We all know that Lomographers are an interesting bunch, active in more places than their LomoHome. If you are already a fan of livvyluv, you may also know her as Olivia Collette, creator of the multifaceted Livvy Jams blog. We asked her about writing, blogging, her dream job and what she is waiting for. Enjoy!
Describe yourself in as few words as possible (let’s say 10 is the max).
Oops, I did it again.
Your blog has great breadth, covering interesting topics as well as your personal thoughts. What is your greatest source of inspiration?
In volume, it would probably be cinema. In general, pop culture. I love picking that stuff apart.
What is The Art of Waiting project? Why did you start it and what does it mean to you?
Hold the phones! I didn’t start it at all. Fellow Lomographer Dirklancer started it, and he’s seeing it through. It can’t be easy, because as curator, he has to maintain the project’s blog, follow up with the participating artists (who come from all over the world), and at the end of 2010, he’ll have to collect a bunch of photos from all the participants. So yeah, all hail Dirklancer!
The Art of Waiting is a writing and photography project. Each participant has to submit at least one written work and at least one photo per month for the duration of 2010. Everything revolves around the theme of waiting, so there are some rules we have to observe. Firstly, all of our pictures have to be taken with film: no digital pictures allowed! Next, we can’t develop our photos until the end of the year. Also, Dirklancer invited each and every one of the artists to participate by mail, and we had to respond by mail. Generally speaking, Dirklancer also encourages us to send him our written contributions in the mail, but as I’m far away, I tend to send my entries by e-mail (tsk, tsk). And of course, once our photos are developed, we’ll have to send them to Dirklancer by mail. I’m really grateful to be a part of it. It’s a cool idea, a nice exercise, and I can’t wait to see the pictures.
You have a series called “Now I’m the Foreigner”. What is the best part about being a foreigner?
Noticing things that seem odd to you and normal to everyone else, and then reconciling how to make those things normal to you.
You seem to find art in many facets. What are the qualities of analogue photography that you find to be artistic (or allow for artistic expression)?
I’ve spoken about this in an article on Lomography. For me, it’s the element of surprise. I’m actually not a great photographer, and I’m not always very adept at managing the camera’s functions. I make a lot of mistakes, but most of my best results are happy accidents. To me, it’s fun, and also a great way to learn to let go, since I don’t have a lot of control over the medium. I could take classes to learn how to do things “right,” but where’s the sense in that?
That said, if I were a better photographer, I’d say one of the advantages of lo-fi photography is how you can manipulate the camera to obtain a specific result. There’s a pretty famous tale about the making of Barry Lyndon. Stanley Kubrick used this super-powerful lens that – at the time – had only been used in outer space to take pictures of, you know, outer space. There were, like, 2 lenses like it in the whole world and he used 1 of them for a tiny little scene that was lit exclusively by candlelight. He wanted it to look authentic, which it did, but it also impacted the atmosphere of the whole scene. It created tension and claustrophobia by inferring the darkness that existed outside the candlelit room. You have to admire the insistence and artistic temperament that went into crafting that effect. And that’s a bonafide analogue story. This would never happen in a green screen environment.
What got you interested in analogue photography in the first place? Was there a moment?
I’ve always been interested in taking good pictures, and since that was 17 years ago, before digital cameras, I suppose I was thrust into analogue photography before we had to distinguish it.
One of my first cameras was a huge, clunky, bulky Pentax from the 1970s that I’d inherited from my mother. I loved how I could zoom in and out, make the subject blurry or crisp, manipulate the aperture, and ultimately, make the picture look special. I wasn’t into the whole “line up the family at Christmas and say cheese” convention. I wanted to capture people when they weren’t busy posing.
Do you think there are any similarities between finding the right angle to one of your stories and getting the right angle on a photo?
Lots of similarities. Both are all about the angle. There are many feisty southern belles, but only one of them is Scarlett O’Hara.
Like all art, it’s 5% “what” and 95% “how.”
You have confessed to being a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. What, then, is your dream gig?
Getting paid a reasonably comfortable amount of money to write what I like, and for my work to matter to a loyal audience.
What projects are you working on at the moment that we should keep an eye out for?
I had an interesting dream the other night. It was part horror film, part feminist commentary, and I’m hoping to turn that into something.
Do you have an analogue lifestyle?
That’s a better question for the tech-savvy husband unit. He’s sort of retrofitted my life for the technological age. Thankfully, he has no idea how any of my non-digital cameras work.