Joey Veltcamp: In addition to the intricate planning, many photographs seem designed to test your physical and mental limits; as if the art is a vehicle to create personal challenges. Your piece Variationsrequired you to rearrange a stack of barrels 120 times over a period of 2 days? If you made one error, you would have had to start over - why put yourself through that?
The art is definitely a vehicle to create personal challenges but most of the time I enjoy those challenges. Variations was a pleasure to make. It was shot over two days, 60 pictures per day, each shot exactly 10 minutes apart, from 8 am until 5:50 pm on two consecutive days: May 22nd and 23rd, 2010. Physically it was actually less arduous than many of my photographs, and I took a real joy out of seeing a predetermined pattern play itself out in very slow motion over the course of two days. I worked very systematically to avoid any errors, and in truth I wasn’t worried about making any. If I had made a mistake I would have gladly started over. When I’m working on a project that I love working on it doesn’t matter to me how long it takes, in fact sometimes I regret when it’s over.
There is a precise and detailed order to the way the barrels are arranged and rearranged. In the same way that a mathematician strives not just to solve a problem but solve the problem in the most elegant way possible, it was my desire to arrange the barrels in the most rational and elegant way possible. To find not my way, but the way. I see these photographs as attempts to bear witness to order that is observable but outside of myself, and much larger than myself. They are acts of appreciation and participation.