More About Me
I'm a photographer who uses an iPhone and iPad to create fine art and tell compelling stories. I've taught art photography and photojournalism while exhibiting and publishing for over four decades. These days I teach mobile photography and smartphone art. It's been 4 years since I took up mobile photography (aka iPhoneography, mobileography, mobile art, smartphone art, iPhone art). Now I use only an iPhone 5S to help me see what's right in front of me.
I'm positively entranced with the magic of carrying a camera, a studio, and a global exhibition space - right in my pocket!
This is my art blog. Use the nav bar to browse my current work, learn about my workshops, or discuss a commission.
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Everybody Wants to Rule The World. (C) 2014, Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, OR. All rights reserved.
clear cam, brushstroke, icolorama, touch retouch, fragment
Bear Creek Witness, 8: Truth Be Told. (C) 2014, Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, OR. All rights reserved.
Hipsta, rookie, brushstroke, icolorama, snapseed, polamatic.
Oh God, the Children Were Watching. (C) 2014, Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, OR. All rights reserved.
It’s going to take awhile to process all that’s been brought up from the deeps by seeing 12 Years a Slave. Great art.
polamatic, pencil cam, rookie, icolorama, fragment, brushstroke, juxtaposer, snapseed, lens light
The Great Undoing. (C) 2014, Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, OR. All rights reserved.
With deep gratitude to the writer, the cast, the film crew, and the producers of 12 Years A Slave.
clear cam, oggl, snapseed, paint fx, brushstroke
From the Beginning, Mom and Dad Had Been Snowplows. (C) 2014 Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, Oregon
This morning, when I opened Facebook to take a look at the 49 notifications that came in between 2 AM (when I posted this image here and there) and 8 AM, I saw that Gina Costa, an artist whose work I admire deeply, left me a comment on it there.
Gina said “Meri, you are amazing.” Which is a lovely thing to hear. Maybe. But I honestly don’t know what she meant with those words.
Having spent more than 25 years practicing nonviolent communication to the best of my ability, I’m trained to ask questions about these kinds of statements. Because they really don’t give you much information about how you might have contributed to someone else with some act of yours - or what need of theirs you met.
So I wrote back to Gina beneath the image and here’s what I said:
I guess this means you like this piece, Gina ? If so, I’m glad.
It’s amazing to me too.
This one just tore its way out of me last night before I went to sleep. I don’t honestly feel very responsible for much of what I’m making these days.
I have experiences, I have thoughts and feelings about them, and then these gnarly images and titles erupt out of my fingers onto the glass of my iPhone like some crazy braille… No kidding. That’s my experience of “my” making of phone art these days.
What triggered this one is the fact that I have some younger friends here in southern Oregon who appear to me to be raising their children the way I was raised. I don’t know if what I perceive is true or just part of some distressing network of thoughts that have been the score of my life this life.
Whichever one it is, making phone art in response to experiences that trigger deep feeling is some nutty process that seems to have taken ahold of my psyche – for the purpose of healing it.
The insightI had last night was that dreaming up impossible expectations of children - and then using them as our avatars in some fantasy game where we use them to win is not the most loving way to raise human beings… And ,while this trance goes on, it’s invisible to all parties.
Who would have thought that one day our deepest selves would be able to use a smartphone to call us up and clue us in… ? Without talking!?
But all these words weren’t there last night with the insight. Just the feelings… And then an image made itself using my fingers and intelligence about image processing on a mobile device. And I felt really satisfied with it before I went to sleep.
Now I want to add this:
Yes, it’s amazing to me, too. And I’m still unclear how much “I” had anything to do with this image besides just listening to the Muse, moving my fingers on the glass, and then posting the result online to share with people who seem to enjoy my process of self-discovery.
I don’t say this to be “humble.” It’s just the truth. It totally blows my mind - day after day for 3 years now - what my iPhone and iPad have to tell me about my life.
And, as if the solo observation and art-making experience weren’t enough, here’s the enormous power that a single response from another human being (who I haven’t even had the please of meeting face-to-face yet) has to trigger an avalanche of words and sentences that create a little “bed” for the image in the deep place of mind from which it arose.
Fuckin’ awesome, this thing we call “iPhoneography” or “mobile art” or whatever the hell you like to call it. What we call it is irrelevant. Doing it isn’t. I don’t know what it is yet that we’re doing. But it’s not irrelevant.
superimposer, vintage fx, snapseed, icolorama, monokrom, lo mob, dynamic light
Love Is A Wound That Never Heals. (C) 2014 Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, Oregon
hipstamatic, after focus, snapseed.
I’ve been barely keeping my head above the high tide of details involved in hunting down an ID theft and re-securing myself in 21st century record books.
Control is actually the most powerful of all illusions. So powerful that we walk around all day, most every day, pretending to have it and asleep to the clear fact that we don’t. Busy telling ourselves - and everyone we meet - stories about our “roots” and “history” as if those things were anything definite. Assuming we have “rights” to them. That they are our “property.”
Oh well. On what planet would any of that be true? Certainly not this one. I’ve had identities as an innocent child, a virginal young woman, a mother, a worker, a lover, a homeowner, a creator of intellectual property - and so much more - ripped away from me over the course of my life. And so have many others.
So, as the shock began to fade, I loved finding my way through the ecstasy of freefall as I made this piece last week.
As the image took shape in my phone, I could actually feel some part of the mind “click in” and fully recognize that it’s not such a big deal to have one’s “identity” ripped away. It’s certainly a lot of trouble, but it’s not dangerous. It’s just another game to play in the process of being human.
Many thanks, Knox, for resharing this piece with thoughtful prose and song from two bad-ass creatives who seemed, throughout their lives, to be a lot less bothered than I have been by the illusion of control.
Identity Theft by Meri Walker
A basic impasse of all control machines is this: Control needs time in which to exercise control. Because control also needs opposition or acquiescence; otherwise, it ceases to be control. I control a hypnotized subject (at least partially); I control a slave, a dog, a worker; but if I establish complete control somehow, as by implanting electrodes in the brain, then my subject is little more than a tape recorder, a camera, a robot. You don’t control a tape recorder - you use it. Consider the distinction, and the impasse implicit here. All control systems try to make control as tight as possible, but at the same time, if they succeeded completely there would be nothing left to control. Suppose for example a control system installed electrodes in the brains of all prospective workers at birth. Control is now complete. Even the thought of rebellion is neurologically impossible. No police force is necessary. No psychological control is necessary, other than pressing buttons to achieve certain activations and operations.
William Burroughs, The LImits Of ControlThere are many forms of identity theft.
Big Brother/Chant of the ever-circling skeletal family by David Bowie
Don’t talk of dust and roses
Or should we powder our noses?
Don’t live for last year’s capers
Give me steel, give me steel, give me pulsars unreal
He’ll build a glass asylum
With just a hint of mayhem
He’ll build a better whirlpool
We’ll be living from sin,
then we can really begin
Please saviour, saviour, show us
Hear me, I’m graphically yours
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you
We want you Big Brother, Big Brother
I know you think you’re awful square
But you made everyone and you’ve been every where
Lord, I’d take an overdose if you knew what’s going down
[CHORUS (3 times)]
We want you Big Brother