The daily obsessions of Mark Baumer
Mark Baumer’s everydayyeah chronicles (among author interviews, short fiction, misc.) with a new photo posted every day, inscriptions of the words EVERY DAY YEAH on practically anything imaginable: gumdrops, mattresses, crosswalks, pasta, etc. Part of the thrill is seeing what he comes up with—the sometimes imprudent terrains (i.e. public property, high altitudes, heavy traffic, etc.) on which he writes the words, and the orientation of the words (sometimes they are written in different places and only come together to form the phrase at a certain perspective. It’s a hefty commitment, not just of time, but of creative mental energy. Each incident is fresh, peculiar and intuitive.
I always ask myself, “where the hell is he taking these pictures?” (Let’s just say the guy gets around.) Many of the photos remind me of Where’s Waldo or the hidden bunny on the Playboy covers, as one often needs to search around before finding the phrase. Baumer, who seems highly in control of his own aesthetic, is probably doing this on purpose.
Another Baumer creation is Best Friends: photos of complete strangers (or light acquaintances at best) caught in an unlikely incidence of quasi-romanticism—at least through Baumer’s eyes. Of course, the appropriations are sarcastic, yet there’s a hint of solemnity—a certain loneliness conveyed, from not just the subjects, but the voyeur Baumer himself. He seems to always be looking, seeking comfort in the awkward spaces between limbs, averted eyes, and pending smiles.
Every day, every day. Yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t worry about OCD for Baumer, just server space.