What’s a Hairy Beast?
Hairy Beast is named after one of my favorite photography quotations, from an interview with John Szarkowski:
I am not especially interested in anonymous photography, or pictorialist photography, or avant-garde photography, or in straight, crooked or any other subspecific category of photography; I am interested in the entire, indivisible, hairy beast—because in the real world, where photographs are made, these subspecies, or races, interbreed shamelessly and continually.—John Szarkowski
I can’t promise to demonstrate that breadth of taste. It’s an aspiration, not an identification. I want to see photography that way: a mongrel beast, an uncarved block. Highbrow, lowbrow, unibrow.1
For Hairy Beast, we’re planning a shift in style or…really, pacing. For 1/125, we wrote mostly pretty in-depth material—not necessarily in length so much as subjectively. I left a lot of myself on the page whenever I sat down to write a post for 1/125. That was the point, and I’m really proud of what Karl and I put out there for 1/125, but that’s a hard kind of writing to do on a consistent basis for folks with unrelated full-time jobs.
I don’t want to stop doing that kind of writing, but I want to be more inclusive of smaller and lighter material. So, there may be long stretches where nothing big gets posted to Hairy Beast, but the plan is that those won’t have to be periods of total blog-death like they were on 1/125.
Where the #$!? have I been
As you may be aware, I’ve largely withdrawn from photography for several months now. There are a variety of reasons for this—my health, both mental and physical, has been difficult, and I’ve been working a lot of overtime, and there have been other pressing demands on my time, attention, and emotional reserves. So, I’ve basically been off of Tumblr and Flickr, and I’ve done almost no blogging related to photography.
I’m trying to get to a place where I can transition back to being productive in these areas.2 I’m not totally there yet, and because of that, I had been putting off Hairy Beast for…well, for a good while.
And rather than find some other place to jam my obligatory posts about this, it seemed a sensible occasion/excuse to go ahead and soft launch the beast.
What to Expect
Who knows. We’ve got a smidgen of substantive content ready to go for you—I’ve written a couple things about Minor White, and in case you don’t already read vossbrink’s blog,4 he’s going to cross-post some stuff here, starting with the delightful Miscegeny! Miscegeny! No escaping that for me!.
After that, we’ll see what happens. I don’t have a bunch of longform content banked like I should, and I haven’t set up any kind of routine schedule. And the next couple of months are going to be hellish for me in every aspect of real life, so…should be entertaining!
Oh, by the way, we’ve been having some trouble with our database server. So, don’t be surprised if the blog goes down for half an hour every couple of days. We’re working on having our host move us to a different one.
A Note on the Theme
We’re using the WordPress default theme du jour, Twenty Fourteen. The way it works is that the most recent “featured” content is displayed in a grid at the top. We’re using that for longer/more in-depth material. Smaller posts, and featured content that has aged out of the grid, appears below in the regular WordPress blog feed.