In the time when i still thought that as a non-studied, unknown artist you still had a good chance to get a spot in the field, i sometimes participated in open calls here and there. This was also the case in 2008 for municipal purchases at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. I remember reading the call and immediately thinking: SKLOG! This is what i entered on the registration form (originally in Dutch, for this website i translated it):
How did you come to make this work?
At first i kept a photo diary (on my website), every day 1 photo of something i had experienced or seen. After 10 months it became a bit of an obsession (many times i thought: is this going to be a nice picture), so i stopped. Missed it a bit, and then suddenly i noticed i had taken a lot of pictures of skies over time, so i continued with that, instead of the photo diary it became a sky diary , a skylog, which I shortened to sklog (my photo diary used to be called phlog). I now have about 350 aerial photos (i don't put everything online).
Did you have an intention with it, can you describe it?
As a sky diary, i think it's purely about recording, recording what the sky looks like, because that fascinates me, because it's always different, and because clouds sometimes take on bizarre shapes. In addition, i also wanted to capture the environment in which it was photographed, because that's how you always see it, and i added the place, date and time.
If the work sort of happened to you, how did it go?
Since the photos are on the internet, i've started photographing more fanatically, it can be a shame if i don't have (one of my) cameras with me and see a certain sky (i don't really have a preference for beautiful or ugly or gray or sunset). In the meantime i have also read a number of books and seen films about / with clouds / skies / light as a subject or as a guideline, and my work / i am increasingly influenced by it.
Are there any other circumstances worth telling?
As an artist i make large drawings on canvas, actually only a few months ago i realized that there are similarities with the clouds / skies, in both you can see everything as a spectator. So now im looking for a way to integrate it and make it into an animation film. The best thing is to view the photos in a kind of slideshow, there are many weird, funny and strange photos in between.
I was invited to the opening at Art Amsterdam, and i remember how guest curator Hans Aarsman gave the opening speech, and stated it was so brave that even people who had not been selected had come to the opening. And another woman, i don't remember who, whose work was selected, who was soon walking around rather tipsy, expressing her cynical thoughts about being selected only for the form, and how fake the art world was. Perhaps it was then announced which works were purchased, and her work was not among them? Can't remember. In one of the many interviews with Aarsman, he once said something about a person who just photographed skies, and that it was great... and i was thinking: okay, that was me, why wasn't i selected? But i tried very hard to stay positive and etceterataataaaaaaaaatrallalaaaa.
In later years it dawned on me that i was actually trying to capture moments. For ten years i made a very halfhearted attempt to map 'a moment'. Of course that can only be half-hearted, because 'the moment' is every moment, then you might better film it, but also: where are you going to film, and what? A moment here is a different moment than a moment somewhere else, because of the time difference anyway, and the different circumstances. And: there is no limit of circumstances or moments, so how do you determine what is one moment and what is another? And how long does a moment actually last?
"Do you have a moment?"
And there you are, 8 minutes on hold with the tax authorities.
So it seemed best to me to just mess around and let the indeterminacy assert itself. The randomness of the photos from the beginning started to peel off over time. As i took more photos, i chose a moment more often: for example, if i knew i had an appointment at a nice place at noon, i would take the photo there, then also choose a nice shot and so on. Sometimes i also managed to let that go, and that was usually at times when i thought: oh dear, yes, i have to take another picture! Or if i was bored to death somewhere, and just went to take some pictures.
But just as often, it was the sky itself that i liked so much that i took a picture of it. Then 'the moment' actually didn't really apply at all in my photo urge. Perhaps this is a somewhat shocking confession, but it also says something about moments. Kodak Photo opportunities are moments too, after all.
In 2006, 2007 i made the diary photoseries, so only in 2008 i 'really' started SKLOG. Still i chose to add photo's from as early as 2003 and on, because i feel like they somehow belong. Is this cheating? Does that matter?
Also several half years of photos have disappeared by backup problems. That's a pity and bummer and such, especially on the Moment you find out. But just like storage media, this wee sorrow also fades into the background, with only a small flare-up as soon as you want to put them online.
From august 1, 2023 i started to shoot skies again, i will publish one a day here.