In Conversation
  • Name
    Daniel Arnold
  • Location
  • Craft
  1. You spend so much time in public spaces - what advice do you have for moving through strangers with ease?

    An overwhelming crowd can only mess you up if you have a destination on the other side of it, or expectations within it. I hated the Halloween parade for years until I decided that being shoved along in the crowd is the show, and that seeing things and getting places are distractions. If you point your popcorn movie brain at the actual world, especially here, it doesn’t get boring or annoying until you get hungry or tired. If you’re not a total degenerate like me, i.e. you have places to be, I still think that fetishizing your commute (like paying obsessive attention to the details of it, and to all of the people) gives you a self-contained purpose, so your brain doesn’t have time to wonder if you look fat or to pretend that the people in your morning meeting will be thinking about anything but themselves.

  2. Does shooting help root you in the present?

    Shooting makes the pictures, the pictures attract attention, attention gets me jobs, jobs earn me money, money gives me time, I use the time to walk, which gives me lots of space to think, also known as freedom, which shifts my perspective on my overall experience, a spiritual shift, which makes a quieter mind, and better pictures, which supply enough validation to give me the audacity to continue. So it’s kind of an assembly line scam, with a lot of packaging and side plots, when yes, I guess the real story is that I stumbled into a scenario where I am incentivized with all the classic rewards to work hard at staying present.

  3. What are you looking for when you take photos?

    I feel most satisfied by the most accessible photos. The ones that present a pleasingly arranged pile of clues, that you can enjoy without thinking, but that also offer infinite jumping off points depending on who’s looking. But anyways, I’m getting carried away in the pleasure of answering questions. I think the answer worth giving is that I try really hard not to be driven by the results. I have to remind myself that the process is more important than the product, and that the only personal value is in the ritual of looking. Maybe I’m nuts, I can imagine laughing at this answer in 10 years (or minutes), but I think that working exhaustively and valuing process over results, lets the so-called art of the enterprise be something involuntary. Something even I don’t totally understand until it’s over, because ideally I’m battering myself to a point where intentionality isn’t an option. All there is, is to go look again tomorrow.