my Kairos.
This led to me thinking of the intense importance she had played in keeping my family together, whole and functional, and further left me thinking of all the wild changes throughout life. I wanted to portray these things in a way that would clearly communicate a linear story, and make people understand, and prepare themselves for the good, and bad of life. I wanted to make the viewer realize if they are going through a time of despair, or grieving, that there is a light.
The sun sets.
…but the sun also rises.
Q. What meaning did your viewers find?
A. It seemed as if the viewers understood my intentions very well. I did not got as much feedback on the “punctum” as I did on the “story” of the project, but in both cases, viewers observed the importance of the image, and noted some form of emotional drive behind it. One viewer also observed that they felt that the music tied together well with the story, which was pleasing to me, as the music was the original basis for this concept.
Q. What surprised you?
A. I was surprised by how obsessed with this project I became throughout the week. I was disappointed in myself for not having thought up the concept prior to having this class. It was very therapeutic to go through the 10 large cardboard boxes full of photos that I had to search through in order to make this. Especially doing so this past Saturday; the 3 year anniversary of my mother’s death. I shared it with many friends already who were touched, and I know that it made my week far more bearable.
Q. What would you add/change to do it differently?
A. I would have liked to have gotten a photograph of myself compiling the photographs. Otherwise, there is a song that I also wrote on Saturday. I wished that I had uploaded the song and left it to play on repeat as my musical accompaniment to the piece. This line particularly resides in the words: “Another day older now, and closer to, and farther from another first, or last.”