︎


ODP / 2018
And light followed the flight of sound
Edition of 150 (sold out)
8x6x1 in. x 27 ft.

Those who still wanted to know what the earth was like had after all only to listen to some gramophone, or to look into some cinematophote... “Beware of first-hand ideas!” exclaimed one of the most advanced of them... “Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element, direct observation... and in time...there will come a generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation seraphically free from taint of personality”... Tremendous applause greeted this lecture, which did but voice a feeling already latent in the minds of men - a feeling that terrestrial facts must be ignored.
–The Machine Stops


––

On August 21, 2017, the total solar eclipse provided a rare opportunity for people across the United States to experience a collective encounter. Despite the prevalence of contemporary political and cultural polarization, more than 215 million Americans – 88% of the country’s total population – stood side by side and looked skyward together, sharing in a quieting, unifying act.

Inspired by both the natural wonder and symbolic possibilities of this unique occurrence, photographers from inside and outside the path of totality were invited to document and share their experiences. The resulting book, And light followed the flight of sound, features 85 images by 52 emergent and established photographic artists. Edited, designed and produced by Jared Ragland and Eliot Dudik and presented as a 30-foot-long, hand-bound accordion with an enclosed saddle-stitched zine and essay by art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.D., University of South Florida, the limited edition of 150 copies is printed on digital offset, covered in a foil-stamped cloth, and comes housed in a clear Mylar sleeve, also foil stamped. As the book is removed from its sleeve, the foil stamps mimic the passage of the moon in front of the sun.

Production of And light followed the flight of sound was made possible by a grant from the College of William & Mary Dean’s Fund; portions of the book were edited during a workshop with students from Duke University’s MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts program.

The book’s title references E. M. Forster’s 1909 dystopian novella, The Machine Stops, in which the human species has become completely reliant upon technology to provide sustenance, deliver information, and mediate relationships. Today, life imitates art, and technology – which once promised to democratize knowledge and provide deep connection – has infiltrated the most intimate moments of our lives, increased individual isolation, provoked partisanship, and proliferated fake news.

“In an age in which even acceptance of scientific knowledge has become incomplete, divisive, and politicized, the 2017 solar eclipse marked a sought after, albeit temporary, restoration of reason and scientific truth,” writes art historian Catherine Wilkins, Ph.d. “The photographs found in And light followed the flight of sound seek to restore viewers’ senses through an embrace of firsthand experience and critical visual reckoning of terrestrial – or celestial – facts.” 

And light followed the flight of sound artists:


––

And light followed the flight of sound:













Select And light followed the flight of sound images:

Caleb Churchill

Sarah Meadows

Adam Forrester

Mark Steinmetz

Lisa McCarty

Daniel W. Coburn


Morgan Ashcom

Annie Flanagan


AnnieLaurie Erickson

Matt Eich

Jill Frank
 


Sara J. Winston

Keith Yahrling




Mark