one part her, one part me (excerpt and artist statement)

One part her, one part me
Collaborative Double Exposure with Ipek Saygi
By Annie Robinson Zeltman

Over the course of a couple of weeks, a conversation played out through rolls of film and different clues, notes, songs. After our first attempt at trading film in an earlier assignment, it seemed better to do our final collaboratively instead of individually. Just like singing harmony and melody is often necessary for a song. We naturally trade off in the images, between harmony and melody, quiet and loud. It seems that our photographs like each other. I think for both Ipek and me, working collaboratively drew more out of us, having to interact with each other as well as with each other’s photographs. This became an intimate and dynamic exchange. Then our interaction and mutual influence became the artwork itself.

For me, trading rolls of film with Ipek was like giving up a sense of control, having to reside in applying much of the content after developing the film. This was freeing. I focused on shooting my half and simply telling her about me and what I had been up to. That happened through making her copies of the music I was listening to when I shot the rolls or giving her one of my old wedding invitations that I found in a bottom drawer. Some of my notes were more intimate, confessional, and others were simple or even vague and mysterious. We exchanged pieces of us with each role. Making only half of the images allowed me to think more about the conversation, instead of the “final product.” It was a pleasant surrender.

Each role was a play of different approaches to journaling and self-portraiture. I photographed honest objects, pieces of my life, first. Then, I started photographing relationships. We each did a role about our relationships with our husbands, exposed on top of each other. Our lives began to interact on film along with us and our various forms of communication through the few weeks we spent photographing the piece.

With one roll, Ipek gave me a brochure about a Whirling Dervishes performance in Istanbul. This was important to me because I have been intrigued by their spirituality and have spent some time researching their practice of devotional dance. Spirituality is an overarching aspect of me. Personally, I love to see the freedom of dance invade the often-stifled practice of Christianity that has surrounded me for a lot of my lifetime. Dance can unlock me. I went back into that exploration of the Whirling Dervishes and decided to photograph my own “whirl.” It was the first time I had ever appeared as the subject in one of my own photographs.

After developing the rolls, I have chosen the images that I am drawn to. The allure of most of them is a fun depiction of Ipek-Annie combination, usually including interplaying elements of form, pattern, rawness, robustness, stillness, and subtleties. You can see into us through photographs of our ordinary moments and objects that surround us. I print showing the mismatched frames and film text because it is honest. These parts of the film are an important depiction of our exchange, like entries in a journal.


Air God (kind of like Air Bud, but not)

So what's it to a girl who graduated college. There shouldn't be anything wrong with me. I went to university (and yes it took me extra time) and got my degree. (And yes I am in loads of debt because of it). IT! A DEGREE! It's supposed to be my ticket. Well where the hell am i going anyway? I bought a hundred thousand dollar ticked to the abyss of confusion. It's great here at the Abyss. I love the random stress episodes stemming from a feeling of worthlessness. I have learned to embrace the anxiety rooted in a lack of purpose and fear that I will never actually do all of the dreams I thought I wanted when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

What does this make me now? Something like Eeyore or perhaps making my way to a middle ground of being Pooh- the wise level-headed chub. Sometime ago I was certainly tigger, the bouncing around world changer.

(Oh categories. I hate them and I love to put myself in them. Personality tests are seriously a kick for me.)

So now I am wondering if I should be Pooh... You know... balance the prophesy, passion and zeal with wisdom, discipline and faithfulness. Why is it that the last trio there seems so drab? Where is the emotional high in discipline? There isn't one. For so long in my life, in my spirituality, I have chased highs. An addiction to goosebumps and emotional euphoria isn't something to go to rehab for, but it's an issue- especially when a foundation is built upon that. That is wavering is what that is.

No I'm not having a faith crisis, (at least not any more than my average once a day faith crisis). Foundations built on emotional hand raising moments aren't that great. And they're not that solid. I don't think that I am alone here. So much of our culture today is about raised hand moments, and I'm not just talking about Jesus Camp.


I am still very young and I used to be younger. Duh. Young eyes look for charisma and flashes of bright light. My eyes are aging (in addition to the fact that I have had glasses since I was two and i have a LAZY EYE. It made my mom cry. Fun fact.) Hype is lost on me these days. For those of you who have always been cool enough to disregard hype: kudos to you. But I have a sweet tooth and I have been mucho swayed by the sugar of lights-camera-action-Jesus.

Now I am learning about best-friend-Jesus, even-when-it-hurts-Jesus. I'm up for it because I know that the other stuff isn't worth it, world high or Jesus high. It's just not worth the lie and the let down. I am looking for rhythm. The rhythm of prayer and carrying peace; I don't mean looking like a just downed three pixed stix at all times. I want to be fulfilled in the morning by his love and go to bed easy- that kind of thing.

There is so much more than roller coaster. It is breath to have God inside of us, not a drug or sugar, but AIR. Thanks for air God. :)


dancing is good

"I don't feel like dancing," she said.
And he said,"That is why we're going to dance."

The End.


new song

You've brought me through the wilderness;
You've led me into Light.
Jesus, You are Savior
in my darkest night.

You've brought me through the desert,
a tired and dusty bride.
You always take me as I am
to be with you, alive.


today's self-talk & update

this afternoon's self talk: Steady now. Let's be intentional self. Breathe now and you will keep going. Get full; eat up. Drink from the Cup and overflow. You've got it. Keep walking through the storm and through the desert. You know these landscapes- you've been here before. You know there's nothing that He cannot do.

update: Josh's sister got married Saturday. I graduated from Ohio State Sunday (yay for lots of family togetherness). My wonderful parentals bought me a new car (wow). Tuesday, I went to Nashville with three lovely ladies to camp and shoot a music video for Jenny & Tyler (adventure and mini escape). Video is a powerful medium. Now I see the world through video instead of photographs, haha. Today I am putting together a resume for the perfect job for me: working with artists who are developmentally disabled and helping to run a gallery (yes Lord!).


here's a song/video from jenny & tyler- they are such awesome people and let us sleep on their floor when our tent got soaked. such a sweet road trip :) now listen to their music:


theres something about the time of night when all the moments of the day begin to collide. sometimes this is a wonderful collision, other times it's confusing. tonight it mostly hurts.

i am at the brink of starting over and everything, graduating blah blah blah. I'm excited about it, but it hurts.
and it's time again to move on, to transition. thankfully thankfully thankfully this time it is not a gray sky warning. Instead I see day dreams of me, alive and singing the songs that have yet to surface. That is something to be excited about.


April 26, 2011

Lately I have been reading Job 38. It is God answering Job after all the shit that went down, and Job NEVER spoke out against God. He lost everything in one year of his life. Hence the justified use of the word shit.

This story centers me so much when I am frustrated with my season of darkness and limited encounters with the Lord who is my everything. I long for Him and yet I cannot sense him easily. I know this is a season of formation for my FAITH. My senses are truly suspended. No longer can I rely on goosebumps and the light poetry of easy psalms and pop worship songs. Sometimes I feel stuck here, pushing on a boulder that I know I will never be able to move. He must do it.

Once I know that it must be Him, it is a pleasant surrender of my own strength and my ants-in-pants strategies of how to make things go my way. I release it to him in rest and trust, and sometimes this has to happen multiple times a day.


Stations of the Cross- open gallery friday!

excited about all of the artists that contributed to stations of the cross. each 'station' represents one of Jesus's last moments. it's such a beautiful way to contemplate and encounter God.

come check it out friday night during open gallery, 7-9pm!


God is in the darkness.

...Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. -Exodus 20:21

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted His hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

-St John of the Cross (1542-1591)

Sometimes He calls us to let our view and relationship with Him die like a seed falling to the ground... And of course this leads to creation new life, restoration of the old life (Hallelujah).

paradigm shift, gravity towards heaven.


side note:


One day, it will be every day.

for Ben on his quarter century birthday:

I'm seeing shine to sight,
fullness flying in flight;
Redemption is complete.

He's usually like the wind
and I believe
the trees will surely clap
their hands in time,
in rhythm and rhyme.
a jubilee will arise.

He follows me;
He goes before-
leaving clues and sunsets
to remind me of where I am going,
and where I am from,
and whose daughter I am.


I know there is more to how I sometimes live- confined by this world and the smallness of my own thoughts and boxes. Why do I allow this? Today I see a newness in light reflecting off of leftover snow, and peace in knowing everything will get done. I could see this newness and peace every day. One day, it will be every day.

Prayers for us to see the newness and peace, to know that everything that needs to, will get done eventually. Love.


Grace is space

I like being honest with myself.

I am a living sacrifice. My life is walked out on the altar of thanksgiving to my God, my Deliverer, my Strong Tower, my Comforter. The Lord is everything to me. Let it be true of me to be truly laying down my life for you Jesus, just as you went to the fullest extent of that for us. 

I am a sheep. Baa. I fail. I am utterly foolish in the way that I spend my time and energy, creating idols of school, my husband, friends, ministry. But He knows. He knows that deep in me is a hunger for more. It is in that place where He meets me. His grace creates space for that hunger to grow. 

Grace is space. Space for me to fail, to be foolish even with good intentions. 

I am young. 

It’s okay that I don’t have it all together, because: Jesus.

It all comes back to Jesus. 


watch this video, its cool

United Pursuit Band- group of Jesus lovers in Knoxville worshiping in their house

this is a lovely part of our generation. 
yay for new songs and free worship!


new year, new song in my heart

“Forget the former things;
   do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
   and streams in the wasteland..."

-isaiah 43:18,19

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