increments/now you’re just brute forcing it

so, last night when I went stacking I had a lot of difficultly getting my initial stack to stand. I got it to waist height multiple times, and it would always fall. something about one of the large rocks at the bottom was causing trouble – I think it was the algae. I gritted some sand in there eventually and reshimmed the bottom, and it seemed to sort itself out. either way, it took forever, and it was never very stable. all in all, minus the one very small moment where two little stones formed a pillar for a larger stone’s support halfway up, I was not pleased with this stack. it didn’t speak to me in any way.

I ended up stopping work on it simply because it was so unstable and wasn’t taking me anywhere interesting. I took my photos, and the bugs started attacking fiercely. suddenly I was inexplicably angry with the way it had gone. a voice in my head spat out, “if it’s going to turn out that poorly, you might as well just throw something together next time. just plonk down some large scale stones, unthoughtfully and uncarefully stacked, and get the hell out. why waste all that energy when you’re not going to be satisfied anyway?”

I calmed down just as quickly as I had flared up and spoke back to the voice. “well, sure. but instead of next time, it’ll be this time. I’m not going to waste a different trip on shoddy work.” despite the bugs and the failing light (the sun had fully set, leaving only a blue glow in the sky to darken to purple and fade away), I set about making a second tower. this one was quite precarious and I must admit I strained myself a couple times in lifting a few of the rocks while awkwardly overextended. however, when I finished I decided that the interplay between the two was interesting in some way. maybe not my tightest, most stable, well-thought out work, but interesting enough for me to post here.

unfortunately, all the shots taken once I finished the second tower were manually focused, and are thus less than my best. the low light was the problem – my camera doesn’t do well in such settings, and I can’t for the life of me remember how to use the flash. silly, I know, but true. some of the exposures here were quite long; up to 20 seconds, I believe. I can garuantee that I was dancing quite a mad mazurka across the loose stones of the beach during each photo’s exposure in an effort to ward off the biting insects, but I must report it did not go well for me. such is the small price we pay for our hobbies.

3 thoughts on “increments/now you’re just brute forcing it

    • I do go back in some cases, but most of the stacks here at the breakwater are well below the high tide mark – this one would be completely covered at high tide were it to remain standing – and at fort williams there’s a lot of people that worry my towers are dangerous and thus knock them over. my walls usually remain for a long time, though. thanks for the feedback!

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