I was delighted when poet Randall Couch approached me with the project we are calling Roma Amor, also the name of pone of the seven collages completed so far (and a palindrome). I correctly suspected that it would add a new dimension to my own work, challenge me, lead me in new directions, and give me an opportunity to collaborate on works that were not mine alone.
Randall writes: Joel’s work resonated with several of my poetic concerns: the way perception mediates the boundary between self and world; the use of formal devices to bind contradictory perceptions in a single created object; the exploitation of layered, simultaneous effects to suggest the nonlinear way we actually experience time. Thus we embarked on what has become a tremendously exciting collaboration. I look for images that arrest my attention and suggest both a
formal and thematic approach for a text. Rather than being mere captions or examples of ekphrasis, these poems derive their formal constraints and compositional principles from ones found in the images themselves. Likewise, the ‘subjects’ of the poems exist in dialogue with the interpretation of the visual components.
What the process has done for me is to help me conquer my fear of getting my hands involved in shaping the collage y, as for that matter can the camera. Working on this project with Randall has given me a greater appreciation for the relationships among my own images as well as the new dimension added by Randall’s words and perceptions. The process has provided me an opportunity to deepen and expand the meanings that reside within the photographs.