Thursday, December 20, 2007


So...I made this photograph with my kid and a pair of needle nose pliers. I liked it but I didn't know what the pliers were all about. Where they supposed to look dangerous next to his skin? Like a birds beak? Like a mouth...I just didn't know. Then I found this sticker chart that had a sticker of an insect, a flying beetle of sorts, with feelers, antennae, probes that help them understand and feel out the world before them. With the pair, I'm trying to make a connection between the two. Click on the pair and see what you think....below.


Charles said...


Timothy Archibald said...

Thanks for contributing Charles...but come on, this isn't flickr...tell us why you like or don't like. Please?

jennifer said...

I don't like this one as much as your other scans--maybe because the chart is too much of a thing in itself--it doesn't have the ambiguity of the pills or the tape or the orange peels...for some reason this wasn't true of the googly eyes. I like the image of your son though--the softness of his body against the harsh plier-pincers is nice, and the way his eye is cropped so we see just a slight ring of white, but can't read his expression.

Timothy Archibald said...

hey jennifer-
good points you make for sure. the sticker thing is very literal, not really altered or out of context, which is what I think you are saying, so it just kind of stops there.
i still like the idea of "antennae" though...maybe i can find something else to pair it with that helps that idea? do you embrace the idea of antennae, or do you think its just a shot of a kid with pliers in his mouth?

Charles said...

Ha - sorry, I had just woken up and not too used to commenting - never sure where to draw the line.

Firstly I love the photo of your son, like I have said before it is a pleasure to discover each new image as this series continues to grow and define itself.

The sticker image speaks to me on different levels. I'm a nostalgic, I grew up in a western, anglo-saxon culture where these icons and their kind meant such a deal in growing up. It's a childs' universe that a lot of us have probably shared.

The fact that the image/objects/stickers are stuck on along the lines is also intriguing- in a way it is an instinctive attempt to structure images much in the same way as you and other image makers work to develop a visual language.

And hey... while I'm in a typative mood I might as well go a little further in saying that the scanned images, and the images produced through a camera may be considered on a par in as much as both are creating image-objects which may then be orientated/manipulated at will.

Perhaps in years to come, when you come across these attempts, your photographic attempts at 'sticking stickers along lines', you, your son, or anybody else for that matter, will have a particular reaction - like I had when I saw my old bed head, covered in stickers from my oh-so-tender years when I was a little younger... It was almost as if I had opened the page of a forgotten diary written in it's own secret language.

Ok- so enough bla bla ;-) Why don't you put a page together where we can see this series all together as it changes and grows? A bit like as if we could peek in on your table/wall whatever and see what it is you are juggling around- then again I guess that is what this blog is!

Ok- I'll be quiet now - ;-)

jennifer said...

even before i read your descriptions i thought of pincers--lobsters and crabs more than bugs and antennae. i like it as an image and like it as an idea, but i think this is an image that is strong on it's own. it's suggestive and strange and open to interpretation. i don't want all the answers-i'd rather have questions.

colin pantall said...

Nice comment, Charles - say what you think, it's good. I don't think the charts tie in too well with the pictures of you son, Timothy - but I think you have something going on with the son pictures. The pincers are so evocative, and the concealed face add to the darkness - again, it ties in with the hooded picture, the picture against the wall. I have an appointment at the dentist in January. I'm from the Uk if anyone remembers the Simpsons Book of British Smiles - It's true! - and so is the 'Is it safe?' Laurence Olivier Boys From Brazil thing.

Timothy Archibald said...

Colin, Jennifer, Charles- thanks for working so hard on your comments here...all your efforts are greatly appreciated.
I kinda think y'all are correct on this.
The holiday is approaching like a tidal wave, hope to keep posting amidst it all. Happy Holidays.


Anonymous said...

to me, I clearly know what the needle nose are. also, they don't feel antennae at all. it's just a very nice picture, a mysterious picture, in a good way. i'd just let it stand on its own and respect it. i think th e other sticker image really dilutes it. maybe you're working in pairs only; i dont know. but what i do know is that the sticker picture pulls the needlenose picture down. i think the needlenose picture, printed very large, would be killer on the wall. very nice image. just one opinion.

narico said...

When I first saw this image separate from the stickers it was clear to me your son was in danger of hurting himself and it was beyond his control. Not necessarily with the pliers, that's too obvious, but in some other way? The position of his right arm implies the lack of control, it look almost as if it's tied behind his back. Also, his posture shows a lack of control because it is twisted and he is slouching. The stickers add a contrast. They show what a young boy is "supposed to be", fun care free. the lines on the paper and the placement of the stickers shows order and stability, which contrast the photo on the left. The pairing could also show dueling characteristics of your son.

Nicole Lloyd