Book Nine


Book nine seems unexpectedly productive. It has one of my favourite passages. A favourite because it actually happened. It goes like this: 

Wednesday March 8, 1993 


A week into March and still the snow persistently falls. I walk to the vacant field at noon with my father's Polaroid camera. I want pictures of the ground, traces, the footprints in the field, but instead I am drawn toward the playground. Everything is black and white except the slides and monkey bars which are blue and red. I take the pictures but I must put the polaroids next to my skin, against my chest, so that they will be warm enough to develop. I walk back across the empty field with pictures forming under the warmth of my shirt. 


That night I dream of a Polaroid camera for photographing paintings. The pictures do not develop like ordinary pictures–as if someone were slowly turning on the lights in a darkened room–but rather they develop as the artist produced the painting, brush stroke by brush stroke. I point the camera at you and squeeze the release on the shutter. The picture forms slowly, through all the years of your life, your face growing into the frame; while the background flows by like a road through all the places you have ever been.

The book also contains some typographic poems made in an early graphics program for windows. They were inspired by Herbert Spencer's Pioneers of Modern TypographyI remember thinking they might make good postcards. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Here is a list of books.

Tim McLaughlin

Photographer and writer based in Vancouver, Canada