The Architecture of Cities: the World

My mind listened to Esophageal whispers in surround sound: I could feel a bit of faint as the Komodo Dragon’s breath caressed my ears: I looked across the Atlantic Ocean: The Blue Whale waded near the unsuspecting coastline. The whales’ tongue bridged the coastline to discoveries yet to be seen. I peek at my life as an adventure in paradise. It cripples my heart, my mind to imagine dreams and nightmares my eyes may never see in paradise.

I dream about my photography in broad strokes: Think Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, 1980s Blade Runner, and so many more.

These great dramatic movies are married to an amalgamation of narratives, cinematography and nuanced portrayals. The grand cinematic features are quite beautifully manipulative: The manipulation is harmless play: It is what movies are about.

One Liberty Plaza.

Now consider my struggles with a single frame: a single snap from my camera is meant to represent an entire movie: Yes absurd. But is why I dream as a movie maker with broad strokes: I want an entire world to live in my fractions, the camera’s fractions of a second: Impossible.

Movies’ interludes/intermissions: a break in the action to allow you to stretch your legs and allow for a new flow of oxygen that will refresh and heighten your senses. It is actually quite a brilliant manipulation of sensory perceptions: The mind comes alive: the eyes brighten to the expected but continuing storyline:

Allow for misdirections: misdirections occur during the interludes: A spoken word: A sudden burst of light from an unknown source: A shot of whiskey: a cup of coffee: I find myself mining new ideas while spinning in place before I return to my movie: my intended photograph. I am suddenly and acutely aware of fresh thoughts, and new considerations.

One day I was standing upright in the claustrophobia of the São Paulo thousands. The Pritzker architect Paulo Mendes nudged me to “look up” at an Oscar Niemeyer. The next day “Mendes” nudged me again to look up at a Lina Bo Bardi-designed building.

Paulo Mendes, knowingly or not was my pilot: He was forcing my eyes to absorb more than just the buildings I was making pictures of: He was suggesting that I take in all of São Paulo: to make a single frame, it was necessary to behold an entire city and an entire idea in one frame. “Mendes” was reconditioning my eyes to capture “more”: He was educating me.

Rem Koolhaas; New Court London Headquarters for Rothschild Bank.

Cinema does something very similar: The Director lays out a story but he/she are also directing your eyes to see in a certain way: to absorb more to learn more than a simple narrative: When you return from the interlude/intermission your mind has had time to reconsider everything to that point: You gather those thoughts with fresh eyes and suddenly there is a “Yowza”: your mind moves forward with a fresh appreciation: A heightened anticipation for whatever adventure lies ahead.

Detail Los Angeles County Museum.

A cinema adventure may be two to three hours: my world is revealed in fractions of a second: But it is my goal to tether my entire world onto those frames made in fractions.

What is the point of looking across landscapes and cityscapes if you don’t wonder where your dreams allow you to go. When you free your mind to go places and take pictures you have not seen before: what a “Yowza” factor your life becomes.

All photos by Richard Schulman.

Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.