John Divola
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles.]

 I want things to be dumb and obvious and flat-footed, but to address the most ambitious possible iconography. 
 The reason I got into photography was that I wanted to enjoy doing it; I sought pleasure in the process. 
 …something in the medium [is] inherently melancholic. Absence is built into the process, the photograph as this dead industrial thing. Being simply silver on paper, or dye on paper, in itself represents the absence of whatever is represented; it is an index of loss, a lost present that cannot be retrieved. 
 I really don’t worry too much about what I see through the viewfinder, at least not at that point, especially if I’m using a flash because I don’t know what it’s going to do. I just see vague potentiality. It’s really working with a set of attributes that will hopefully interact in an interesting way. 
 The beauty of photography is that it takes a fraction of a second; to investigate the potential of an idea at a very low cost, it’s not like you have to wait a month to complete a whole painting. So you can get an idea and give it a try and all of a sudden you might see some potential. 
 I started thinking, here I am, this old guy, going into these old places and skulking around, doing this thing I’ve been doing for 40 years. I got this weird feeling that I was haunting my past practice, becoming this kind of a specter in relationship to it. So I thought, ‘Why not go with that?’ (2016) 
 Here we have two vectors and velocities, that of a dog and that of a car and, seeing that a camera will never capture reality and that a dog will never catch a car, evidence of devotion to a hopeless enterprise.(On his photographic project “Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert.”) 
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