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Book cover for Lewis Koch "Touchless Automatic Wonder, Found Text Photographs from the Real World" (Borderland Books, distributed by UW Press, 2009)
Provided by the artist - Lewis Koch
Wonder is a measure of what this world is all about. Not that wonder can be measured because it can't. Yet, in its own inexplicable way, it can be an antidote to the chaos of the world.
My initial impulse to make photographs was, I suppose, as Garry Winogrand said, to see what things look like photographed. Somewhat later on I came to understand that the obsession was not just this one thing, but many. A desire to follow an abiding sense of curiosity, to allow for the possibilities of digression, to experience the immediacy of the everyday, and through this, on the most elemental level, simply, to wonder.
Memory plays an essential role here as well. Photographs remain as a residue of memory. They are fragments of experience, conjecture and awe, a sometimes deliberate, sometimes accidental account of one's life. In some ways they actually are memory. I often think of photographs as my paper memory.
I like seeing things and I like words. There is something revelatory about the two together, an almost pentecostal feeling of seeing in tongues. Signs and symbols and scraps of text are ubiquitous in our daily lives, and can be read, like dreams, for their various meanings or they can be accepted, more poetically, as unfathomable koans. I prefer to read them as both. Like the photographs in this book.