Monday, April 12, 2010

pressin coverage

I'm going to buy a camera.

This weekend i was covering the trinity international hip-hop festival (big ups to magee & ben, kosha dillz, flex mathews, self-suffice, and a special shout out to jamnopeanut for the space to crash) and i realized two very important things:

(1) in some circles - of as-of-yet undiscerned radius - "I'm a blogger" serves as a credible shibboleth. this weekend marked the first point at which I realized that my stringing together a couple of words here and there on the internets actually means something to someone not related to me (hi mom). in this world of hyperattenuated attention spans, the blogs are the go-to media incarnation.

thus embodied, my digital voice translates into physical form, an even tangible perk. or so it felt as I fingered the press pass hanging around my neck, stretching out to push my voice recorder (read: cell phone) a foot away from KRS-One.

Chilling with the Blastmaster behind closed doors because it's 2010 and the blogs is watching.

(2) if you have a camera (particularly in conjunction with a press pass - see the first point), you can do some real wild things that would otherwise be thoroughly gauche. at one point, my cameraman/bboy was up to battle, and so he passed me the camera for an hour or two. within 15 minutes, i found myself kneeling, craning, and instinctively pushing to the front of crowds, knowing that the camera i held was enough to grant me respected access to the attendant goings-on.

Wielding that power authoritatively - confidently - allowed me to interface with people around me in new ways. Strangers who might otherwise give me the ice grill would hear - hey, can i get a picture for the website? - and subsequently pose, shuffle about, even contort themselves to allow my gaze to fall upon them. i felt like Buscape' in City of God - the ultimate observer-participant, caught up in the front lines but set apart, objective, even judgmental - granted the decision of selecting those sufficiently noteworthy to rate the camera's flash.

and that judgment could be used foolishly or with discernment: i discovered how easily i took to being invasive, inhuman as i "went for the shot". but then, the next moment, the camera might become a tool for unity - joy, even - collecting groups of mutual strangers and binding them together - eternally in that moment - with the honesty of the flash, the revealing, recording, light. discernment.

things looked different through the glass eye. midway through the bboy battle, when the camera's batteries finally ran down, i realized that i had been missing the flow of the dance almost in its entirety. obsessed with capturing a clever, well-framed, energetic glimpse, i had forgotten the movement - drama - action of the dance. the very geist i had been seeking to exemplify, i had missed. foolishness.


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