“Highway 71 is a conduit for my photographic activity. All the pictures do not physically take place along its edges, but its immense imposition on the landscape serves as a metaphor for the contradictions and trade-offs we negotiate in contemporary society.Although photography is most commonly associated with memory, these images for me are more predictive. Rather than solely offering traces of what has been, these pictures suggest a view of possibility, of potential.
I am interested in a multivalent approach to picture making. Crop, Italianate Landscape with Animals…shows a detail of an original painting of the same name which has been digitally photographed and rendered in black and white and finally exhibited as an ink jet print. In “Galaxy 9243, Austin, TX 11.01.2007”, I created a star-scape in my backyard by photographing flour I sprinkled onto a black piece of board. These consciously constructed images offer me more pictorial possibilities and when placed adjacent to the more traditionally observed straight photographs in the series, notions of the mechanisms by which images are fabricated and read are brought to the fore.
I live practically in the shadow of a Highway 71 and can hear the constant hum of traffic from my backyard if the sound of the construction of the adjacent development of condos doesn’t drown it out. The din of moving automobiles was the impetus for the field recordings that accompany the images. The field recordings consist of ambient sounds recorded under Highway 71layered with improvised guitars. Cars sound like the tides of the ocean, just as flour when photographed against a black background appears to be a galaxy. Photographs are instances rendered immobile from the free flow of time and the field recordings create a virtual auditory space divorced from its original context. Both processes offer vivid realistic representations of their subjects, but by virtue of their displacement in time (in the case of a photograph) and in space (in the field recordings)an inherent abstraction occurs ultimately offering a subjective meditation on place.These images hint at the infinite and extraordinary contained within the finite and ordinary.
Highway 71 Revisited is ongoing and multifaceted project. Through the process of making new images, I investigate how the very structure of an image influences my perspective and experience of the actual space I occupy. Image making enables me to render an observed pattern, which however transient and fictionalized, is in the end hopeful. The images in “Highway 71 Revisited” are a kind of mapping of this hope, where pictures and sounds begin to form patterns. These patterns form a personal language to describe and provide insight into who we are, where we came from, and who we hope to become.”
Barry Stone was born in Lubbock, Texas. After earning an MFA in Studio Art with a concentration in photography from the University of Texas at Austin.His work has been widely exhibited and he has received numerous grants, includingThe Arch and AnneGiles Kimbrough Fund grant from the Dallas Museum of Art. In 2004, he was selected to participate in the inaugural Art + Commerce Festival of Emerging Photographers.BarryStone is represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in Brooklyn, New York and teaches photography at Texas State University in San Marcos. He lives and works in Austin, Texas.