Published by The Ice Plant. Text by Timothy Morton.
Animals That Saw Me, Volume Two presents a new collection of photographs from the observational wanderings of Ed Panar, author of Animals That Saw Me, Volume One (2011, now out of print). This body of work, encompassing recent pictures and newly discovered gems from Panar’s vast back catalogue, records a series of brief, often strangely amusing moments in which nonhuman species (mammal, reptile, bird or insect) seem to behold the human photographer. Edited for the viewer’s maximum delight, the photos convey a whimsical concept with surprisingly complex ramifications under the surface. Why do we distinguish between “us” and “them,” and what exists in the space between these distinctions? What does it mean to make “eye contact” with another species? What does the presence of a camera add to this phenomenon? Channeling the same thoughtful humor, wonder and peculiar engagement with the world that made the first volume of Animals That Saw Me an instant hit, this second installment also includes an original essay by acclaimed speculative realist philosopher Timothy Morton.
Roaming the natural and urban world with a camera for over 16 years, often alone, on foot and keeping a low profile, Ed Panar has repeatedly been caught in the act of photography--not by other people, but by a random assortment of familiar animals: cows, cats, frogs, dogs, turtles, deer, geese. The animal sees Ed; Ed sees the animal. An unspoken message passes between them. If the photographer is lucky, the moment is captured on film, cataloged and tagged for future reference. In Animals That Saw Me (Volume One), Panar brings together the first collection of his most surprising and unexpected encounters with ordinary beasts--a brief, beautifully deadpan field study of the uncanny moment of recognition between species. What exactly have these animals seen? Panar's photographs serve as a reminder that we must appear at least as strange to them as they do to us.
Published by J&L Books. Edited by Ed Panar, Jason Fulford. Interview by Charlotte Cotton.
When Ed Panar moved to Los Angeles, he opted not to get a car. Or a high-end camera. For two years. His compact was, "quick, cheap and direct, and that seemed to suit L.A." The color photographs collected in Golden Palms reflect Panar's walking life there, with the cumulative effect of a subtly funny tour through the city's lost back streets--parts of contemporary Los Angeles that most people would simply speed past in their cars. His subjects, including "The 405," "Near Ventura Boulevard," "Tuesday Afternoon," "Summer" and "Coming Home," were often, he says, "like cartoon characters I'd find while I was walking around, like the rainspout attached to the wall, in a city where it doesn't rain." And like that rain spout, many of the images capture especially peculiar intersections of nature and architecture, like a set of gnarled, clawlike tree roots gripping the sidewalk, a squirrel ignoring a trash can next to his tree, or palm trees photographed against stucco walls, looking like Dr. Seussian vegetation straight out of The Lorax. With an interview by the esteemed photo historian and curator, Charlotte Cotton.