Monthly Archive for December, 2009

beso darchia – stigma

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Beso Darchia

Stigma

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The dire economic situation in Georgia has left the population of the country without any protection that would be provided by Government. Socially unprotected groups of society were among the ones most affected, their survival left to the mercy of foreign donors and the kindness of random people.

We live by the side of people who suffer from mental illnesses. Due to the lack of understanding of such illnesses, large parts of society have developed a sense of alienation towards the people who suffer from those illnesses. The social stigma remorselessly relieves mental patients of all their constitutional rights.  Abandoned by the friends and family, the “lucky” ones among them spend all their time at the deteriorating post-Soviet mental institutions; the rest may often not even have a roof over their heads.

There’s no official statistic regarding the number of people suffering from mental illness in Georgia. According to unofficial studies conducted by different research groups, there are about 400 thousand people suffering from different kinds and degrees of psychiatric disorder, about 10% of those in need of immediate medical care.

In Soviet Georgia (population: 5 million), the official number of people in psychiatric institutions was around 74 thousand. A study, conducted in year 2000, recorded 98 thousand of them. Current statistics shows that around 13 thousand people seek medical care in psychiatric institutions every month. Despite this statistic, latest polls in Georgia show that a visit to the psychiatrist is still perceived as a negative and derogatory act: 90% of the respondents would never recommend their friend or relative to visit a psychiatrist. Due to the lack of awareness among the parents, 99% percent of children with a mental illness never receive any medical care.

People with psychiatric disorders are a part of our society. Society should accept and accommodate them.

My goal and hope is to raise awareness about mental disorders in society. I hope to show that mental patients are regular human beings, who deserve to be treated with respect and care; that the society should not make them feel inferior, just because they suffer from an illness….

 

Bio

My name is Besik Darchia. I was born on 24th of September 1982, in Georgia, Tbilisi. I’m postgrad dentist, but have never been working by profession. By chance, three years ago photography became the main interest in my life: I accidentally found one of the photo sites and focused on portraits and photos on social life. I was inspired, that was stimulus to follow through and reflect the life surrounding me through photography.

 

Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

 

jennifer richter – california overpasses

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Jennifer Richter

California Overpasses

 

Remembering Views From The Road

These images encompass my love for traveling by car or motorcycles and they take me back to my childhood road trips taken with my family.

I can still hear the words “GOD DAMMIT” bursting from my father’s mouth as he unsuccessfully tried to bring order to six loud children ensconced in the family Volkswagen bus during the 1970’s. Or later, cruising around with him in our orange convertible Volkswagen beetle and on his motorcycle. It was the middle of summer, with the sun going down, eating peanuts, rolling to Steely Dan and Cat Stevens on 8 track tapes on the radio. I recall vividly and fondly the countless rides to the swimming pool in the summer with my mom. Wearing our handmade terrycloth, pullover yellow ponchos, we would point our toy kaleidoscopes toward the sun and experience so many bright colors shining out like fragmented architectural landscapes. Then gazing out the car window, a coveted position I had to eternally fight for, I would record in my brain all of the landscapes and architectural forms on the way to the pool.

With these overpasses I chose to shoot the straight image of them in the most dramatic way possible.  I then ascended to the next level and turned them into architectural surreal images that are interesting to me. My work engenders hope that the individual observer viewing the work would be able to view these structures in a new way even when driving these same highways in the future.

Riding in cars or on a motorcycle, and looking out the window and feeling the breeze on my face is a type of euphoria for me.  I would point out anything and everything I saw that was interesting or out of place to me.  Recently living in California, and seeing all the different overpasses brought elation of those sweet memories. When I photograph some of the overpasses, I see kaleidoscopes aglow and sometimes roller coasters; or I visualize the sensations and recall what it feels like to ride on one. It gives me new insights and I think that maybe the architects’ base some of their own ideas on what they remember or wish they could experience again.

My viewpoints have been built from the ideas from other Master artist works of the past, whom I have studied such as Dali, M.C. Escher,  (surrealism, places that don’t exists), Andy Goldsworthy (the idea of earth as art and design), and Architect – Frank Gehry, (clean abstract design), and photographers Michael Kenna, Edward Weston, Jerry Uelsmann, to name a few.

With the movement of Dancers and the sounds of music take me on a flight and speed that I have always enjoyed and to translate it in to a image is a daunting task and very enjoyable. The curves and sharp angles of movement that you can see visual in the overpasses this is one of the ways I visualize sound and movement in an image. They pull you in even as a small image or a ten-foot image into the unfamiliar but existing worlds.

The surreal viewpoint is something I have found to be very inventive, inviting, and engrossing images to view. The overpasses themselves are surreal in nature and very artistic on their own. They show the movement that grips my soul and I am able to see objects and faces of things within the images that are of dreams and unreal, but at the same time they are genuine, because the object in the image is a photograph of something real.

Bio:

Jennifer Richter is an emerging award winning fine art photographer, based in St. Louis, Missouri. She has been shooting photography since she was a child, but did not embrace her talent until she rediscovered it in college and her curiosity grew. Having moved to San Francisco, she furthered her studies in fine art photography. Jennifer has exhibited her work in numerous shows including Center of Fine Art Photography. She has participated in artists in residence program and taught workshops on photo in the local schools in St. Louis.  She is an artist who focuses on the compositional element of an image and the emotional response it elicits, and strives to bring greater awareness to the public through the lens of her camera.

 

Related links

Jennifer Richter

 

Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

jonathon bowman – monkey business

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Jonathon Bowman

Monkey Business

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I began taking photos at the monkey houses at the zoo, fascinated by the inner lives of our genetic relatives. I soon realized that what I found compelling in the photos I had been taking was the space that exists between the viewer and the subject. The plexi-glass that separates our lives from theirs is also a surface that records, in scratches and smudges, a history of the lives lived on the inside while reflecting back the glare of our own gaze.

These are records of the space between.

 

Bio

My interest in photography began while working in South Korea. I was looking, I think, to find a voice with which to express the cultural disconnect I was feeling.

Since returning to my home in Ontario, I have been seeking to make sense of what was once familiar.

These photos are a product of those experiences.


Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

face…

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many of you have seen this book before, but i am sure many of you have not….my first work in print….i publish it again here now only because my friend Masaaki Okada, who was the designer/editor, died on December 21….Masaaki was a tremendous influence on me as a person and as a photographer….my first collaborator…

i met Masaaki my senior year of high school….he barely spoke any English, had few friends, and had come from Japan to help out his uncle who ran a gift shop in Virginia Beach, Va…Masaaki and i ended up as college roommates and close friends…Masaaki was the most talented person i knew at the time …a brilliant man with a sketch pad and painter as well…from Masaaki i learned about Eastern art and about the concept of not making anyone lose face…the single most valuable concept i know….later, i went with Masaaki to Hamamatsu, Japan and met his whole family when i did a story on the Japanese kite fighters….

just after undergrad school, when Masaaki and i did Tell It Like It Is , we were idealists….the $2. contribution was to go to the local church and intended to buy food for the residents of the neighborhood where i did this story… i lived with this family for the better part of a summer….our goal was to save this Norfolk, Va. neighborhood and eliminate poverty  with this book…Masaaki and i were both 22…

Bruce Davidson is leaning on me to re-print this book (it pre-dates publication of East 100th Street by 3 yrs)…for only 4 copies of this book exist…..Masaaki and i threw away dozens of copies of  Tell It Like It Is,  not thinking they were of any real importance at the time…we sold few….after all , we were not important…living in a small Virginia town and not sensing any “place” in the photography world…Masaaki did not think it even appropriate to have my name, or his, on the cover….small type on the back jacket was all he would allow…i agreed…this was not about us, but about the people in the pictures….eastern humility…

a few weeks ago, i stopped by to see Masaaki in Richmond , Va. where he lived, a retired photographer from the Richmond Times-Dispatch…….in recent years i saw him rarely, but we picked up right where we left off….he thanked me for coming and gave me another one of his paintings from the outer banks where i now live…Masaaki was an avid surf fishermen and often painted the land that surrounds me…we talked of him coming down …i knew he would love the house, the space…but, that is not to be….

Masaaki’s paintings will grace my home always…more importantly his influence on me is forever….i did tell him this many times….he always shook his head in disbelief…..i wish i had told him even more…


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burnians…

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

this is a guest post by Lassal and Haik, two BURN participants who have organized a birthday surprise from all involved with BURN Magazine…


After a few weeks of conspiracy, Lassal’s and Civi’s unrelated cryptic comments it is time to unveil.

Operation “BURN plot” was made by BURNIANS for BURNIANS and is to celebrate BURN’s first birthday.

Happy birthday to BURN. David, thank you for making BURN a reality and thank you for making it a home for us. 
We present BURNIANS.COM – the site dedicated to celebrate BURN magazine by all BURNIANS. Most of us have put a little into the site and it became big. BIGGER than we could imagine.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BURN – FROM BURNIANS !!!

Please join and share your day and celebrations with the rest of us by emailing your photos to live(at)burnians.com.

With the rest of BURNworld … With the rest of BURNians …

Click to enter…

a collectors’ edition…

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dreams, fantasies, and idealizations….all ethereal in nature….and hardly anything one can grasp or hold onto…yet, this is what i live for and form the basic building blocks for anything i have ever done….the starting point….and what always keep me going…my crazy ideas are usually just that…gone with the wind…however, sometimes and only sometimes , does something come out of it….

Burn Magazine is one year old today….i have no idea if Burn will ever be two!  but, i take things one day at a time, one idea at a time, and with a combo of fate and hard work will do all i can to keep this audience driven magazine alive and well…

2009 has been a year of surprises (like the Lucie Award) and born from a “crazy idea” that popped into my head for no apparent reason right from the table where i now write here in Durango, Colorado…yes, Road Trips conceived right here, and Burn first published right here on this date last year….from the very room where my father Alan died peacefully on a snowy Christmas morning with family gathered,  and in the house where my mother Maryanna now lives…a room with memories and conversations that speak of the future…of optimism and fulfillment and warmth…in our family, possibility is always the order of the day…

the dummy cover above is such a possibility….well, a bit more than a possibility, and much more of a reality….hard copy….to be published as an on-demand collectors’ print magazine within the next few weeks….Anton Kusters and i are both working  to make this happen….again, the above cover is dummy copy…the final edition could be a bit  different than what appears above, but this gives you an idea…..yes sure, there will be hurdles as usual…but, while the major print publications are scaling down hard copy production and moving to the net, we have already our presence on the net and will move now towards some hard copy production in both magazine and book formats….

any of you who have followed me from Road Trips days knows that i always start with a dream/idea and do my best to make it come true…some ideas fall by the wayside, but some move forward to reality….you can go back and read right through everything that was being talked about and all that has happened…

for our Burn birthday today,  i now announce  a $15,000. stipend for the Emerging Photographer Fund grant for 2010 to be awarded to a worthy young photographer….details and deadlines to be announced by early January 2010…Sean Gallagher and Alejandro Chaskielberg have both been recipients in 2008 and 2009…if you track their work and their efforts you will quickly see the grant has been well placed…a jury of peers from our craft will be chosen to pick the EPF recipient 2010 from a selection of 10-20 finalists…

since this time of year is for taking stock and thanking those who have helped, i want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have made financial contributions to either Burn or to the EPF in 2009…each of you will receive a personal letter from me if you have not already…our new contribution button will now include the option for subscription, but of course all is totally voluntary and we will work just as hard for those of you who enjoy Burn as a free option as for those of you who are in a position to kindly contribute….we appreciate you all just being here…Anton and i alone cannot do any more than we are already doing with Burn and your contributions have at helped us to survive if not thrive…

we have two grant writers now working to see if we can receive significant support to not only maintain Burn but allow for payment to photographers…this has been our biggest hurdle and going for this funding is a full time job in and of itself……for us to do this is not so much a problem of sponsorship or grants which may come our way, but a requirement for a full time general manager…

the main thing is this…neither  Anton nor i  want to drop our life as photographers…we both have major projects going…for Burn to move forward in a significant way with regard to sponsorships and photographer commissions  will require a  full time full on person to manage these funds and the work flow….we both realized that if even a part of what we are asking for actually came in the door, then our lives as photographers would be over…for Burn to be more than what it is would take full on concentration from a management standpoint, not from a creative one…

the editing and curating and designing of Burn both online and in print can be managed by Anton and me  with no interference to our photographic lives, but the one step forward now of managing significant funding is a full time job for someone…i am interviewing for that “someone” now….that someone is a manager, not a photographer…that someone is a biz person, not an artist…

this is of course exactly how we structure the biz side of Magnum…..and that model is a model that works….a model that most likely will include Burn as a part of the upcoming new online presence for Magnum…while Burn obviously features non-Magnum photographers from this audience , Magnum’s overall interest in the development of new talent, education,  and the endorsement of a wide variety of  authored photography, and the rights of photographers  , falls well within the arbiter role that Magnum has played in general for 62 years…my push is for Magnum to be larger than Magnum….our place in history dictates a magnanimous role …

in one year, Burn has made  its place on the net…we think we have earned it and we humbly pledge to keep it that way…we are a boutique shop and we will stay a boutique shop….we have zero desire to become something we are not…we simply know we can be better…..the Lucie Award was significant only in that it was an endorsement for an audience driven online publication in a world of print and, more importantly, a bit of merit for our educational imperative….my other awards are packed in cardboard boxes in the attic…unimportant to me….the only one sitting on my mantle is this one…and it does not have my name on it…it is your award….a Burn award…..so, Happy Birthday to you!!


-david alan harvey

charlie mahoney – a troubled paradise

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Charlie Mahoney

A Troubled Paradise

 

Climate change is a difficult subject to treat visually, because much of the expected damage is still yet to come. We just haven’t seen many direct victims of climate change…at least not yet. As a result, I wanted to find a story that had a human element to it. After extensive research, I decided to go to the Maldives because, if scientists are correct, it will likely be the scene of one of first humanitarian disasters due to climate change. The story also ties in to an interesting social-political situation. I hope you find it interesting.

Beneath the outsiders’ vision of the Maldives lurks a troubled paradise- one shaped by 30 years of a brutal dictatorship. No one knows this better than Mohamed Nasheed, the nation’s new democratically elected President, who unseated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Maldives’ ruler since 1978, in a landmark election in October 2008. Nasheed was imprisoned thirteen times by Gayoom and was named an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience in 1991.

Nasheed is determined to secure liberal democracy in the Maldives, but the country is facing pressing challenges at home. Despite significant tourism revenue – the Maldives has South Asia’s highest GDP per capita – almost half of the Maldives’ population earns less than $2 a day. And Maldivian youth are in the middle of a heroin epidemic that may be one of the worst in the world. The legacy of Gayoom’s rule lingers, and the process of unraveling it will take time as entire political institutions, like a free press, an independent judiciary, and a multiparty legislature will need to be built from the ground up, emerging from the long shadows of three decades of tyranny.

As if all that was not enough, the archipelago nation faces a larger challenge. It could find itself submerged by a swelling sea. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body of scientists, forecasts that sea levels will rise an estimated 2 ft. (60 cm) this century, enough to inundate most of the country, many of whose 1,190 isles sit just 3 ft. (1 m) above the ocean. For a nation of so small a size, the new government’s task is monumental.

Photos from this story were published as part of an assignment in Time Magazine (Asia Edition) and in Intelligent Life and Corriere della Sera Magazine.

 

Bio

Charlie is a photojournalist and multimedia journalist currently based in Barcelona, Spain. His clients and publications include Time Magazine, The Guardian, BBC News, GEO, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet Magazine, The Times, The Independent on Sunday, The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC), the Council on Foreign Relations, Corriere della Sera Magazine, Intelligent Life, CS Monitor Weekly, 100 Eyes, The Telegraph, Financial Times, Global Post, Die Tageszeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau and De Standaard.

His most recent awards and nominations include the 2009 Environmental Photographer of the Year Award, the 2009 International Photography Awards, the Life category of the 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year, the 2008 PX3 Prix de la Photographie for photojournalism, the 2008 SOS Racism Photography contest and the new talent category of the 2007 Travel Photographer of the Year. He is represented by Bilderberg, Corbis and Cosmos.

He especially likes to work on stories of human interest and strongly believes that photojournalism can promote change by giving a voice to people who are all too often powerless to tell their own stories.

He has a Masters in Photojournalism from the University Autónoma of Barcelona and a B.A. in International Relations and Biology from Bowdoin College. Prior to his career in photojournalism, he worked in investment banking and equity management.

 

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Charlie Mahoney

 

Editor’s note:

As per Charlie’s request, comments are closed under this essay…you may discuss under Dialogue….

-david alan harvey

christopher young – five #08

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Five’ explores the power of ambiguity, minimalism and ‘the frame’ in photography. It develops concepts of implied narrative to communicate, amongst other things, darkness and danger.
Whilst the specific places that were visited are, conceptually speaking, irrelevant, there is an inherent sympathy for that which is stagnant, abandoned or neutered by various external forces.
In contrast to urban exploration, which is often adrenaline-fuelled, this work has been a controlled, formalised experience. It is much more about absorbing, reading and activating the spaces.
Any ambiguity in the resultant images should enable a new, personalised reading by someone who then views the work. Essentially replicating my original experience.
What or who is not there? What can’t we quite see? How do we overcome the helplessness of not being able to ground an image in a time line?
The images are an attempt to exploit this helplessness and the illusion of reality to create a more visceral, rather than intellectual, response to images.
More work from the same series, a more extensive statement and a supporting essay can be seen on my website: http://www.zebra-factory.com/five

Five #08 by Christopher Young

“five #08” is part of a broader series that explores the power of ambiguity, minimalism and ‘the frame’ in photography. It develops concepts of implied narrative to communicate, amongst other things, darkness and danger.

Whilst the specific places that were visited to make the work are, conceptually speaking, irrelevant, there is an inherent sympathy for that which is stagnant, abandoned or neutered by various external forces.

In contrast to urban exploration, which is often adrenaline-fuelled, this work has been a controlled, formalised experience. It is much more about absorbing, reading and activating the spaces.

Any ambiguity in the resultant images should enable a new, personalised reading by someone who then views the work. Essentially replicating my original experience.

What or who is not there? What can’t we quite see? How do we overcome the helplessness of not being able to ground an image in a time line? The images are an attempt to exploit this helplessness and the illusion of reality to create a more visceral, rather than intellectual, response to images.

As with many Australasian artists, themes in my work have often been identity-based. I find myself without a set of pre-determined motifs from which I can draw and I instead tend to grasp for an emotive connection.

With this in mind, I typically enter spaces blind, with only a vague idea of what I am about to encounter. This enables me to shoot without too many preconceptions and I’m then less likely to pre-visualise or design images. The majority of the images are ‘as found’ with little to no manipulation. I’m interested in finding scenes that potentially speak to an unknown history of a space.

As a technical side note, all of my work – with the exception of some documentation shots – is shot in natural light on medium format slide film. This allows for a great deal of detail and gives the work a hyper-real feel. A lot of the images were shot in extremely low light and this also generates an often painterly effect.

More work from the same series, a more extensive statement and a supporting essay can be seen on my website: http://www.zebra-factory.com/five

 

Bio:

I was born in small town New Zealand in the mid-seventies. My first experience with Photography was with a very nasty Diana-clone in 1982. It felt incredibly empowering to have my own camera and to be able to express, however crudely, how I saw the world. I enrolled to study Applied Arts in the early 90s and realised through that process that I really wasn’t that interested in being an ad man. I was much more into making images that moved both myself and others. I majored in Photography with a Fine Art bias and exhibit on a regular basis in Perth, Western Australia where I now live with my artist wife. In terms of influences I’m a fan of Stephen Shore, Jeff Wall, Craigie Horsfield, William Eggleston, Walker Evans and Todd Hido amongst others. Ultimately, I’m inspired by people doing almost anything extremely well. My images and the processes involved have always been solitary, very personal and have a therapeutic nature to them.

 

Related links

Christopher Young – Five

 

lila schaffler – my collections

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

Lila Schaffler

My Collections

play this essay

 

Remember the story of that old photograph? It was taken at some show in the run-down Bowery years ago. There’s this boy sitting in the middle of some trashed mosh pit right below the stage. No one’s left but him and he’s sitting there in this chair, his mouth open and screaming.

You can almost hear it if you stare hard enough. Everyone else was gone, but here’s this boy with blood on his face from a pulled piercing, keg cups surround his tired shoes, cigarette butts line the floors, and he’s just there in the thick of it – alone and screaming to some invisible moon, some greater madness.

It’s just a picture really, but it tears your heart out all the same.

It’s what it’s like I suppose; pogo-dancing insanity, some band destroying the already torn cloth speakers with curses and riffs, ripped piercings, blood, drool, the yellow fuzz from keg cups splashing in eyes and crying… and just for that moment, everyone is in the same place long enough to feel the shit and glory of some fantastically well-orchestrated abuse.

In the end there’s just that one person left over for it all to come back to, the one person left who just eats it all, hating it, loving it, slipping away and coming back all over again, sitting there in that empty room and screaming.

How do you top that?  It’s not the photographer I admire, it’s the boy.

 

About the essay:

It seems have been taking my camera on walks since the age of twelve.  I have collected more images than I could even begin to put a number on.  I wanted to show some of my collections in a way that made sense to how and what I see.  There was nothing easy about the edit, and still I can’t be certain that I chose the right ones…But I suppose that’s part of the beauty of it all, when you really stop an look.  Some of the images have been exhibited, some published, but I’ve never quite had the opportunity to show them as I’ve wanted to, as an essay…A collection of sorts. My collections.

 

Bio

When I was ten my grandmother gave me an old Canon, I still have it till this day… And regardless of all its replacements over the years, I haven’t stopped shooting since.  I’m originally from New York, NY, where I learned, studied, practiced, and trained through University professors on top of many professionals. Presently, I’m located in Seattle, Washington where I run my own studio and business. However, I remain quite bi-coastal and often travel with my camera in hand. I have exhibited In New York City, Seattle, Portland, with several coming up, both nationally and internationally, as well as many publications.

 

Related links

Lila Schaffler

 

Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

burn band…

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looks like a burned out rock band doesn’t it? i was playing with my toy Instax instant film camera today and did set up this shot of Anton Kusters, Mike Courvoisier (he does not seem to have moved from his position in the last picture), Chris Bickford and the ubiquitous John Gladdy…all hanging around waiting for you…..you who can make it to tomorrow’s Burn meeting in my loft….i think folks will start drifting in about 11am, but just come when you can….shuffling around some ideas is what we have in mind…

the net seems to come and go in the loft, but we will skype some of you, if for no other reason than just to say hello…….and let’s please see if we can lower the testosterone quotient of this meeting by at least a little…i think you know where live, but if not please come to 475 Kent Ave , Williamsburg between Division and South 11th..buzz 607…please join the band….i look forward to seeing you….