Bull City Summer: Camera Obscura

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bull City Summer: A Season at the Ballpark (Teaser) from Ivan Weiss on Vimeo.

A video teaser by Ivan Weiss, with camera work by Kate Joyce, featuring Leah Sobsey’s equipment. Bull City Summer exhibitions are forthcoming at the North Carolina Museum of Art and The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh. The book will be published this spring. Preorder now from Daylight Books.

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Friction & Discipline: an Epilogue, Part One

Monday, September 23, 2013
Wool E. Bull with camera

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

Friction and discipline: the two things you need to tell a good story, documentary or otherwise. You need external friction to cause opposition, tension and sparks, otherwise you just get pretty pictures and glorified advertising copy. You need internal discipline as an artist to do something useful with that raw, elemental energy.

It’s all happening, as they say in Almost Famous. That’s sports: sheer competitive clash and collision; the push and pull of opposites; the action and the friction.

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Pitchers & Catchers: The Battery, Part One

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
little dude playing catch with players

Durham Bulls catcher Chris Gimenez, his son, and Bulls catcher Jesus Flores. Photo by Ivan Weiss.

It’s easy to assume that pitching, which is the originating force of every baseball play, is a one-way street, although perhaps not always in the same direction. Either a pitcher throws exactly the pitch his catcher calls, every time, without argument; or a pitcher shakes his catcher off repeatedly until he gets the sign for the pitch he wanted in the first place.

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Back in Time, Postscript: The Resistance of Memory

Saturday, September 7, 2013
head turn

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

The day I published my Paris Review Daily piece about the most exciting game I ever saw, two other people who were at that game in September 1984 appeared, as if summoned.

Ron Morris was the Durham Bulls beat writer for the Durham Morning Herald in the eighties, and I knew him a little back then. He was friendly with my stepfather. Three years ago, I ran into him at the old Durham Athletic Park, the scene of the crime, so to speak.

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Crunching the Numbers with Scoreboard Operator Chris Ivy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
chris ivy scorecard

Photo by Leah Sobsey.

There’s an old saying in baseball, that the game brings out the little kid in grown men. Sayings only get old if they stick around for a while, and they only stick around if they’re true.

I was reminded of all this at one of the Bulls’ last regular season games, when I got to spend a couple of innings behind the left field wall with scoreboard operator Chris Ivy. Recently retired from his day job with Durham County Social Services, Ivy looks a little like a thinner, healthier, happier Mark Twain, circa 1891.

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Bull City (Indian) Summer

Monday, September 2, 2013
grassy onlookers

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

As you may have noticed, it’s hot.

Summer took quite a while to get here. It started out dallying as some sort of temperate rainy season, then turned briefly, bracingly autumnal in mid-August, as though it had decided not to come at all. Finally, though, it gathered up its full humidity and heat, rounded on Durham, and draped it on us just as school started up again. The late-arriving season will be with us at least through this week’s pair of playoff games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

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Hank Willis Thomas and the Season’s Final Home Stand

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas at work. Photo by Ivan Weiss.

Hank Willis Thomas, Bull City Summer’s final guest artist, was brought in to help document the last home stand of the regular season. Hank is an accomplished conceptual photographer and artist who works primarily with themes of identity, history and pop culture. After noting the breadth of our photographers’ impressive, season-long work, Hank was determined to find a new, creative way to document the ballpark during the time he was here in Durham.

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Photo of the Day: Playing Catch

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
little dude playing catch with players

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

The next great baseball star?

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Photo of the Day: Shaved Ice, Behind-the-Scenes

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
concessions behind-the-scenes

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

Waiting for customers at concessions.

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Durham Bulls win in ninth: Walk off

Monday, August 12, 2013
fans hugging

Photo by Ivan Weiss.

A little standard reportage of the morning-paper type:

    Chris Gimenez hit a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning last night to break a tie and give the Bulls a 5-2 win over the Charlotte Knights. The Bulls went into the inning trailing 2-1, having scored their lone run on (yet another) Charlotte error. But Leslie Anderson hit a one-out single against Taylor Thompson (1-1), and Shelley Duncan followed with the inning’s key hit when he lined a double into the left-field corner, moving Anderson to third.

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