Thursday, March 12, 2009

Todd Deutsch - Chasing the Family Drift

photos by Todd Deutsch

Todd Deutsch
Chasing the Family Drift - limited edition book, 2009

Since I have become a father of 2 girls, both still under the age of 6, I can say that my living room and back yard look like the chromatic and metaphoric negative of Todd's. His are littered with hard, blue wheeled boy things, mine with soft fluffy girl things. Bottom line though is that they are littered, or lets say, full. I also recognize the body language, both of the adults and the kids. There are the standard postures of both stand-offish defiance, playfulness and vulnerability on the part of the children as well as the exhausted yet commanding stances of the grown-ups. I have realized that the years go by so fast, even though the days seem to take forever. I have to remind myself to pick up my camera, knowing, out of experience, that next year I will wonder where last year went. For Todd Deutsch, this almost overwhelming pace of change and flux is the subject his new book Chasing the Family Drift.
This book, however, is not about making a nostalgic record of childhood, but expands to the much broader theme of tracing the constellation of the family entity and its perpetual, unpredictable path;  as Todd so rightfully describes it as "....being carried along by the current rather than heading deliberately and confidently forward...."

more from Todd:

I started making photographs of my family shortly before my first son was born in 1997. The pictures became a way to maintain an even keel in the midst of rapid change. We now have three boys and are awaiting a fourth. As they grow older the desire for assurance that everything will fall into place is undermined by the reality that no such certainty exists. There is no single destination, only perpetual movement....

My great- grandparents recorded milestone events in a family bible. Birth, baptism, marriage, and death created a simple and reliable narrative path describing our family history. These records are now kept in photo albums. Although the format has a less religious overtone, the element of ritual remains intact. Yearly school photographs, along with snapshots of birthdays, holidays, and vacations make up the bulk of these obviously selective, routine histories. They describe an optimistically simple and peaceful version of family life; one in which change is predictable and effortless. But what is left is a broad outline that ignores the complexity and richness of the life it is meant to recall. The reality, of course, is that it has never been as peaceful (or organized as efficiently) as the photographs might suggest. Chasing the Family Drift is a way of staying mindful of the time spent in the gaps.

Todd Deutsch 

Photographs from the project can be seen at

This is his second book after Gamers, a beautiful book about the subculture of LAN parties and the rituals surrounding them.

2009, 66 pp., 34 color illustrations, softbound, 7.25×5.5″  $25.00 
You can order them here.

See if you can get a deal on the shipping if you buy both Gamers and Family Drift, they seem to be a nice pair.

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