I know what you're thinking: Why, pray tell, do you have a bed in your office?! Well, let me explain. At 6:41 a.m. we began a 24-hour class project that Hank has named "Charette." What is a Charette? The term evolved from a pre-1900 exercise at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. Architectural students were given a design problem to solve within an allotted time. When that time was up, the students would rush their drawings from the studio to the Ecole in a cart called a charrette. Students often jumped in the cart to finish drawings on the way. The term evolved to refer to the intense design exercise itself. Today it refers to a creative process akin to visual brainstorming that is used by design professionals to develop solutions to a design problem within a limited timeframe.
This particular class, Creative Concepts, is a very promising group of photographers Hank feels will benefit from being pushed in extreme ways.
Their assignment goes like this: First they had to read the book, MR. GOD, THIS IS ANNA, by Fynn, a book I highly recommend if you're in the mood to change your life. Then, using the book as a catalyst, they are being sent out for six-hour intervals to shoot their idea of God. Four times, they will return and submit up to 20 images on dvd, which will be printed on contact sheets and judged. As the work is being judged, they are back out in the street, shooting again, getting just a little more exhausted, dealing with a different kind of light, and having to dig a little deeper into their souls.
Currently, they're on their third round, due back in two and a half more hours, etc. So I'm here until sunrise tomorrow, to assist with the storytelling, or to help them frame the questions that will become their stories told through the images. Or, really, just to hand them the kleenex if things get too tough. I'm glossing this over, 'cause I'm a little tired myself, but it's a difficult mission, this figuring out who/what god is to you and how to share that through a visual narrative. What it ain't, though, is a bunch of stained glass or statues of Jesus, the unfortunate products of round one. They'll get it.
Many thanks to George and GareBear, who brought me the air mattress, and to Biggy, who's holding down the fort and is a way better sport than I would be. Right now, I'm just lying around, listening to Elvis. If anything interesting happens, I'll post as the evening progresses.
A little before 12:41 pm, they trickled in to submit round one and had sack lunches (with notes of encouragement), lovingly prepared by Fern(ando)and Catherine, our awesome admissions team.
Fellow students, instructors, and members of the professional community stopping by to judge the work.