I feel like technology will change and will help us capture memories even better than photos or video in the future. But I’m not sure how that will happen.

Paintings were created at first, to capture someone’s essence. Who they are. How they carried themselves. A look they were known for. It represented them in a way that someone’s mind needed to express.

Photographs, at first glance, can feel like a betrayal of that. Photos can be so… manipulative. Especially when photography just began. With longer exposure times, someone who might’ve usually been bubbly, joyful, or boisterous and always in motion, for that moment was still. Perfectly still and straight faced.

Even now, the essence of a person may not be representative in that 1/125th of a second, you know? Maybe they were somewhere else in that moment. There are photo essays done on this kind of thing, you know; a look between celebrities that seems to say something other than what is there.

But it happens all the time. Photos of two people laughing a bit too close, but it’s just a trick of the moment, a perspective skewed by a fumbling foot and bumping bodies together at just the right/wrong moment.

So I don’t know if technology would help show all the things I want to portray, but there is a feeling I want to capture and I don’t know how to do it.

The feeling is being up at dawn and being in a small budget, small town track and field arena. Fog hanging at the edges of the grass and on the track. The stacked bleachers stained pink with the morning light, before the sun breaks over tall mountains.

We’re at the bottom of everything.

Hills in the distance peppered with small homes hiding behind orange autumn trees, and the smell of something cooking vaguely hanging in the air. Like fast food McDonalds in the morning — the syrup and coffee scent that hangs in the air and mixes with a frying smell.

I feel like if you photographed it, you could get a sense that it’s early. But would it be to ominous? It’s about being in that moment. Finding solace in the solitary act of being in this place, with that moment, with those smells, in that light.

Maybe it’s experiential. Maybe you would have to be there to feel it. Maybe, in the future, someone would have us sit in VR goggles, in some sensory deprivation chamber. Soaking in saltwater, completely nude, while the smell of deep fried hash browns and sticky sweet breakfast is wafted in by someone in a lab coat.

Or maybe that’s why we have memories and words and ideas to communicate our thoughts. Maybe that’s why we evolved to make paintings, take photographs, take video and create music.

And maybe that’s why strangers should talk; because, sometimes, nothing else will do.