40 posts

Photomenology–a photographer’s philosophy

According to Berkeley, there is no real difference between riding a horse and thinking about riding a horse–indeed physical and mental phenomena are mixed in a most complex manner. Brentano distinguished mental phenomenon as being “directed at an object” and will “include an object intentionally within themselves.” INTENTIONALLY consciousness focuses like a searchlight beam. We expand our aesthetic Idea of Light as emanating from the being as did medieval theologians. We shall begin our effort where Brentano left off and Husserl begins. We do not seek a true science as did Galileo, nor suggest Doubting Everything, as did Descartes. Like a true philosopher, a thoughtful inspired photographer’s basic instrument is not logic; it is observation. Greatness as a photographic artist is a function of often expressing a unique angle of view, having the technique and sensitivity to refine and elevate a subject for one’s viewer. […]


  Even now my powers are loftier, clearer; I glow, as drunk with new-made wine: New strength and heart to meet the world incite me, The woe of earth, the bliss of earth, invite me, And though the shock of storms may smite me, No crash of shipwreck shall have power to fright me I feel thy presence, Spirit I invoke! Reveal thyself! Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe IMAGE:Havel’s Temptation, Royal Shakespeare, Stratford-on-Avon

Cumulative Psychosis : Disinformation/Despair and the Anti-Play

I am told by A I mystery voices that despite not having posted anything new in some fifty odd years, I have been protected from 10,973 spam comments on my public website. After giving away all my spillover footnotes, suffering a relapse from my erudite memory failure, I am yet insulted by a Digital Social medium of mass communication in not meeting community standards, whatever that could mean. I have learned that I am probably not a suitable subject for a group passion to invert and to crush language itself. I am fine with that. Why I remain “a person of interest” to those who make sport of disturbing those who have done little more than rubbed elbows with the greats and returned into the shadows of hidden meaning is of little consequence. I am told as I age I am even more irritating than […]

The Book

AN INTRODUCTION Inevitably writing a first book that presents a meaningful overview of a life dedicated to a form of artwork cannot be just the work itself, but biography must be confronted and interspersed, regardless of one’s opinion or vanity index. A time comes when to procrastinate can no longer be accepted. A duty to communicate values, experienced over many years of “photographic” based work, to others demands first a definition of terms. The process reveals limitations. Memory does indeed fail and missed opportunity lays bare incompletion. We can ” have” a theme, but never live to exhaust its possibilities. Has the artist’s effort been honest or merely convenient? Ruthless evaluation permits pleasure to take credit, acknowledge a well meaning failure or two in aesthetics, but refusing self deception to maintain a high standard without obsessive perfectionism is an acquired gift. Confused intent becomes missing […]

Acid Whore House

    The Dismember Ensemble and Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood introduces the 1987 LA Festival audience to director Aaron Osborne. Learn how LSD helped create the first and original Sixties Conspiracy theory when the FBI sets traps to seduce and capture innocent tourists visiting Vegas. Hookers and Hallucinations will melt your mind. Who could ask for more?

Performative Intertextual Images

        An Image conjuring the presence of mystery in Archaic Intelligence opens a case for new evaluations of so called primitive pre=history today, unexpectedly evoked by subtext in a dance photo from 1971.  A 35mm negative is lost in a dance studio arson fire but not before it appears full page in Dance Magazine and continues to capture attention.  The image begins to take on history of its own.  The dancers portrayed are David and Helen Adhar.  Egyptian born David appeared in De Milles films and Helen was a standin partner for Astaire.  Both dancing difficult roles in their sixties.   The choreography wins a Drama Critics Circle Award in Hollywood and becomes a life size signature icon for Gene Marinaccio, genius master of The Dance of great influence to many dancers.  The photograph resonates, and lives.  

Toward Personal Style

  In September of 1971 my first full page photo was published in Dance Magazine.  It was like a sudden religious revelation.   The event changed all priorities from commercial to aesthetic decisions  The photo credit became valued more than payment. Then there was watching my first web press run for a magazine I helped create: the endless roll of paper becoming uncut pages, the mechanical movements speeding sounds of press, the smell of ink. Standards were being established compelling choice of subject matter which then influenced the people I would meet. A path opened . A kind of  language was forming as my vocabulary of performance and print media became clearer giving me criteria.    I now see the process as acquiring personal style from thought to materialization. We need others with open minded expertise to share as critics to move from craft to artist. […]

The True Selfie

      Susan Sontag and Marshall McLuhan have less influence on todays scene than a Steampunk Comic version of a  Hemingway novel. In fact, use of the cellphone as camera and communication devices has changed users behavior and habits so radically as to render most themes of aesthetics laughingly lofty. irrelevant to the everyday practice of compulsive image capture. Even the long ago inspired aim of democratic access by Kodak snapshot simplicity has failed to foretell the documentational power of pixel rituals religious fervor. This potent combination of Cell eye viewing,  photo shop software, and Internet post to social media is an all consuming activity akin to eating and sleeping, with many yet undiscovered implications and possible futures for our species. Shaky cellimage replaces the broadcast quality eye of the pro. But first, let me introduce myself by that quaint title well earned of […]

Feedback Loops

    Hey, I am just reacting to events by viewing websites with too many ignorant commentators who think they have earned a point of view in a mindscape of mechanical babble that is posing as communication.  Sitting outside America, looks like Smartphone Device  applications replace sex toy, fashion, and automobile design fetishes.  An increasingly despotic Unreality Industry sells Comic Characters and Super gadgets that acquire Intellectual Social Status with what reads as universal brainwashing agenda for expendable eaters. Accept this blind mode of collective insincerity over the search for authentic thought and there is only positioning and process. Many seem to now love best SELFIES, elevating arms-length photodigisnaps to greater variations of vanity by electronic egoism. To Go Viral or accumulate friends and followers on Social Media is an individual’s validation and gratification. The cell eye view is the experience. This sense of wasting time […]

Lost Boys

                  . . .youth, strength, genius, thoughts, achievements, simple hearts–all die . . . No matter.”   Joseph Conrad, “Youth”         credits Willy , photo by Stephan Jammer  2014 Alba, portrait in Slimnic, Romania, by Jammer  2014 Alba and Jan by Romanian Artist Crina,  2014   In the Backyard where the Cherry Tree dies Rich soil is flooded from falling pain Wears its Black Widow mourning veils GhostSage, lavender and rose Nothing grows.   The harvest is this bitter view Memory crushed to mulch. ReBirth declines to attend a futile celebration Choked on false failed aspiration. These cycles of wonder are green vacancy now   Inverted inward from the weight of tired ancient horses Dragging their bleeding bone plow. The love buried there Seeming like crying children Howls a Chorus of Canine night teeth. […]

Quest for Metaphor: 2

  THE THEATRICAL PORTRAIT On one level– we are collecting archetypal imagery. Humanity as a deck of cards consisting of unique but recognizable moments from a staged event.   Drakula Tyrannus World Premiere at Thad Taylor’s Globe of the historic Vlad.Tepes.   Incommunicado dramatizes the event of the great poet Ezra Pound suffering prison for expressing unpopular verbiage during World War 2. Monsoon Christmas, soldiers confined in barracks during a tireless rain showing strain and stress of strength seeking action, frustration explodes in misdirected violence among themselves, reveals personal and universal human weakness.   The portrait format of the theatrical style image is used for a greater intimacy and maximum emotional impact of the actor performing in character.. TOP ROW: Text as Poetry: Salome Jens is the poet Ann Sexton. Suzanne Farrell, Ballerina as American superstar. George Romero: King of the Zombie genre.

Dark Stage in a Quest for Metaphor: 1

  Some of us find comfort in Knowing Our Place, having a sense of where we stand in the contribution of our life energies, our creativity, our reflected recognition in a cultural context to higher values of our species. Live performance played a significant role in my life, despite my active participation being not as performer, but more often in ballet and acting classes, coffee shop conversations with unique talents, my access to rehearsals, backstage, movie sets, and a lifetime of loving film and its related processes, and of course, reading While my job description was to help The Producer sell tickets I felt called not to some Great Secret Society of wealth beyond conception and morality or current celebrity–but to mastery of craft.  Refining the work was my way to serve a Conscious Humanity. Maybe that’s too Ouspensky or Kierkegaardian for you, but there […]

Phalse Paradigms

      We all wonder what the hell is happening? We divide the information swarm into mainstream media, which Marshall McLuhan linked to the rear view mirror on an automobile, memes–again mostly recycled Cliche/Archetype regurgitation, and conspiracy theories which are dismissed by most as insane due to the discomfort level such observations invoke, and other unreliable sources. Some of us wonder why maintaining a form of delicate dedication to “darlings”, i.e. illusions firmly attached to personal perceptual sensory translation filter,   is not noticed when, for example, this feeding frenzy freezes, like program software virus crash, and spews disfunctional data on a mass scale.  We miss Great Artists like Rachel Rosenthal who told us the truth whatever the cost.

Hermetics for Mummies

THE LITERARY CRITICISM OF MARSHALL MCLUHAN, 1969:   Modern technology is itself mainly a product of art.  It is explicitly the rival of the primitive artist. For it has been the prime characteristic of science and philosophy since Newton and Kant, that they seek to control the world rather than to understand it.  We can, they say, control by magical formula what necessarily eludes our understanding or comprehension.  The artist was always a magician in this sense.  But the civilized artist has differed from the primitive artist in seeking to arrest the flux of existence in order that the mind may be united with that which is permanent in existence.  Whereas the modern artist has used his factive or creative intelligence to manipulate matter and experience into a pattern which could arrest the mind in the presence of a particular aspect of existence, the modern […]

American Stripper

  AMERICAN STRIPPER/ JD 97   Red bikini white and blue College girl and Actress too. Its an urge, this urge to merge The urge to merge with young Dramaturge.   Your class, your wit, your flawless style The X-tasy behind your smile. You take the stage.  You own the dump. Then show the boys resplendent rump. They have the urge.  The urge for you, Miss Dramaturge.   You writhe, you prance, you grind, you roll Slide upside down on a long chrome pole. Dollars fly.  Men scream en masse— You caress their faces with your ass. Bold breathless urge for sweet Dramaturge.   High Houdini Queen of Kundalini Barroom dances in her string bikini Your act conjures ghosts of Fellini Back from the dead to immortalize Your glance into our camera eyes.   We are the urge.  The urge to merge. Urge to Emerge […]

Dance History Project

      Previously unseen dance photos join a collection of my classic published photography at a wonderful site in a portfolio called Dance Phototheatre.  Mostly from the seventies and eighties in Los Angeles the photographs interface style with personal memory. Fred Strickler joins with  Don Hewitt to become the force behind creating the Dance History project of Southern California. I hope the fresh presentation of thirty images serves to represent  the art form of theatrical photography as well as evoke collective memory of brilliant unique talents that too often go unrecognized . Please visit www.dancehistoryproject.org/multimedia/photo-gallery-jan-deen-photography/     HOPEFULLY THEY WILL GET THEIR ACT BACK TOGETHER AND DO WHAT THEY PROMISED IN THE BEGINNING AS TRUE COMMUNICATION AND APPRECIATION IS RARE.   JD

Idols of March

      Yog -Sothoth knows the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and the guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.  He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dunwich Horror”

Hungry Ghosts in a New Year

    “Buddhism,” reveals Tan Teik Beng, “teaches the existence of Hungry Ghosts. The Chinese call these ghosts “Kwei” and believe that it is they who give an enormous amount of trouble to human beings . . .”   Kwei seek vengeance, as those spirits who died suddenly and violently but were neglected. PHOTO: Lisa Wolpe as “Hamlet”.   Since no military or government official, corporate CEO. international bankster, Cartel Captain or Mogul– soulless monsters disguised as mild mannered media darlings– is stepping forth to claim responsibility or presenting authentic data to we helpless uninformed humans, I suggest we befriend these Hungry Ghosts this New Year.   This alternative effort offers  hope for our future salvation from untried dimensions of causality.  True understanding is the only possible path toward cure for major ills that plague our poor population and fatally depletes our planet.  Ask the little […]

Nineleven Eschatology

    The subtle Black Magic behind the gross Acts of Annihilation like Nine Eleven is that the discovery of the Lie is factored in to the Operation.  Each Crude Conspiracy is intended to be discovered by the Intelligentsia and Initiated.  Why?   As a demonstration of overwhelming power and defiance by the perpetrators of unspeakable acts to the awakened practitioners of The Good– those who are aware that the practice of ethical behavior is imperative for evolution of the spirit.  This is the legacy of the poet, artist, genius- scientist, saint, and heretic–the Domain of the Philosopher King and The Great Work.   Mass Murder and Corporate Greed in its blatant forms induces shock to the Conscious Collective functioning of enlightened humanity, those who are not asleep and dumbed down by other forms of mass hypnosis.  Thus individuals  who brave the lower levels of […]

A Geometry of Escape

       Most humans have a personal list of undesirable conditions they wish to escape.  After Death and Taxes, it is usually old age and poverty followed by an ego specific list of boring baddies. The New Age Thinkers say “Consider our own self created shadow and our lack of knowledge of this dark mirror image as our problem”  and learn to live in light of our urgent collective need to ruthlessly confront  the Beast Within and we have an arena worthy of discussion.   Unfortunately, the massive data informing humanity of its follies and shortcomings on both an individual and collective level consists of deliberate disinformation, denial of responsibility, faulty logic, distortion toward the sensational, redacted reportage, naive psychology, and content inducing a perceptual buffer by overwhelming the basic presuppositions of the angry ape seeking comfort from the storm and mortal consolation.   […]

Conjuring Felt Presence

What separates an image from the mundane to one that seems to have a life of its own, reveals more once it has gained attention, evokes response from a viewer saturated numb by the barrage of sensory input and lends greater significance to its subject?   Is it reasonable for me to suggest the superiority of film over digital technology now that in most respects the advantages of digital– from instantaneous viewing to superior resolution and automation of camera features–place film with vinyl and analogue technology in the hierarchy of popularity?  I have considered it a matter of subtle personal taste and access to an original unmanipulated frame of film and various esoteric notions, Perhaps it is only the hard won mastery of a medium with all its difficulties and demands. Perhaps the sheer investment of years and personal history becomes an Identity that cements prejudice […]


    Thinking of my daughter Fleur on my 67th earth year celebration.

Retro-futurist Nostalgia

    Update Nov. 2014 on excerpt from An Interview with Bill George Bill George entered hospital with pneumonia a year ago and has not been heard from since.  jd December, 2012         Actually Bill, I think what we are talking about today is some form of Nostalgia for RetroFuturism. something closer to  a naive simple scare.   Why simple?  We had Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror. Stardom had meaning in a pre-Warhol context and viewers did not idolize mere unthinking unwatchables.   An international transformation of pop culture toward things ” Goth” happened. A life style includes Fetish Clubs,  post punk statements using tattoos and body piercing,  and Basic Bondage.  Costume design is a coded message. Movie genres have  become inseparable from life environments.   So called Genre Literature  from its beginnings as pulp with a few visionaries like Lovecraft, Poe, or […]

Children of The Horror

    My generation, spawned in abundance from postwar industry, yet in the shadow of a secret dark done deal with The “defeated enemy of human kind”– in the name of science, was the first modern generation to be nurtured by larger than life images of The Horror.   For some of us,the word itself evokes a bald Brando-face and voice reciting  T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men  telling us we must make friends with the horror enshrined in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The release of that epic psychedelic experience is an emotional spear piercing our collective consciousness with horror- fantasy oozing through permeable membrane into social reality.  It is our mortal terror in the form of war’s surreal beauty,  It was visionary film- making on a scale  Kubrick’s 2001 brought to Science Fiction. But most of us think of other movies that grabbed us and […]

End of War

    “The mistake is that the concept “serious” is taken conditionally.  One thing is serious for one man and another thing for another man.  In reality seriousness is one of the concepts which can never and under no circumstances be taken conditionally.  Only one thing is serious for all people at all times.   “If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning round in a circle of insignificant interests and insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are loosing, he would understand that there can be only one thing that is serious for him–to escape from the general law, to be free.  What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death?  Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious.”   “There can be […]

Evolutionary Retrogression

From C. H. Hinton, quoted from Tertium Organum by P.D. Ouspensky:   By the same process by which we know about the existence of other men around us, we may know of the high intelligences by whom we are surrounded.  We feel them but we do not realize them.  The power of seeing with our bodily eye is limited to the three-dimensional section.  But the inner eye is not thus limited, we can organize our power of seeing in higher space, and we can form conceptions of realities in this higher space.  We are, with reference to the higher things of life, like blind and puzzled children.  We know that we are members of one body, limbs of one vine, but we cannot discern, except by instinct and feeling, what that body is, what the vine is. Our problem consists in the diminution of the […]

On Normal Street

The whole life of each of us, our efforts at accumulating riches or power, is the building of a Tower of Babel, because it must end in catastrophe,namely, in death, which is the fate of everything that cannot pass to a new plane of being.   It is a normal day on Normal Street.   The blind unconscious masses struggle with the manifestation of the evolutionary spirit, annihilate or stifle it, and most often destroy what has been created by it.  Something remains, and this is what we call progress, or civilisation.  Evolution of the masses is an absurd idea as only degeneration can proceed unconsciously.  We are not promoted to another level for irreproachable conduct and style, nor suffering, whether accidental or self-created–  our values are either too simple, on one plane, or vague and confused, or just too damn fantastic without connection to the […]

Abstract Fatigue

Then there was an interlude in which the brawl before our indented eyes went on. Auto-destruction he breathed and I in that time was suspended   Edward Dorn, poet, from Gunslinger , 1968 . . .you musn’t slap my Gunslinger on the back in such an off hand manner I think the sun, the moon and some of the stars are kept in their tracks by this Person’s equilibrium or at least I sense some effect on the perigee and appogee of all our movements in this, I can’t quite say, man’s presence, the setting sun’s attention I would allude to and the very appearance of his neurasthenic mare   lathered, as you can see, with abstract fatigue–

Queen of The Disco

Donna Summer sings with the Angels– I photographed her live show early in the Disco era for Neil Bogart of Casablanca Records, choreographed by Michael Peters.  Her Love to Love you, Baby was given a Platinum Album Award at this champagne celebration, photo copyright JD-1975.  She would later receive 5 Grammys with back to back hits second only to Madonna.



  Jan Deen presents his Waiver Wake Phototheatre collection at Los Angeles Photography Center (1989 photo by Heather), sharing the venue with Goethe Institute’s German Women in Photography.        A small number of loyal friends remain to remind Jan that it is time for him to write some sort of memoir.  A reasonable request,  considering the number of talented and unusual people he has known, “rubbing elbows with the great” in younger days.  He recalls asking a similar question of reviewers and critics he met in his twenties,” Why don’t you just write about yourself,  since you have met every star and seen every play there is to see?”  He says it was obvious he missed the point since any quality review or essay  was about the writer.      Is there a deeper hidden question key to the mystery of why Jan Deen became a photo credit in small print on the border of images rather than […]

Transylvania Twist

   bobby boris picket live in Las Vegas   SEEMS HE WAS TROUBLED BY JUST ONE THING: HE OPENED HIS COFFIN AND SHOOK HIS FIST SAYING “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY TRANSYLVANIA TWIST?”   ITS NOW THE MONSTER MASH.   AND IT’S A GLOBAL SMASH.   (Bobby “Boris” Pickett 1962)       Living in Transylvania, Romania, it is curious to note the distinctions made by Folk between Tyrants and Saviors.  They keep building ” new” churches reminescent of ancient rituals and there are many who look back nostalgically to the Ceausescu era– thinking perhaps that Imperial Good justified impaling as a picaresque practice. It always begins with a gesture of good will before the fall. Who would think to compare American twenty-first century politics to policy at “the end of the known world”?

Emotional Pain Body

    Eckert Tolle is the new New Age Course in Miracles.   His enlightened POV finds perfect expression in his voice timbre, casual yet precise delivery of ideas, and presentation of one of the most useful terms for practical personal salvation– and if you don’t like these words, then choose others that work for you. 12 “It’s the Emotional Pain Body.”   There is little doubt that Tolle is an authentic speaker for hope in the human condition, nor for the most part does he pull his punches in articulating powerful descriptions of our species behavior collectively and individually.  He could be the best cure for the sickened ego of the Homo Sap since Jung introduced his Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious and Gurdjieff defined our sleeping identified status with notions of negativity.   His flaws are few– an all too effortless dismissal of the importance of Human […]

Critical Balance

    From Reza Abdoh, A Johns Hopkins book by Daniel Mufson, 1999 UPDATE: New Daniel Mufson Interview in print– Imprisoned Airs, BIDOUN–Art & Culture from the Middle East, Summer 2012.  Features Two Photos by Jan Deen of Reza Abdoh 12 “The recession is as nothing compared to the regression.   The athleticism of American capitalism will no doubt rescue us from the catastrophes of the S&L scandals, the unemployment, and the general lurch towards lower standards of living.  But from the regression, our irreversible descent into a more primitive state, there can be no salvation.  The drug-addled, plague-ridden, crime-infested society that nightly reports the murders and atrocities of a civilization going down the tubes is the legacy that will make us pathetic to our twenty-first  century survivors, assuming there are any.   Reza Abdoh’s BOGEYMAN, a cri de coeur cunningly disguised as a performance piece, […]

Vampyr Dancing

  12 Lest the 1932 German film by Carl Theodor Dreyer recede deeper into our collective fogged memory as we replace the brilliant achievements of atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery and dreamlike terror with more special effects, let us indulge in a moment of nostalgia.  Before we are swept away by more teen romances among athletic bodies in flying combat having cooler car crashes,  their characters’ personalities morphing into mere misunderstood cliche kids who would be good if they only could,  to a place where even Sherlock Holmes IQ is not safe from lisping dialogue and lame logic delivered by cell phones twittering– let us take a breath.   Is it likely that if big budget poseur PC creative teams cannot or will not redefine to illuminate, evolving identities for our collective archetypes, pose problems for our heros to solve that reflect substantial contemporary aspects of our human condition that we, as mere viewers seeking entertainment, […]

Dystopian Race for Armageddon

          If the human species survives and there exists an idea called History, this era in which we live will be known as The Age of Waste.  A population mostly unaware of the true specifics of collective psychosis turns to irrelevant solutions in its expressions of fear and discontent while mass communications tend to the unreality industry as usual or blame the world’s economy and Plague on an American President, not a novel by Camus from 1947. 12 The dangers foreseen by sci fi visionaries, like those of horror and fantasy writers, were once dismissed themes in genres of early twentieth century pulp dramas. Now their images fuel our lived experience not only imaginations and enter public perception and consensus dialogue.  While True Believers turn to ancient scriptures in hope of some salvation, more individuals are becoming inclined toward being “born again Orwell.” In sixties America, the forces at play were personified as Hippies and Pigs […]

Art isThe Occult

Ouspensky, in his book Tertium Organum, A Key to the Enigmas of The World, may allow us to begin toward creating a more relevant foundation for discussion than any number of my attempts to describe a post modern esthetics, hip structuralism or clever phenomenology could usefully provide.  He simply states: “The truth is that this earth is the scene of a drama of which we only perceive scattered portions, and in which the greater number of the actors are invisible to us.” He suggests that the mystery of life dwells in the fact that the noumenon–the hidden meaning of a thing, is reflected in its phenomenon. A phenomenon is merely the reflection of a noumenon in our sphere. THE PHENOMENON IS THE IMAGE OF THE NOUMENON. He further implies that only “that fine apparatus which is called the soul of an artist” can understand and accurately feel […]