My projects usually begin when I'm caught off guard and surprised to catch a glimpse of some mechanism, structure, or network that directs the way we admire, create, distribute, and encounter reproducible images. This is usually a disappointing feeling. But some optimistic, school-learned part of me begins to think that asking questions, collecting information, experimenting with different styles, and looking for patterns and repetitions will show me why this is the world and not another—and always with great clarity and conviction. Sometimes it happens. Often, however, what remains and charms me most when those beliefs have left are a few hard-won feelings for a picture of a misunderstanding.

In each case, I try to recognize and work with the uneasy feeling that looking, taking, making, manipulating, accumulating and discarding photographs are each activities full of conflict and inequality, but also responsibility and splendor. 


Subic Bay, Philippines, 1982 | Based in Austin, Texas

Contact & CV

sherwin.r.tibayan (at)